Obama establishes new cybersecurity chief position

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Feb. 9, 2016 at 8:46 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday unveiled a cybersecurity strategy establishing a new government position: Federal Chief Information Security Officer.

Obama signed an executive order establishing a permanent Federal Privacy Council to ensure each of the federal government's departments are using the most secure practices when protecting government data and employee information.

In a statement, the White House said Obama's Cybersecurity National Action Plan was implemented so "citizens have the tools they need to protect themselves, companies can defend their operations and information, and the government does its part to protect the American people and the information they entrust to us."

The newly founded position of the Federal Chief Information Security Officer will spearhead the changes across the federal government.

For the 2017 budget, Obama proposed $19 billion in funding to strengthen cybersecurity in the federal government -- a 35 percent increase in resources from last year. An Information Technology Modernization Fund of about $3.1 billion would be established to "enable the retirement, replacement, and modernization" of outdated government IT systems.

The administration also is conducting a review of how the government can reduce the reliance on social security numbers as a form of identification. The government plans to work with technology firms like Google, Facebook and Microsoft, and with financial service companies like Visa, PayPal and MasterCard to make online accounts and financial transactions more secure.

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