During the State of the Union speech, President Obama revealed that he signed an executive order to push through the establishment of “voluntary cybersecurity standards.” This comes after a series of cyberattacks that have been made public, revealing the extent to which American media and companies have had to deal with increasing cybersecurity issues from both within and abroad.
The executive order will lead to the creation of a group led by the feds to work with private companies in the creation and implementation of voluntary standards. This follows an attempted cybersecurity bill that was put forth last year and that ultimately died in August. The Obama administration stated that this executive order is only the beginning, and that it would continue to push for an approved cybersecurity bill.
Said President Obama during the speech: “America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyberattacks. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air-traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.”
Over the last few months, many companies – particularly media companies – have come forth and made public the fact that they were hacked, sometimes from forces outside of the country, and sometimes by groups from within. The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times have all recently come out and said they were hacked by China, for example.