White House Announces “Cybersecurity National Action Plan”

The Obama Administration has released a Cybersecurity National Action Plan (“CNAP”) that will provide the nation with a long-term strategy to “enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, maintain public safety as well as economic and national security, and empower Americans to take better control of their digital security,” according to a White House press release. This long-term strategy will be a product of a “series of near-term actions” intended to enhance the cybersecurity of agencies within the federal government as well as private parties across the country, the press release explained. The CNAP’s emphasis on public-private cooperation is consistent with the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 passed by Congress in December 2015.

Specifically, the press release highlighted the following actions included in CNAP:

  • Establish the “Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity”: This Commission will include members from the public as well as the private sector, and will provide recommendations to both the private and public sectors for strengthening cybersecurity over the next decade.
  • Modernize government IT and the management of cybersecurity: To achieve this, the Administration is proposing a $3.1 billion Information Technology Modernization Fund. The Fund will be used to retire, replace, and modernize difficult to secure and expensive legacy IT. The Fund will also finance a new position to “drive these changes” which will be called the Federal Chief Information Security Officer.
  • Add an “extra layer” of security: The Administration wants to move “beyond just passwords.” To this end, it plans to “judiciously” combine passwords with additional security factors, such as the use of fingerprints or a “single use code delivered in a text message.” This multi-factor authentication is designed to “[e]mpower Americans to secure their online accounts.”
  • Invest over $19 billion on cybersecurity: The Administration will invest over $19 billion for cybersecurity as part of the President’s FY 2017 Budget, a 35% increase from FY 2016.

The White House Fact Sheet can be found here.


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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a second year student at SU College of Law. Christopher is a non-traditional student, returning to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering and in addition to being a full-time student, Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a second year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic.Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

is a third year law student at Syracuse College of Law. She is also pursuing a Master of Arts in International Relations at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She currently serves as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a third year student at Syracuse College of Law. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was recently awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and as an extern in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. Full biography

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography