The government has just named two leaders in its ongoing (and, at this point, arguably losing) battle with cybercrime.
President Obama’s former national security advisor, Thomas Donilon, and IBM’s former CEO, Sam Palmisano, will serve as the chairman and vice chairman of a 12-person work group tasked with the simple job of coming up with some solid recommendations as to how to slow down cyberthreats by December of this year.
So far, two members have been appointed; now, they just have to find the other ten.
The group will be tasked with heading off attacks lobbed at the government directly, like last year’s devastating hack against the Office of Personnel Management (or last week’s rather embarrassing attacks on the DoJ and Homeland Security by an amateur hacker who did the task almost entirely to make a point about how lousy U.S. cybersecurity really is). The group will also be tasked with offering businesses the assistance they’ve been seeking from the federal government to protect their networks from hackers.
Obama met with Donilon and Palmisano on Wednesday (Feb. 17) at the White House.
“He wants this commission not to just generate a fat report … but rather take on the big questions and the hard challenges and lay out some concrete proposals for how the next administration — and, frankly, administrations after that — can chart the course to navigate those long-term challenges,” Lisa Monaco, the White House’s assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said.
The commission will specifically look at federal computer networks that have antiquated security systems, commercial cybersecurity issues and how to better recruit experts to protect networks.
“The charge for the commission is to be looking down the horizon — in other words, what are the [research and development] priorities we should be investing in now so we can stay ahead of that change in behavior,” Monaco said.
The commission is scheduled to release its recommendations after the 2016 election.