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Cybersecurity in Donald Trump era: What to Expect?

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What a great night it has been! Donald J. Trump has just won the U.S Presidential Elections 2016 and is going to enter White House as the 45th President of the United States of America. While Donald will enter White House in January (officially), it’s time we make a quick assessment of how cybersecurity policies will be shaped during Trump’s rule.

To begin with, the year 2016 witnessed an unprecedented focus on cybersecurity because of the DNC hack that occurred. It was later followed by Podesta email leaks and a real threat to the Presidential elections was anticipated. All credit goes to the government officials for making elections happen without a single glitch. Who was behind these attacks? Well, the intel shows that it was Russia. Nevertheless, who so ever might have been behind the hack, it’s time we take a stock of our cybersecurity preparedness, identify loopholes and convert weakness into strength. It might come out as a surprise to many of you but Trump issued a Vision document on cyber security. Following are the key points of that document:

  • Order an immediate review of all U.S. cyber defenses and vulnerabilities, including critical infrastructure, by a Cyber Review Team of individuals from the military, law enforcement, and the private sector.
    • The Cyber Review Team will provide specific recommendations for safeguarding different entities with the best defense technologies tailored to the likely threats, and will followed up regularly at various Federal agencies and departments.
    • The Cyber Review Team will establish detailed protocols and mandatory cyber awareness training for all government employees while remaining current on evolving methods of cyber-attack.
  • Instruct the U.S. Department of Justice to create Joint Task Forces throughout the U.S. to coordinate Federal, State, and local law enforcement responses to cyber threats.
  • Order the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide recommendations for enhancing U.S. Cyber Command, with a focus on both offense and defense in the cyber domain.
  • Develop the offensive cyber capabilities we need to deter attacks by both state and non-state actors and, if necessary, to respond appropriately.

trump cybersecurity

If the vision document is implemented as written, major changes might occur in the U.S cyberspace.

  • Firstly, the formation of Cyber Review Team that comprises of government officials, military people and private sector signifies the dawn of public-private partnership in the realm of cybersecurity.
  • Secondly, cyber laws and regulations might be revised given more flexibility for the private sector to befittingly respond to the cyber attacks. The new laws and cyber security standards that might come will be drafted in sync with the concept of “Active Defense” that asks for a proactive strategy against cyber criminals.
  • Thirdly, there may be increased focus on cyber awareness. As we know the new paradigm of cyber security is driven by cyber situational awareness. This would require closer partnership between private companies and educational institutions.
  • Fourthly, an overhaul of the U.S Cyber Command cannot be ruled out. There has been a renewed call for splitting NSA and Cyber Command that are presently headed by the same person.
  • Finally, the U.S may start offensive cyber operations as has been stated in the Trump’s vision document.

It’s time we leave the pre-election campaigning mood behind and come together to work for a safe, secure and prosperous America. May the Force be with us.


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