From the credit card hacks of recent years, to the Sony hack that revealed gigabytes of data, it’s clear the country needs to get more serious about online security. To wit, the White House is requesting billions in funding for an updated Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.
The new CNCI is a 12-point plan that maps out how the administration would like the public and private sectors to combat cyber threats together. Some of the main points touch on securing federal government systems through a new standardized technology, implementing threat detection and prevention infrastructure, and the development of a standardized cyber counter-intelligence plan.
The initiative hopes to achieve these aims by expanding cybersecurity research and development, making sure different intelligence centers can work together, expanding education to get more experts into the field, and clearly defining the role of the federal government in cybersecurity, among other measures.
To further the aims of this initiative, and to protect national cybersecurity, President Obama has requested $ 14 billion from Congress. The budget request also contained plans for a “Civilian Cyber Campus,” to facilitate cooperation between the government and businesses.
According to a summary from the White House:
Cyber threats targeting the private sector, critical infrastructure and the federal government demonstrate that no sector, network or system is immune to infiltration by those seeking to steal commercial or government secrets and property or perpetrate malicious and disruptive activity.
All of this investment does seem very necessary to protect private and public enterprise on the internet. Pew Research data indicates that more than 60 percent of experts believe a massive cyberattack could cripple the nation’s security.
The attack on Sony has also shown that the private sector is particularly vulnerable. Additionally, we’ve seen long running hacks, that have exposed the data of millions of public users because of poor infrastructure. It appears that the funding requests have been well received by congress, so we may see some long overdue robust action on this issue.