Trump signs executive order aimed at improving national cybersecurity

Last Thursday, the president signed an executive order that directs executive branch agencies to modernize their IT infrastructure and cybersecurity systems. The current administration believes that the current state of federal agencies’ IT is falling behind when it comes to safeguarding against digital threats.

One of the main points the executive order makes is that any compromise of these systems can affect private citizens and companies. To make sure modernization efforts are on track, the agencies are required to submit a status report within the next 90 days.

Although previously missing a deadline that Trump himself set, the order is a step toward replacing antiquated systems with those that are more secure and modern. The order also specifically mentions protecting against threats that have recently developed, such as botnets.

Bottom line: Modernize or get left behind

It’s unclear exactly how much a sweeping modernization that’s being called for would cost, but as highly critical systems such as those maintaining nuclear power plants and dams begin to age, it’s vital to keep in mind the cost that any attack would cause. In order to address the potential costs, the order directs agencies to look into migrating to shared cloud services that may both improve security and save money.

Several research organizations report that the majority of IT’s $80 billion budget funnels into maintaining the current systems, which doesn’t leave much left on the table for updating and securing the government’s tech.

Overall, the order isn’t much different from the Obama administration’s policies and stance on IT modernization. Much like how Obama appointed a “cybersecurity czar,” Trump has made former New York governor Rudy Giuliani an acting liaison between the federal government and private industries.

It was a move that told the private sector that Trump is taking cybersecurity threats seriously and wants everyone on board with modernization. You can expect more actions in the future that will impact both the public and private sectors, and we’ll be here with coverage that keeps you informed.