Barack Obama unveils additional cybersecurity measures

13 January 2015 (Last Updated January 13th, 2015 18:30)

US President Barack Obama has unveiled additional measures to help protect the country’s computer systems against attacks.

US President Barack Obama has unveiled additional measures to help protect the country's computer systems against attacks.

The new steps call for more information sharing, modernised law enforcement and updated security data breach reporting, among others.

Speaking at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia, US, Obama said the government and non-government entities are 'still not always working as closely together' as possible, despite the latter owning and operating much of the nation's critical infrastructure.

"We're proposing new cybersecurity legislation to promote the greater information sharing we need between the government and private sector."

The president said: "We're proposing new cybersecurity legislation to promote the greater information sharing we need between the government and private sector.

"It includes liability protections for companies that share information on cyber threats.

"It [also] includes potential safeguards to ensure that government protects privacy and civil liberties, even as we're doing our job of safeguarding America's critical information networks."

The announcement comes after hackers claiming to be aligned with Islamic State (IS) took control of the US Central Command's Twitter and YouTube accounts for approximately 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense (DoD) is reportedly establishing a new headquarters within the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) that will assume responsibility for safeguarding military networks.

DISA chief of staff US Air Force brigadier general Robert Skinner was quoted by DefenseNews as saying that the joint force headquarters will take control of a number of tasks from US Cyber Command, and will have the authority to secure, operate and defend the DoD Information Network (DoDIN).

Skinner said: "The end result is to provide unity of command and unity of effort across the entire DoDIN.

"We're going to take this off US Cyber Command's plate because there has been this vacuum at the operational level for command and control."

Employing 219 people, the headquarters will provide a command-and-control framework for 39 organisations and is expected to reach initial operating capability soon.