Last month it was confirmed that the Obama White House was drafting an executive order for cybersecurity best practices, and now we're getting a sense of what that order will contain. The Associated Press has viewed a draft of the seven-page order, which would instruct the Department of Homeland Security to oversee a network that will provide companies that maintain important infrastructure services, such as electric grids and railroads, with advance warning when intelligence suggests said services have been targeted. The network would be a far-reaching effort, with sensitive information scrubbed from classified reports and the resulting "sanitized" versions quickly disseminated to the necessary parties.
The White House decided to take the issue of cybersecurity into its own hands after Congress failed to pass related legislation on its own earlier this year. The information network joins provisions from previous versions of the order, which would instruct the DHS to pinpoint likely infrastructure targets, as well as call for a government program that would encourage companies to adopt their own safety standards. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has made it abundantly clear he feels the issue of cybersecurity is of utmost importance, saying last week that the US could be facing a "cyber Pearl Harbor" if these concerns aren't addressed. According to the AP, the White House declined to give a timeframe for when the order would be signed.