President Obama Launches New Cybersecurity Initiative

Feb 10, 2016

US government invests $19 billion on enhancing security and replacing ancient computer systems.

President Obama signed two executive orders to improve security on US government networks. The executive orders are reflected in the 2017 budget the president sent to Congress, which calls for $19 billion in upgrades for government information technology.

One of the orders creates a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, which makes recommendations for building better security on both public and private networks. The second order launches the Federal Privacy Council, which will bring together privacy officials from 25 government agencies to help ensure more uniform protection of citizen information.

The initiatives are intended to promote better security and privacy practices throughout the government and to keep the emphasis on replacing out-of-date infrastructure. In his press conference launching the programs, Obama pointed out that the Social Security Administration system runs on a 1960s-era platform written in COBOL, which requires up to 400 people to maintain it.

The administration says the plan does not rely on increased funding but shifts existing priorities within the government. See the report at USA Today for more information on the announcement.

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