(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

DHS, State Dept. Report Progress on Implementing Cyber Executive Order

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said “has developed ways to improve our protection of the federal networks, work more collaboratively with our private sector partners, and reduce the threat of automated cyber-attacks from botnets” to execute President Trump’s Executive Order 13800 Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure.

“The work undertaken reflects months of extensive research and collaboration with the private sector,” Nielsen said. “DHS has recommended ways to improve our federal risk posture and modernize the federal IT enterprise. Additionally, the Department has outlined how it will prioritize private sector access to tailored intelligence and capabilities in order to mitigate risk where a cybersecurity incident could result in catastrophic effects. Lastly, DHS worked closely with the Department of Commerce in crafting recommendations to improve the resilience of the Internet of Things ecosystem and dramatically reduce the ever-growing botnet threat.”

“As the world becomes more interconnected, it also becomes more difficult to secure, and our work pursuant to E.O. 13800 will help the Department confront this challenge,” she said. “One of DHS’s core missions is to protect our nation against cyber threats and we are committed to achieving, with the help of our partners in the public and private sectors, a secure and resilient cyberspace.”

The May 2017 executive order directed the secretaries of Homeland Security and Commerce to “jointly lead an open and transparent process to identify and promote action by appropriate stakeholders to improve the resilience of the internet and communications ecosystem and to encourage collaboration with the goal of dramatically reducing threats perpetrated by automated and distributed attacks” and report back in a year.

The State Department was charged with working with colleagues across the federal government to produce recommendations for the president on securing America’s cyber interests and deterring cyber adversaries by engaging international partners on these critical domestic and foreign policy imperatives.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that a year later his department is releasing two products “detailing U.S. policy objectives and international engagement approaches to reduce the risk of conflict stemming from the use of cyberspace, improve the ability of the United States to deter malicious cyber actors, uphold the open and interoperable Internet, facilitate the achievement of U.S. economic prosperity, and advance an international regulatory environment that supports innovation and respects the global nature of cyberspace.”

“These documents and their recommendations emphasize the importance of the department’s and the U.S. government’s ongoing work to engage foreign partners to address a range of threats in cyberspace, thereby improving the cybersecurity of the nation,” he said. “They further acknowledge the necessity of enhancing U.S. government coordination on all fronts to maximize the effectiveness of international outreach on cyber policy. The Department of State is committed to fulfilling its leadership role in this process.”

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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