In the News – This Week in Critical Infrastructure: Week of July 25, 2016

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This Week in Critical Infrastructure, we have a big new release from the White House in the form of Presidential Policy Directive 41 (PPD-41). Below, we take a look at the directive itself, as well as reactions from commentators. Then, from Motherboard, an article on proposals for a U.S. cyber national guard.

The White House Releases Presidential Policy Directive 41 on Cyber Incident Coordination
July 26, 2016

On Tuesday, the White House released a new Presidential Policy Directive providing long-awaited guidance on U.S. policy for responding to cyber attacks. In describing the Federal response, PPD-41 lays out three lines of effort: threat response, asset response, and intelligence support and related activities. National policy coordination will be coordinated by the Cyber Response Group in support of the National Security Council. Operational coordination will go through a Cyber Unified Coordination Group consisting of executives and staff assigned from Federal agencies. The FBI will be the lead agency for threat response; DHS, through the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), will be the lead agency for asset response; and the office of the Director of National Security will be the lead agency for Intelligence.

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Why the U.S. Needs a Cyber National Guard
July 26, 2016

From Motherboard, Rep. Will Hurd from Texas writes about the regulatory barriers to greater federal adaptation to cyber threats, as well as the shortage in the qualified cybersecurity workforce at the national level. He proposes that the latter issue can be partially addressed through the creation of a Cyber National Guard. By providing the proper incentives, he argues, STEM graduates can be drawn into government service and continue to support cybersecurity efforts as they transition into private-sector careers through part-time service. Ultimately, the result would be a collaboration between the government and private sector to improve the cybersecurity of each.

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