White House Takes Another Step Toward Better Security Efforts

Sue Marquette Poremba
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Five Security Budget Tips for 2011

Five tips that IT organizations should use to remind the business side why it needs to invest in security.

When President Obama came to the White House, part of his agenda was to develop a clear cybersecurity plan.


Slowly (does bureaucracy work any other way?), the administration is moving ahead to provide a national standard for cybersecurity. Around this time last year, a cybersecurity "czar" was introduced and legislation has been introduced in Congress to improve cybersecurity and privacy standards.


Most recently, it's been announced that Obama will soon name a privacy "czar" whose job it will be to protect Internet users. Recommendations for someone to take the lead on national privacy issues comes from the Commerce Department, and a task force has been set up to help create privacy policy. But getting something accomplished won't be easy. According to a Wall Street Journal article:

The central issue in writing federal privacy legislation is whether the Internet industry's efforts to police its own behavior has been effective enough. Proponents of legislation argue the industry is a Wild West where consumer data are gathered and sold without restrictions. Opponents of legislation say the industry is committed to providing tools to give consumers better insight into and control over data about themselves.

Not everyone is thrilled by the idea of more privacy efforts. Again from the Wall Street Journal article:

The prospect of new laws raised hackles at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which represents the online-ad industry. 'We believe we are living up to consumer-privacy expectations and are very advanced in privacy protections and innovation,' said Mike Zaneis, senior vice president, who said he wasn't familiar with the report's contents.

Obviously, the old definitions of privacy have gone out the window in today's Internet age. And not underscored enough in the beginning discussions of this new policy initiative is how today's lax privacy can lead to larger and dangerous security breaches.

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