Dec. Critical Infrastructure Protection Month

Thursday, December 6, 2012 @ 05:12 PM gHale

December is Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Month, and President Barack Obama is using that declaration to continue his campaign to get Congress to enact comprehensive cyber security legislation.

Congress did not enact the administration-backed Cybersecurity Act, which includes provisions that call for the federal government and business to collaborate in developing IT security best practices that the owners of the mostly privately owned critical national infrastructure could voluntarily adopt.

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Obama used the proclamation to tout such legislation in the 113th Congress, which convenes in early January.

The president, in the proclamation, said the nation’s critical infrastructure is complex and interconnected, and it’s vulnerable to emerging threats from cyberspace despite its strengths.

“Cyber incidents can have devastating consequences on both physical and virtual infrastructure, which is why my administration continues to make cybersecurity a national security priority,” the President said.

“As we continue to work within existing authorities to fortify our country against cyber risks, comprehensive legislation remains essential to improving infrastructure security, enhancing cyber information sharing between government and the private sector, and protecting the privacy and civil liberties of the American people.”

Obama may not wait till Congress acts on comprehensive cyber security legislation. The administration is vetting an executive order that could achieve some, but not nearly all of the president’s cyber security agenda. An executive order likely could establish a legal process to develop IT security standards, but would not have the legal authority to allow information sharing between government and business; that would require a change in law.

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