Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Obama Cybersecurity Report Card

by Taylor Armerding
President Obama is only a couple of weeks out of office, but his legacy on cybersecurity is already getting reviews – mixed reviews.

According to a number of experts, Obama said a lot of good things, did a lot of good things and devoted considerable energy to making cybersecurity a priority, but ultimately didn't accomplish the goal of making either government or the private sector more secure...

As Kevin Murray, director of Murray Associates, a counterespionage consultancy, put it, “government can make as many policies as it wants, but if it doesn’t solve the problem, what good is it?”

Or, as Paul Rosenzweig, founder of Red Branch Consulting, former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official under President George W. Bush and frequent contributor to the Lawfare blog, put it, “they had the tools, they just chose not to use them when the chips were down. I don’t know why.”...

Finally, Murray said government needs to focus not just on those who hack or steal data, but also on those who let it happen. He said government won’t get better results until it demands accountability. In virtually every case of a failure, including the OPM breach, those in charge are allowed to resign, which means they keep their pension and all other government benefits.

“There’s a lot of hand wringing, but not enough action,” Murray said. “You have to make the people in charge of holding this information accountable. Somebody should get paid a lot of money, but then told, ‘You are going to be held responsible if it leaks out on your watch.’

“You start doing that, and people will start taking it (information security) seriously,” he said.  more