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White House at Work

WORKING TO Strengthen Cybersecurity

"We know that we have to keep cyberspace open and free. We have to make, at the same time, computer networks more secure and resilient, and we have to do more to protect privacy and civil liberties. And we're here to work together."

President Bill Clinton
Wednesday, February 16, 2000

Today, at the White House, President Clinton and members of his Cabinet met with leaders of Internet and e-commerce companies, civil liberties organizations, and security experts to announce actions aimed at strengthening Internet and computer network security. The President announced immediate steps the government will take to enhance security for our nation's computer systems, and industry executives declared their intention to create an information-sharing mechanism to better respond to cyberattacks.

Strengthening Cybersecurity through Public-Private Partnership. Last month, President Clinton released the National Plan for Information Systems Protection, the first-ever national strategy for protecting the nation's computer networks from deliberate attacks. Building on that progress, today's meeting resulted in a joint announcement of actions that will be taken to protect the Internet and computer networks from cyberattack:

  • Industry executives announced their intention to join others to create an Internet-industry mechanism to share information on cyberattacks and security practices to better respond to intrusions into computer networks.

  • President Clinton announced immediate steps the government will take to strength security for our nation's computer systems, including:

    • A $9 million supplemental funding request to the Congress to accelerate and fund this year the implementation of key cybersecurity programs contained in the President's FY2001 budget, including:
      • $4 million to establish the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection;
      • $2 million for the FIDNET Joint Program Office;
      • $2 million for the Federal Cyber Service programs; and
      • $1 million for the establishment of an Expert Review Team within the Commerce Department.

    • A meeting this Friday of key Administration officials, computer security experts, and others on how to fill the gaps in the nation's research agenda for computer network security; and

    • Participation in the newly established Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security, which will maximize cooperation between the government and the private sector in addressing cybersecurity issues.

    Supporting Cybersecurity through the Budget Process. President Clinton has allocated $2 billion in his FY2001 budget - a 16% increase over last year's level to protect our critical infrastructures, including the following key initiatives:

    • A $25 million budget initiative to fund education in Information Security in exchange for a commitment to enter federal service, and a program to establish competencies and certify our existing IT workforce;
    • Establishing a permanent Expert Review Team to help agencies conduct vulnerability analyses and develop CIP strategies;
    • Designing a Federal Intrusion Detection Network to protect vital systems in federal civilian agencies, and to ensure the rapid implementation of system patches for known software defects;
    • Funding 7 Public Key Infrastructure Models pilot programs in FY2001 at different federal agencies;
    • Expanding federal research and development investments in computer security by more than 31%; and
    • Establishing an Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection that will combine federal and private efforts to fill key gaps in critical infrastructure research and development.

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