White House Cyber Proposal: First Impressions

After much anticipation,the White House released its cyber proposal today. It has mostly been kept under wraps (with leaks here and there), despite being vetted through multiple agencies. In releasing the proposal, the White House said, "The proposed legislation is focused on improving cybersecurity for the American people, our Nation's critical infrastructure, and the Federal Government's own networks and computers."

The proposal is interesting in that it takes a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity -- marrying data breach and cybercrime language with cybersecurity and critical infrastructure provisions. The White House should be commended for putting forward a holistic approach to cybersecurity and responding to Congress' request for leadership. While many provisions still need to be worked out and debated, the proposal is one of the most comprehensive cyber legislative items offered since the 1996-98 early efforts on cyber critical infrastructure.

As the White House concluded in its release, "Our Nation is at risk. The cybersecurity vulnerabilities in our government and critical infrastructure are a risk to national security, public safety, and economic prosperity."

Congress responded favorably to the Obama proposal, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even releasing a copy of the legislation publicly.

The ball is now in Congress' court to move forward on cybersecurity.

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