Obama steps up pressure on security firms

President Obama is looking for the security industry to be more sharing with the information it gets around cyber threats

President Obama has decided to make cyber security a key issue in his last year and a half in the White House and is looking for support from the industry to share more information about cyber threats.

Obama, along with many of the great and good in the IT industry as well as a representative from the UK's National Crime Agency, will be attending a White House security summit later today.

The White House has stated that the President wants to get the industry to share more information about cyber attacks so that the state is in a better position to defend itself.

Rather than wait for that process to be voluntary Obama may well use his keynote speech to reveal further details of an Executive Order 13636 Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, that could increase the pressure on the industry to share information.

"Though the adoption of the Framework is voluntary, the Department of Homeland Security has established the Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community Voluntary Program as a public-private partnership to increase awareness and use of the Cybersecurity Framework.  The C3 Voluntary Program will connect companies, as well as federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, to DHS and other federal government programs and resources that will assist their efforts in managing their cyber risks.  Participants will be able to share lessons learned, get assistance, and learn about free tools and resources that can help them," the White House stated.

There appears to be a mixed response from the IT world to more potential political involvement from politicians and law enforcement with some of the wire services making a story out of the decision by the leaders of Google, facebook and Yahoo not to attend the event in person but to defer the invitation to their security specialists.

But some are behind increased efforts to share information to help combat cyber threats with some of the members of the Palo Alto founded Cyber Threat Alliance keen to stand shoulder to shoulder with the President.

“[We] believe there should be closer collaboration across security researchers, industry, education, and government. We look forward to sharing critical data across threat vectors that can be leveraged not only for delivering Total Threat Protection for our customers but also toward benefiting the community as a whole," said Stephen Pao, GM Security of Barracuda.

“Telefónica firmly believes that the collaboration against cybercrime with leading companies in the security practice will lead us to a better cyber-resilience in the digital world," added Pedro Pablo Pérez, cybersecurity director, Telefónica.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has pledged to work more closely with the US on cyber security, has also made his own efforts to try to improve the amount of information that it can get its hands on.

Last month, Cameron said that there shouldn't be forms of communication that could not be subject to surveillance causing some uprest among civil liberty campaigners and those in the industry that took his comments to mean that a way around encryption for the government was expected.

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