The Trump effect on cybersecurity: Tough to tell

His statements on the topic are vague, non-technical and brief.

By Tim Greene
Dec. 12, 2016

Trump also calls for “enhancing U.S. Cyber Command, with a focus on both offense and defense in the cyber domain.” It’s unclear what he means by that or whether he is dissatisfied with the current road map for the command.

According to Congressional testimony by the deputy commander of Cyber Command Air Force Lt. Gen. James K. “Kevin” McLaughlin, it is working on a force of 133 teams that will initially total 4,684 people with the mission of applying “military capability at scale in cyberspace.”

The force will give the department “a means to apply military capability at scale in cyberspace,” he said. They include national teams for defending against cyberattacks, protection teams to defend Department of Defense networks, combat teams to support military operations, and support teams to help out the other teams.

Cyber security review team

Trump wants a broad group to look at cyber defenses and vulnerabilities including critical infrastructure. This sounds similar to the Obama Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, which recently issued its final report, which can be found here.

The big difference is Trump wants his team to include military, law enforcement, and the private sector representatives. Obama’s team had a former national security adviser, the former head of the NSA and Cyber Command, and several business leaders, but no law enforcement representation.

Obama’s commission left recommendations for the new president, but Trump hasn’t said what he thinks of them.

Cyber awareness training for feds

Trump hasn’t fleshed out this item, which is one of the goals he set on his campaign cyber-policy site.

It may be there as a way to tweak his opponent, Hillary Clinton, whose use of a private email server for sending work-related emails while secretary of state was a big campaign issue for Trump. Much of her use of the server would be discouraged under rudimentary security rules, let alone what might seem appropriate for someone in her position.

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