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DHS, NIST Officials Update Congress on Cyber Executive Order; Jim Lewis Comments

Capitol_BuildingOfficials from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently updated Congress on the White House’s cyber infrastructure defense framework project, FCW reported Thursday.

Amber Corrin writes that DHS and NIST officials identified the agencies’ achievements and challenges in the implementation of President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity executive order.

Officials also urged Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation that would support the executive order.

“The EO is the decisive moment for this administration’s cybersecurity,” said Jim Lewis, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and senior fellow of CSIS’ technology and public policy program.

“They have done a lot of work, come up with good strategies, but this is the make-or-break moment because if the EO is a bust, we will not get another chance until after 2016. This is the 9th inning, we are at bat and it will be very hard to recover from striking out.”

“They started working on it in August of 2012, and it took six months to complete it – not necessarily an encouraging sign,” Lewis added.

Earlier this month, the NIST had published a draft outline of a cybersecurity framework for securing the grid.

Robert Kolasky, director of an implementation task force at DHS, told the House Homeland Security Committee’s cybersecurity subcommittee a secured and resilient infrastructure needs continuous support from a private-public partnership.

Kolasky added that the agencies’ cybersecurity program is an “ongoing capability development effort rather than an end state to be achieved on a given date, or via a defined deliverable.”

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