Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Computer Security

Our federal government has been working to secure its systems after a series of embarrassing high-profile breaches, including an attack at the Office of Personnel Management that left the information of 20 million current and federal employees vulnerable.  Our government's top cybersecurity experts insist new steps are essential.
After high-profile hacks of government data at various agencies, President Obama signed an executive order establishing a federal privacy council to ensure all of the administration's branches are using the best, most secure practices when safeguarding individual employees' information, as well as government data.
He convened a meeting of his national security team, supplemented by top cybersecurity advisers to discuss these new initiative.  Obama is insisting that we increase the security of all our federal government's computer and data systems.
Obama explained:"One of the biggest gaps between the public sector and the private sector is in our information technology space.  And it makes everyone's information vulnerable."  He described the systems providing the technological underpinning for Social Security and other programs "archaic."
It doesn't matter if there's a Democratic president or a Republican president, if the old computers, mainframes, software doesn't work anymore it's not going to make the system safe.
In his annual budget proposal, Obama included $19 billion for bolstering cybersecurity in the federal government, including $3.1 billion to replace outdated information systems that are difficult to secure.
The White House has conducted a systematic review of where the government can reduce its use of Social Security numbers as identifiers of citizens.  Obama's plan includes increasing training and recruiting programs for the federal government to attract experts in preventing cyber breaches.
Most of the proposal Obama has requested will require Congress to sign off.  He has already discussed the cybersecurity initiative with House Speaker Paul Ryan.


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