Washington DC : President Barack Obama unveiled a cyber-security ‘national action plan’ with an objective to tackle growing risks from new technologies and persistent threat of hackers getting active from around the globe. Citing the ever-increasing attacks on security systems, keeping America safe has been scheduled as a top priority in Obama’s budget planning, which got reflected, as he asked for USD 19 billion for cyber-security efforts in his budget request, a 35 per cent increase from current levels, with USD 3 billion earmarked to help modernize the patchwork of computer systems used in government agencies.
Speaking to reporters, Prez Obama shared his concerns of security loopholes and expressed his determination to take security of every citizen under utmost priority even while running his last phase of term as the President of United States of America. In Obama’s exact words — More and more, keeping America safe is not just about more tanks or more airplanes…We also have to bolster our security online. As we’ve seen in the past few years, and just in the past few days, cyber threats pose a danger not only to our national security but our economic security…If you’ve got broken, old systems – computers, mainframes, software that doesn’t work anymore – then you can keep on putting a bunch of patches on it, but it’s not going to make it safe.
US intelligence Chief James Clapper underscored those risks at a Senate hearing, pointing out that wider adoption of connected devices and new systems that rely on artificial intelligence could open up doors to hackers. He stated — Future cyber operations will almost certainly include an increased emphasis on changing or manipulating data to compromise its integrity… to affect decision making, reduce trust in systems, or cause adverse physical effects…Russian cyber actors, who post disinformation on commercial websites, might seek to alter online media as a means to influence public discourse and create confusion. Chinese military doctrine outlines the use of cyber deception operations to conceal intentions, modify stored data, transmit false data, manipulate the flow of information, or influence public sentiments.
The Obama cyber initiative has come in as an answer to recent years’ cyber threats — the cyber breaches and attacks which have engulfed both government and private networks — and is a sequel to last year’s cyber-security bill that aims to promote better threat sharing. The launch comes after disclosures last year that personal data from some 20 million federal employees, contractors and others had been leaked in a massive breach at the Office of Personnel Management.