Federal study calls for efforts on government-sponsored hacking and insecure Internet-connected devices
US president Barack Obama has called for president-elect Donald Trump’s administration to take steps to improve Internet security, including better coordination between the public and private sector.
His remarks follow the completion of a report by a national cyber-security commission Obama formed in February.
He said its “thoughtful and pragmatic” recommendations would help equip the US economy, critical infrastructure and national security to face the rapid changes brought on by new technologies and networks.
“Cyber-security is one of the greatest challenges we face as a nation,” Obama stated.
The report recommends the expanded use of strong authentication measures for online identity management, investment in security training, centrally coordinated efforts at the federal level and the promotion of international norms of state behaviour.
It urges the president to appoint an ambassador for cyber-security in order to promote efforts outside the US.
“Technological advancement is outpacing security and will continue to do so unless we change how we approach and implement cyber security strategies and practices,” the report states.
Amidst growing concern over the spread of insecure Internet-connected devices such as set-top boxes and webcams, the report calls for the formation of an impartial product security labelling scheme, and recommends federal agencies such as the Justice Department evaluate the law on liabilities caused by insecure networked devices.
Obama, who leaves office on 20 January, said the recommendations build on his administration’s efforts, such as the creation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework and a fund for updating legacy federal government technologies.
He said he had met with the commission’s chair, Tom Donilon, and had asked it to brief the transition officials of president-elect Donald Trump at their earliest opportunity.
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