The White House is ordering all federal agencies to swiftly upgrade their cybersecurity stance in the wake of unprecedented security breaches.
Federal CIO Tony Scott has launched a 30-day “cybersecurity sprint,” instructing all federal agencies to review and tighten their security measures to safeguard against malicious attempts to obtain federal information.
Under the plan, federal agencies must immediately patch vulnerabilities, accelerate the use of multifactor authentication and deploy other security protocols provided by the Department of Homeland Security. Agencies will then update the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and DHS on their progress after 30 days to address any challenges that remain.
“Recent events underscore the need to accelerate the administration’s cyber strategy and confront aggressive, persistent malicious actors that continue to target our nation’s cyber infrastructure,” read a fact sheet released by the White House Friday evening.
Scott also has established a cybersecurity sprint team to conduct a 30-day review of the government’s cybersecurity policies, procedures and practices. The team — consisting of personnel from OMB’s E-Gov Cyber unit, the National Security Council, the Defense Department and DHS — will develop strategies that will be put into an official document titled “Federal Civilian Cybersecurity Strategy.”
The sprint comes as the fallout from the hack at the Office of Personnel Management continues to grow. Originally, the government said the data of 4 million current and former federal employees was exposed in the breach. However, some news reports put that number at 14 million.
Reports also surfaced over the weekend that some of the data exposed could be the personally identifiable information of those who applied for security clearances.