Data Security and Privacy Alert: Trump Administration’s Approach to Cybersecurity Remains Murky

January 11, 2017

The Obama Administration, by all accounts, was active and vocal concerning the topic of cybersecurity, both in governmental and private sectors. The White House pressed for rulemaking, for the establishment of security standards, and for information sharing and enforcement powers.  Obama made several attempts to push forward unified federal data breach notification legislation.  Due mainly to a divided Congress, only some of these efforts were successful. 

At this time it remains unclear how the incoming Trump Administration intends to deal with the issue of cybersecurity. Mr. Trump himself has made mixed statements concerning the efficacy of and need for a focus on cybersecurity . 

After the election in November 2016, Mr. Trump’s website contained a broad description of his intended approach to cybersecurity, including the following highlights:

    • He will 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 establish detailed protocols and mandatory cyber awareness training for all government employees while remaining current on evolving methods of cyber-attack.

  • He will order the Department of Justice to create Joint Task Forces throughout the U.S. to coordinate Federal, State, and local law enforcement responses to cyber threats.

  • He will 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.

This Data Security & Privacy Alert is intended to keep readers current on developments in the data security & privacy world and in the law, and is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any questions, please call Sandy B. Garfinkel, Chair of the firm’s Data Security & Privacy Group, at 412‐566‐6868.

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