Obama on the Record: Cybersecurity

Today I’m releasing a report on our review, and can announce that my administration will pursue a new comprehensive approach to securing America’s digital infrastructure.

This new approach starts at the top, with this commitment from me: From now on, our digital infrastructure — the networks and computers we depend on every day — will be treated as they should be: as a strategic national asset. Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority. We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient. We will deter, prevent, detect, and defend against attacks and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage.

To give these efforts the high-level focus and attention they deserve — and as part of the new, single National Security Staff announced this week — I’m creating a new office here at the White House that will be led by the Cybersecurity Coordinator. Because of the critical importance of this work, I will personally select this official. I’ll depend on this official in all matters relating to cybersecurity, and this official will have my full support and regular access to me as we confront these challenges.

Today, I want to focus on the important responsibilities this office will fulfill: orchestrating and integrating all cybersecurity policies for the government; working closely with the Office of Management and Budget to ensure agency budgets reflect those priorities; and, in the event of major cyber incident or attack, coordinating our response.

To ensure that federal cyber policies enhance our security and our prosperity, my Cybersecurity Coordinator will be a member of the National Security Staff as well as the staff of my National Economic Council. To ensure that policies keep faith with our fundamental values, this office will also include an official with a portfolio specifically dedicated to safeguarding the privacy and civil liberties of the American people.

There’s much work to be done, and the report we’re releasing today outlines a range of actions that we will pursue in five key areas.

First, working in partnership with the communities represented here today, we will develop a new comprehensive strategy to secure America’s information and communications networks. To ensure a coordinated approach across government, my Cybersecurity Coordinator will work closely with my Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, and my Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra. To ensure accountability in federal agencies, cybersecurity will be designated as one of my key management priorities. Clear milestones and performances metrics will measure progress. And as we develop our strategy, we will be open and transparent, which is why you’ll find today’s report and a wealth of related information on our Web site, www.whitehouse.gov.

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