#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON:Dec.19 – President Obama on Thursday signed five cyber-security bills into law, after an unexpected spate of legislative activity on the issue.
Though we need to go back to Tuesday Feb.12 2013 when President Obama signed an executive order on cybersecurity — an order that aims to increase cyber defenses of our nation’s critical infrastructure, improve information sharing about cyberthreats between the public and private sectors, and establish a framework of cybersecurity best practices.
But it wasn’t quite ready back then, and the White House worked on crafting the order for the last several months, The Hill reported.
Theses five bills won’t satisfy the strongest backers of tough cyber protections, but they should help many government officials beef up their networks and were cheered by supporters when they rushed through Congress in the final days of its 2014 session.
The bills largely direct various arms of government to deal in a more forceful way with cyber issues, but should also clarify current operations. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, for instance, allows the Commerce Department to write voluntary standards to protect critical infrastructure and tells the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a federal cyber research plan.
Most of the bills are aimed at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The National Cybersecurity Protection Act establishes in law the department’s national cybersecurity center, while the Federal Information Security Modernization Act updates 12-year-old federal information security laws.
The Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act directs the DHS to build out a new strategy to recruit and hang onto the best and brightest workers in the field, and the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act allows the department to exempt some cyber staffers from normal government hiring rules.