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Presidential Executive Order On Strengthening The Cybersecurity Of Federal Networks And Critical Infrastructure

Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure

Section 1.  Cybersecurity of Federal Networks.

(a)  Policy.  The executive branch operates its information technology (IT) on behalf of the American people.  Its IT and data should be secured responsibly using all United States Government capabilities.  The President will hold heads of executive departments and agencies (agency heads) accountable for managing cybersecurity risk to their enterprises.  In addition, because risk management decisions made by agency heads can affect the risk to the executive branch as a whole, and to national security, it is also the policy of the United States to manage cybersecurity risk as an executive branch enterprise.

(b)  Findings.

(i)    Cybersecurity risk management comprises the full range of activities undertaken to protect IT and data from unauthorized access and other cyber threats, to maintain awareness of cyber threats, to detect anomalies and incidents adversely affecting IT and data, and to mitigate the impact of, respond to, and recover from incidents.  Information sharing facilitates and supports all of these activities.

(ii)   The executive branch has for too long accepted antiquated and difficult–to-defend IT.

(iii)  Effective risk management involves more than just protecting IT and data currently in place.  It also requires planning so that maintenance, improvements, and modernization occur in a coordinated way and with appropriate regularity.

(iv)   Known but unmitigated vulnerabilities are among the highest cybersecurity risks faced by executive departments and agencies (agencies).  Known vulnerabilities include using operating systems or hardware beyond the vendor’s support lifecycle, declining to implement a vendor’s security patch, or failing to execute security-specific configuration guidance.

(v)    Effective risk management requires agency heads to lead integrated teams of senior executives with expertise in IT, security, budgeting, acquisition, law, privacy, and human resources.

(c)  Risk Management.

(i)    Agency heads will be held accountable by the President for implementing risk management measures commensurate with the risk and magnitude of the harm that would result from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of IT and data.  They will also be held accountable by the President for ensuring that cybersecurity risk management processes are aligned with strategic, operational, and budgetary planning processes, in accordance with chapter 35, subchapter II of title 44, United States Code.

(ii)   Effective immediately, each agency head shall use The Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (the Framework) developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or any successor document, to manage the agency’s cybersecurity risk.  Each agency head shall provide a risk management report to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within 90 days of the date of this order.  The risk management report shall:

(A)  document the risk mitigation and acceptance choices made by each agency head as of the date of this order, including:

(1)  the strategic, operational, and budgetary considerations that informed those choices; and

(2)  any accepted risk, including from unmitigated vulnerabilities; and

(B)  describe the agency’s action plan to implement the Framework.

(iii)  The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of OMB, consistent with chapter 35, subchapter II of title 44, United States Code, shall jointly assess each agency’s risk management report to determine whether the risk mitigation and acceptance choices set forth in the reports are appropriate and sufficient to manage the cybersecurity risk to the executive branch enterprise in the aggregate (the determination).

(iv)   The Director of OMB, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, with appropriate support from the Secretary of Commerce and the Administrator of General Services, and within 60 days of receipt of the agency risk management reports outlined in subsection (c)(ii) of this section, shall submit to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, the following:

(A)  the determination; and

(B)  a plan to:

(1)  adequately protect the executive branch enterprise, should the determination identify insufficiencies;

(2)  address immediate unmet budgetary needs necessary to manage risk to the executive branch enterprise;

(3)  establish a regular process for reassessing and, if appropriate, reissuing the determination, and addressing future, recurring unmet budgetary needs necessary to manage risk to the executive branch enterprise;

(4)  clarify, reconcile, and reissue, as necessary and to the extent permitted by law, all policies, standards, and guidelines issued by any agency in furtherance of chapter 35, subchapter II of title 44, United States Code, and, as necessary and to the extent permitted by law, issue policies, standards, and guidelines in furtherance of this order; and

(5)  align these policies, standards, and guidelines with the Framework.

(v)    The agency risk management reports described in subsection (c)(ii) of this section and the determination and plan described in subsections (c)(iii) and (iv) of this section may be classified in full or in part, as appropriate.

(vi)   Effective immediately, it is the policy of the executive branch to build and maintain a modern, secure, and more resilient executive branch IT architecture.

(A)  Agency heads shall show preference in their procurement for shared IT services, to the extent permitted by law, including email, cloud, and cybersecurity services.

(B)  The Director of the American Technology Council shall coordinate a report to the President from the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of OMB, and the Administrator of General Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, as appropriate, regarding modernization of Federal IT.  The report shall:

(1)  be completed within 90 days of the date of this order; and

(2)  describe the legal, policy, and budgetary considerations relevant to — as well as the technical feasibility and cost effectiveness, including timelines and milestones, of — transitioning all agencies, or a subset of agencies, to:

(aa)  one or more consolidated network architectures; and

(bb)  shared IT services, including email, cloud, and cybersecurity services.

(C)  The report described in subsection (c)(vi)(B) of this section shall assess the effects of transitioning all agencies, or a subset of agencies, to shared IT services with respect to cybersecurity, including by making recommendations to ensure consistency with section 227 of the Homeland Security Act (6 U.S.C. 148) and compliance with policies and practices issued in accordance with section 3553 of title 44, United States Code.  All agency heads shall supply such information concerning their current IT architectures and plans as is necessary to complete this report on time.

(vii)  For any National Security System, as defined in section 3552(b)(6) of title 44, United States Code, the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, rather than the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of OMB, shall implement this order to the maximum extent feasible and appropriate.  The Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence shall provide a report to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism describing their implementation of subsection (c) of this section within 150 days of the date of this order.  The report described in this subsection shall include a justification for any deviation from the requirements of subsection (c), and may be classified in full or in part, as appropriate.

Read more about the Presidential Executive Order on whitehouse.gov.

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