Wow! President Obama and his team of cyber security policy advisors really get it.

When I read the President’s remarks and the background report from which these recommendations were drawn (http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/Cyberspace_Policy_Review_final.pdf), as a security professional, I can only stand up and applaud.

“This new approach starts at the top, with this commitment from me: From now on, our digital infrastructure – the networks and computers we depend on every day – will be treated as they should be: as a strategic national asset…Protecting this infrastructure will be a national security priority. We will ensure that these networks are secure, trustworthy and resilient. We will deter, prevent, detect, and defend against attacks and recover quickly from any disruptions or damage.”

We know that the threats are real. We have all seen the steady stream of reports of attacks on our power systems, telecommunications networks, military systems, and other critical infrastructure. We know that vast numbers of attacks go unreported.

We also know that our military and much of our economy rely on highly vulnerable technology. It is refreshing to see an apolitical recognition of this vital problem. It is heartening to see sound principles installed as cornerstones of the initiative:

־ Protection of privacy and civil liberties
־ Accountability
־ Public private cooperation
־ Research
־ International cooperation

Developing the policies and technologies to effectively secure our critical infrastructure is a monumental task; one that I can imagine will take a generation. President Obama set the right expectations.

“The task I have described will not be easy. Some 1.5 billion people around the world are already online, and more are logging on every day. Groups and governments are sharpening their cyber capabilities. Protecting our prosperity and security in this globalized world is going to be a long, difficult struggle demanding patience and persistence over many years.”

Obviously, the devil is in the details, but publicly recognizing this looming threat to our national security and future prosperity is the first step in addressing the problem.