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White House to detail agency progress on cybersecurity goals

Feb. 26, 2013 - 02:09PM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
Michael Daniel is White House cybersecurity coordinator.
Michael Daniel is White House cybersecurity coordinator. (Nicole Blake Johnson / Federal Times)

SAN FRANCISCO — The White House is expected to release details Friday on how well federal agencies are defending their networks and addressing cybersecurity risks, according to a senior administration official.

The cybersecurity scorecards will detail how well agencies can detect who is operating on their networks, what assets — such as computers and smartphones — are connected to their networks and whether they know what information is entering and leaving their networks, White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel said in an interview Tuesday.

“Those are the three things that we want to make sure all federal agencies are getting up to by the end of 2014,” Daniel said. “Some agencies are further along than others.”

Some agencies are performing below the administration’s cybersecurity standards, Daniel said. He is working with agency chief information officers to increase continuous monitoring and other safeguards on government information systems to 95 percent by 2014.

“The level of concern and the level of interest in this issue has now reached a point where it’s on senior leadership’s radar,” he said.

Cybersecurity is one of 14 cross-agency priority goals first outlined in the administration’s fiscal 2013 budget request. Daniel uses the quarterly scorecard reports to determine which agencies are lagging and to figure out how to improve their performance. He expects the current budget environment will make it more difficult for underperforming agencies to improve their cyber defenses.

“We didn’t get here overnight, and we’re not going to get ourselves out of here overnight,” Daniel said.

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