Obama announced the order in his State of the Union address Tuesday, saying the U.S.’ adversaries are seeking to attack the country’s power grid, financial institutions and air traffic control systems.
Under the order, the homeland security secretary will be responsible for leading government officials in creating cybersecurity standards for companies to adopt under a voluntary program, according to the report.
The order also calls for the government to expedite security clearances for some private sector employees responsible for helping operate critical infrastructure, Alina Selyukh reports.
According to the New York Times, government contractors will receive real-time reports about cyber threats under the voluntary program.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, briefed lawmakers in closed-door sessions in an effort to inform them of cyber problems, the Times reported.