In his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, President Obama singled out cybersecurity as major national security priority, stating:
We know hackers steal people's identities and infiltrate private e-mail. 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, and our air traffic control systems. 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.
The President then called on Congress to enact cybersecurity legislation. In addition, the Administration released a new Executive Order and accompanying Presidential Policy Directive providing for greater coordination between national security agencies and the private sector, and for the development of cybersecurity standards through the National Institute of Standards and Technology ("NIST"). The Administration's actions lay the groundwork for addressing at least one problem commonly expressed in the electric industry -- that detailed and specific information about cybersecurity threats is rarely shared by the government, greatly complicating the industry's efforts to address such threats.