Citing the growing threat from cyberattacks, President Obama on Tuesday announced that he had signed an executive order that calls for the creation of voluntary standards to boost the security of computer networks in critical industries such as those that keep trains from colliding and drinking water clean.
“We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail,” he said in his State of the Union speech. “We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.”
The establishment of standards is part of a broader administration effort to protect the nation against a growing cyberthreat and the prospect of attacks that result in the loss of sensitive corporate data or even physical damage and deaths. In his speech, Obama also called on Congress to pass legislation to give government greater ability to deter attacks.