The White House has released guidelines aimed at prodding companies that run some of the nation’s most essential services such as utilities, cellphone towers and banks to better protect themselves from cyberattacks, says the Los Angeles Times. Officials said the guidelines, developed under an executive order that President Obama signed a year ago, provide companies overseeing the nation’s crucial infrastructure with a blueprint for identifying potential threats, protecting themselves from cyberattacks and, if an attack occurs, recovering from it.
But the voluntary nature of the guidelines showed how sharply proponents of strong regulation have scaled back their ambitions in the face of industry opposition to government intervention. The new initiative includes no system to formally track how companies are following the “framework for cybersecurity” or measure its effect. It relies largely on “enlightened self-interest” and market forces to convince companies to follow the government’s advice, not incentives or penalties.