Update 1/27/2017: A draft of President Trump’s executive order on cyber security has been released. According to Washington Post, it reads as though it could have been written by the Obama administration. You can read the draft of the executive order here. It is worth mentioning, in several areas of the order, one of the review parties are listed as the Department of Homeland Security. This could lead to speculation that Trump will not be shifting cyber security responsibilities to the Department of Defense, as discussed below.
The new president has been sworn in, meaning there will be changes made across the board. One of the items Trump plans to address in a rather timely fashion is cyber security. But is it really all that different than Obama’s Cyber Security National Action Plan? Yes and no.
Adding Role to Department of Defense?
President Trump is wanting to move cyber security efforts to the Department of Defense. Currently, this is managed by the Department of Homeland Security. Shifting responsibilities between the DHS to the DOD would require Congressional action.
Initial reports by NextGov, stated Trump would be asking the Defense Department and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to create a comprehensive plan to protect our nation’s vital infrastructure from cyberattacks, as well as other forms of attacks.
Collaboration With Private Sector?
Trump recently appointed Rudy Giuliani to assist with the cyber security efforts by serving as liaison to private industries on cyber security issues.
In an interview with Fox News featured on The Hill, Giuliani went into detail regarding his role as this liaison, as well as Trump’s overall concept to enhance our nation’s cyber security. Trump is wanting our nation’s corporate cyber security leaders, within the private sector, to come together in a joint effort to resolve our security threats. It is Trump and Giuliani’s belief that the solutions do exist; however, leaders within these private sectors are not properly collaborating. Therefore, it is Giuliani’s position as the liaison, to get these corporate leaders, and their technological people together to meet with Trump on an ongoing basis. This will allow for our government to be informed on what exists within the private sector, as well as provide a platform for collaboration between these various corporate leaders.
It is expected it will take less than three months for the first meeting between Trump and these corporate leaders to occur.
This plan may sound familiar, because it is rather comparable to Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. Here is the Commission’s first report submitted to Obama in December of 2016. You may read Obama’s response to this report here.
So Which Is It?
Although Trump could find another role within the cyber security realm for Giuliani, it would be surprising if they completely pitched the private sector idea. However, that does not mean Trump’s initial plans of increasing the Department of Defense’s role to include cyber security it out the window either. It is quite possible, both could occur.
With today only being the third full day of Trump’s presidency, we will have to watch and see how this all plays out.