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March 10, 2014

White House Looks to Businesses to Help Strengthen Cybercrime Resistance

After issuing President Obama’s “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” last month, the White House is turning to businesses for support in implementing the best practices outlined in the document.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology developed the framework, which was directed in a February 2013 executive order. The voluntary, risk-based security practices and standards are expected to become a component of cybersecurity programs across all industries, including energy, transportation, telecommunications, healthcare, water, finance, oil, gas, chemicals, manufacturing and others.

Taking note of the recent uptick in cybercrime against big corporations, such as the Target (News - Alert) credit card attack late last year, businesses are taking the need for increased security seriously.

“While the NIST cybersecurity framework is voluntary, it is emerging as one of the most important blueprints for cyberrisk management in regulated and nonregulated companies,” said Michael Dawson, managing director at Promontory Financial Group.

The White House is moving forward with plans to engage businesses as they implement the strategies outlined in the frame work. Samara N. Moore, White House director for cybersecurity critical infrastructure protection, participated in an open discussion this week about the implications for businesses at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.

"The newly released Cybersecurity Framework represents a turning point in the cybersecurity discussion because it is rooted in a business approach to managing cyber risks and can be used by industries and businesses of all sizes," Moore said.  "It provides a common lexicon that enables CEOs, boards of directors, business managers and operations professionals to communicate and align the organization's efforts to managing cyber risks."

The White House plans to continue to engage businesses in an effort to help implement the practices outlined in the framework.

"I was pleased to receive the Cybersecurity Framework, which reflects the good work of hundreds of companies, multiple federal agencies, and contributors from around the world,” said President Barack Obama in a statement. “This voluntary Framework is a great example of how the private sector and government can, and should, work together to meet this shared challenge."

Edited by Alisen Downey

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