February 13, 2013 By Jessica Mulholland
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, President Obama signed an executive order on cybersecurity -- an order that aims to increase cyber defenses of our nation's critical infrastructure, improve information sharing about cyberthreats between the public and private sectors, and establish a framework of cybersecurity best practices.
There has been talk of such an order since August 2012, following the Cybersecurity Act's failure to pass in Congress. Obama signaled he may invoke his power of executive order to pass similar legislation, and on Sept. 19, 2012, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the executive order on cybersecurity was “close to completion.”
But it wasn't quite ready back then, and the White House worked on crafting the order for the last several months, The Hill reported.
Then, during Obama's State of the Union address the evening of Feb. 12, he referenced the severity of cyberattacks.
"We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private email. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets," Obama said during his address. "Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems."