Obama issues ATC cyber security order

US President Obama has signed an executive order to strengthen the nation’s air traffic control cyber defences by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect national security.

The US chief  warned of potential vulnerabilities in the nation’s air traffic control system during his State of the Union address delivered on Tuesday.

The executive order calls for a voluntary framework for mitigating cyber risks to critical industry that will be overseen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

At the same time, we’ll engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands, because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead and meet our obligations. America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber attacks.

“We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mails. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems,” said President Obama.

“We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy. That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information-sharing and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.”

“But now — now Congress must act, as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks. This is something we should be able to get done on a bipartisan basis.”

The measure has been met with criticism by some in the industry who say it fails to address the issue of equipment vulnerability

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