The Professional Services Council (PSC) supports the Obama administration’s focus on cybersecurity with the release of an executive order, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,” but believes that congressional action will ensure the sustainability in enforcing the order.
“Moving us toward a standardized cybersecurity framework and bilateral risk sharing between the government and private sector will make government and industry systems safer from a cyber attack,” said PSC Executive Vice President Alan Chvotkin.
The bill requires both the government and cybersecurity community to engage in information sharing, as well as develop common standards for business and technological approaches to cybersecurity. The order also requires the Defense Department, the Homeland Security Department and the General Services Administration, in consultation with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, to make recommendations on the feasibility, security benefits and relative merits of incorporating security standards into acquisition planning and contract administration.
“However, we recognize that the administration faces limits on how far it can go in ensuring liability protections for those companies that meet the cyber standards being developed and that share risk information with the government,” Chvotkin said. “We will continue to encourage Congress to take swift action to provide those protections to companies meeting the foundation cyber protection requirements developed as a result of this order.”
Chvotkin said that ultimately the White House’s commitment to clarity in the directive and collaboration between the government and private sector will ensure the success in ensuring effective cybersecurity.
“Clarity is key in the success of any such initiative and this order takes steps to ensuring that clear, consistent guidance is ultimately issued to government and the private sector,” Chvotkin said. “We look forward to continue working in a collaborative and transparent fashion with DoD, GSA, DHS, the FAR Council and others as they implement these changes.”