Obama Orders Two-Month Review Of Cybersecurity Efforts

Spurred by growing security threats and an increasingly contracted and mobile workforce, the two-month security review will assess efforts made by the federal government to secure U.S. computer networks from cyberattacks, while examining governmental plans, programs and activities dedicated to cybersecurity.

The interagency review will also be launched in an effort to provide a framework to ensure that U.S. government cybersecurity initiatives are appropriately integrated and coordinated with both Congress and the private sector, according to a White House report.

"The national security and economic health of the United States depend on the security, stability and integrity of our nation's cyberspace, both in the public and private sectors," said John Brennan, assistant to the president for counterterrorism and Homeland security, in a written statement. "The President is confident that we can protect our nation's critical cyberinfrastructure while at the same time adhering to the rule of law and safeguarding privacy rights and civil liberties."

Hathaway, who Obama named as acting senior director for cyberspace, will head the review process for the White House National Security and Homeland Security Councils.

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Previously, Hathaway served as cyber coordination executive, overseeing security efforts in the intelligence community under Mitch McConnell, former director of national intelligence.

Going forward, industry leaders and analysts say that cybersecurity is anticipated to be one of the fastest-growing markets in years to come, generating more than $10 billion in contracts by 2013, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Boeing have already been commissioned to work on several cybersecurity projects for the U.S. government, the majority of which are classified.

During his campaign, Obama emphasized the importance of security for U.S. computer systems and promised to appoint a national cyberadviser to oversee federal efforts regarding cybercrime, as well as develop a national cyberpolicy.

In a posting on the White House Web site, Obama stated that he would work with the security industry, researchers and individuals to "build a trustworthy and accountable cyberinfrastructure that is resilient, protects America's competitive advantage, and advances our national and homeland security."

The White House also said on its site that U.S. leaders planned to initiate a drive to develop next-generation secure computer and networking for national security applications; establish tougher standards for cybersecurity; defend corporations and government agencies from cyberespionage; apprehend cybercriminals committing crimes over the Web by minimizing opportunities for payment; and mandate standards for securing personal data, among other things.