Recent cyberattacks on U.S. government agencies, banks and retailers and a December 2014 hack of the Sony film studio brought home the risks related to digital interconnectedness. Hackers and cybercriminals have disrupted government and corporate digital networks, stolen trade secrets and personal information, and caused financial loss.

The Obama administration has built international coalitions to work with other countries toward these cybersecurity goals:

  • Developing international norms of behavior in cyberspace.
  • Promoting collaboration in cybercrime investigations.
  • Building up international cybersecurity capacity.

In his January 20 State of the Union address, President Obama said, “No foreign nation, no hacker should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids.” His administration has taken many steps to protect America’s businesses and citizens from cyberattacks, including promoting innovation that would make cyberspace more secure.

In 2014, Congress passed four bills designed to improve protection of the government’s digital networks and the nation’s critical infrastructure as well as sharing of information about threats among U.S. government agencies and business leaders. Obama, who supported these measures, called on legislators to do even more, specifically to equip law enforcement with authority and tools to prevent cyberattacks and go after cybercriminals more effectively.

The White House plans to hold a Cybersecurity Summit on February 13 to promote collaboration with the private sector.