President Trump signed an executive order Thursday to improve the federal government’s cybersecurity and critical infrastructure, after a spate of high-profile government hackings in recent years, a senior administration official told reporters on a call.
“I think the trend is going in the wrong direction on cyberspace,” Homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said, adding that Trump’s order fulfills the president’s pledge to “keep America safe, including in cyberspace.”
The order had been expected for months, but was delayed, USA Today reports.
Trump’s order follows months of hacking accusations: the U.S. intelligence community accused Russia of orchestrating a campaign of cyberattacks; and Democratic political organizations and high profile officials in Hillary Clinton’s campaign suffered embarrassing revelations on WikiLeaks.
Trump signed the order in the midst of FBI and congressional investigations into both the Russian cyberattacks, and whether Trump’s campaign associates had colluded with the Russians. In addition to the election hacks, in prior years cyber data theft from the Office of Personnel Management compromised the sensitive personal information of roughly 21.5 million people.
“The Russians are not our only adversaries on the Internet,” said Bossert, reported USA Today.
Reuters reports that a copy of the signed order was not immediately available.