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Trump Issues Executive Order on Cybersecurity

*New order puts more responsibility on the heads of federal agencies
* Agencies required to assess their capabilities and send detailed reports within 90 days
* Concerns regarding government infrastructure are also addressed

It’s hard to keep track of everything that’s happening in the White House these days. Amid the myriad controversies dominating the latest newscasts, a little-known executive order was signed last week with very little coverage, which is a shame because it’s a very important one.

Last Thursday President Trump signed an order that called for a thorough review of the federal government’s outdated cybersecurity protocols. The order, “Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure,” outlines plans for federal agencies to take an in-depth look at current infrastructure and what needs to be done in the future.

Under the new order, agencies are required to assess their cybersecurity capabilities and send detailed reports to the White House within 90 days. The order also requires the various agencies to submit reports on how to better protect the American people from increasingly common cyberthreats.

While this order is somewhat similar to Obama-era legislation, a notable change is that the new order places more responsibility on the US military, a move that had been previously rejected.

According to the order, “The executive branch has for too long accepted antiquated and difficult–to-defend IT.” Estimates suggest nearly 80 percent of the current IT budget goes toward maintaining these outdated systems.

At a time when security breaches, malware and other harmful cyber threats dominate the headlines, this is one change that’s long overdue.