The White House orders new computer security rules

Due to the disclosure of hundreds of thousands of classified government documents to WikiLeaks last year, The White House is planning to issue an executive order to replace the flawed patchwork of the computer security safeguards they hard in place, but were exposed after the leak of classified information. This order by the President after a seven month review of its policies and procedures regarding the handling of classified information and documents, and now they have created recommendations and how to reduce the risk of breaches.

The military after the initial WikiLeaks disclosures last November disabled 87 percent of its computers to prevent people from downloading classified data onto memory sticks, CD’s or DVD’s. The Pentagon also developed procedure to monitor and detect suspicious behavior on classified compute systems. There are computer security analysts that say these safeguards, as well as the new orders in the executive order, will bring greater consistency and accountability to information sharing and protection policies.

Now currently every Defense Department computer is blocked from downloading classified information on to memory sticks or CDs, except for a few explicitly authored machines’s, needed for mission essential duties. The Pentagon has also issued cyber identity credentials to anyone using unclassified networks in order to allow supervisors to track what users are working on, and the military is accelerating the analysis of logs from computers on the classified networks to detect large transfer of data or the use of data that is unrelated to an individual’s job duties.

Monte Hawkins, the director for identity management and biometrics policy at the National Security Council stated, “I don’t think we’ll ever be able to guarantee this won’t happen again, but this will greatly enhance our chances of preventing it or catching it in the process”. I believe this is true, it is very hard to prevent the hacking and leaking of information because as we figure out how to block one way, hackers just figure out another way, but if we can put in place safeguards to try to stop it, or even catch it in the act, we can better stop classified information from getting out.


2 thoughts on “The White House orders new computer security rules

  1. Wow, I’m surprised that the White House and the Pentagon hasn’t done this years ago.

  2. Does this really fix the issue though? I can see limiting the number of computers capable of downloading classified files to removable media, but isn’t the issue here about volume of data transfer, not location of data transfer?

    In the Wikileaks case, a TON of data was copied, more than anyone would EVER need for standard operations. It seems like another breach of this size is plausible unless volume transfers are limited.

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