US cyber-defences heightened by another Trump executive order
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Cyber-security is at the top of President Donald Trump’s agenda today, as he is expected to sign an executive order ultimately designed to boost US defences.
Two sources familiar with the situation made the claim which marks Trump’s first action to address what he has called a top priority of his administration.
The order is expected to commission several different reviews of the government’s offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, according to one of the sources and a third briefed on a draft of the order that circulated last week.
The move follows a presidential campaign that was dominated by running storylines related to cyber security, including the hacking and subsequent leaking of Democratic emails as part of what US intelligence agencies determined was a wide-ranging influence operation intended to help Trump win the White House and denigrate his challenger, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
For months Trump refused to accept the conclusions of the agencies that Russia was responsible, before stating at a press conference on 11 January that, “as far as hacking, I think it was Russia.”
In his answer, Trump, then the president-elect, pivoted to say that, “we also get hacked by other countries and other people”, while vowing to launch a government-wide review of vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks.
The order is also expected to initiate an audit of several federal agencies’ cyber capabilities, seek input on how to improve protections for critical infrastructure and review government efforts to attract and train a technically sophisticated workforce, according to two of the sources briefed on the draft, which was first published by the Washington Post.
The draft order would also seek ways to give the private sector incentives to adopt strong security measures.
It would be the eighth executive order that Trump has signed since taking office just over a week ago, including the controversial ban on citizens arriving from one of seven middle-east countries.
Yesterday, Myron Ebell, who was appointed by Trump to head his transition team for Environmental Protection Agency, said that the President could pull out of the Paris Agreement at any time by using an executive order.