White House officials present Cybersecurity Framework to strengthen cybersecurity for large firms

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 13, 2014 09:39 AM EST

Officials of the Obama administration finally introduced a plan to strengthen the cybersecurity of large information technology and communications firms, TechCrunch reported. It is also planning to get the help of smaller shops in Silicon Valley in its fight against cyber criminals.

The officials rolled out the Cybersecurity Framework which outlined a plan that would enable the federal government and public and private critical infrastructure providers to give each other data regarding threats to cybersecurity. The framework was the result of President Obama's executive order last year that urged private companies and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to come up with voluntary guidelines that will prevent online attacks from individual notorious hackers and nation states, the report said.

President Obama's counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco explained in the presentation that the newly-minted framework "provides, for lack of a better phrase, a common language to discuss cybersecurity." According to the plan, there are three main components to the framework. The first is the core set of cybersecurity activities that should be performed by all firms. These include identification, protection, detection, response and recovery. The second component is that of "profiles" which aim to guide firms in coming up with their own security plans while the third component is that of "tiers" that identify the cyber risk management processes of various firms, the report said.

Although the framework addresses large IT and communications companies, lenders, utilities and other critical infrastructure providers, the Obama administration is also not snubbing smaller technology firms. At an event in Washington, DC, Department of Homeland Security Deputy Undersecretary Phyllis Schneck said about Silicon Valley firms, "I would like to use this framework as a catalyst to - and we're looking at this already - address that with the executives and the technologists out on that (West) Coast, to look at how we enable cybersecurity to be part of their decision process. This is a key part of our country, I want to learn more about what drives those decisions."

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