White House to issue cybersecurity order Wednesday

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 14:45 Yaron Vorona
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From The Hill

With the State of the Union approaching this evening at 9pm, Cybersecurity is sure to play a role. The Hill reports anticipation that the President will follow up the SOTU with an announcement on cybersecurity.

The White House is poised to release an executive order aimed at thwarting cyberattacks against critical infrastructure on Wednesday, two people familiar with the matter told The Hill.

The highly anticipated directive from President Obama is expected to be released at a briefing Wednesday morning at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where senior administration officials will provide an update about cybersecurity policy.

The executive order would establish a voluntary program in which companies operating critical infrastructure would elect to meet cybersecurity best practices and standards crafted, in part, by the government. 

Observers are expecting the president to briefly mention the need for the country to improve its defenses against cyberattacks during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. 

According to The Hill, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel, Commerce Department Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank, Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander may participate in Wednesday’s briefing.