Responding to the unauthorized release last year of hundreds of thousands of classified documents by the web site WikiLeaks, President Barack Obama on Friday issued an executive order on computer security aimed at preventing such breaches.
In accordance with the order, agencies bear the primary responsibility for sharing and safeguarding classified information, consistent with appropriate protections for privacy and civil liberties.
Federal agencies that use classified networks will designate a senior official to oversee classified information sharing and safeguarding for the agency; implement an insider threat detection and prevention program; and perform self assessments of compliance with policy and standards.
A Senior Information Sharing and Safeguarding Steering Committee will have overall responsibility for fully coordinating interagency efforts and ensuring that departments and agencies are held accountable for implementation of information sharing and safeguarding policy and standards.
A Classified Information Sharing and Safeguarding Office will be created within the office of the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment to provide “sustained, full-time focus on sharing and safeguarding of classified national security information,” the White House said.
The office will also consult partners to ensure the consistency of policies and standards and seek to identify the next potential problem.
Senior representatives of the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency will jointly act as the Executive Agent for Safeguarding Classified Information on Computer Networks to develop technical safeguarding policies and standards and conduct assessments of compliance.
An Insider Threat Task Force will develop a government-wide program for insider threat detection and prevention to improve protection and reduce potential vulnerabilities of classified information from exploitation, compromise or other unauthorized disclosure.