How well is the White House meeting its own cyber-security goals? According to a report card from one cyber-security institute, the Barack Obama administration may need some remedial classes in at least a few areas.
The National Security Cyberspace Institute (NSCI), which calls itself as a cyber-space education, research and analysis group for public, private and academic entities, in January gave the administration middling grades on cyber-security in its report, Federal Government Cybersecurity Progress: Obama Administration Report Card 2009 – Present.
The authors awarded grades for progress against recommendations contained in a 2009 60-day cyber-security review led by Melissa Hathaway, who was acting senior director of cyber-security for the National Security and Homeland Security Councils at the time. It’s referred to as the Hathaway Report in the NSCI document.
The 60-day review identified near-term and long-term action plans, and the NSCI graded the near-term plans, claiming those should have already been either completed or be nearing completion because the Obama administration has passed the halfway mark of its term. Ten items were graded from “A” to “F.”
The following lists the grades for each near-term category:
The NCSI writers summarized that they awarded the president mixed grades at the halfway point in his term. In their opinion, the White House “has made progress in cyber-security on issues that can be resolved through technological means or development of agreed-to standards of compliance and performance worked at the mid-management level.” But actionable initiatives must be set at the policy level in order for there to be sustained progress.