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White House Issues Cyber Incident Coordination Policy

cyberPresident Barack Obama has issued a new directive to establish principles that will govern the federal government’s response to malicious cyber activities in the public and private sectors.

The Presidential Policy Directive-41 designates the departments of Justice and Homeland Security as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as federal lead agencies for threat response, asset response and intelligence support, respectively, the White House said Tuesday.

The Obama administration instructed the Cyber Response Group to coordinate the government’s efforts to formulate and implement policy and strategy for cyber incidents that affect the country or its interests overseas.

A Cyber Unified Coordination Group shall be formed when a significant cybersecurity event affects critical infrastructure and could have a catastrophic impact on public safety, national security or economy, the directive states.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday the policy directs DHS to lead development of the National Cyber Incident Response Plan that will outline how the federal government should collaborate with businesses and state, local, and territorial agencies to respond to a significant breach.

“Today’s PPD is one more crucial step by the Obama administration to improve our nation’s cybersecurity,” Johnson noted.

“It not only clarifies the roles of the various government actors involved in cybersecurity, it re-enforces the reality that cybersecurity must be a partnership between the government and the private sector, and among the law enforcement, homeland security and intelligence components of the government.”

The FBI said Tuesday it aims will work to collect evidence and intelligence, address immediate threat, identify disruption activities and facilitate data exchange, coordinate with asset response personnel in support of PPD-41.

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