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Obama signs executive order on cybersecurity

Order expands private sector access to government cyberthreat information and instructs agencies to create a set of standards

During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama revealed his executive order on cybersecurity and the attendant campaign to increase computer safety.

The order will expand private sector access to government information about potential threats to cybersecurity and asks the Department of Homeland Security to determine which companies are operating important infrastructure like the electric grid, "where a cybersecurity incident could reasonably result in catastrophic regional or national effects."

It also calls for agencies to create a set of voluntary cybersecurity standards for these companies, and for agencies to see if they could make some of the standards mandatory under their authority. These standards could include things like limiting access to company networks, and ensuring antivirus programs are updated.

According to the Wall Street Journal, many business groups who were instrumental in preventing a cybersecurity bill from passing last year are also displeased with the executive order, worrying that it could lead to regulation and security standards that companies will have to follow.

Obama’s administration has promised to build on the executive order by seeking legislative measures.


For more InsideCounsel coverage of cybersecurity, see below:

New HIPAA rule expands patient privacy regulations

GCs report shifting roles in era of regulatory and security concerns

More than half of in-house counsel say data security is their top legal concern

Defending against cyber-attacks

Class certification threshold lowered in data breach cases

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