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U.S. Issues Cyber Incident Coordination Policy

White House has issued new directive spelling out how the Federal government will coordinate its incident response activities in the event of a large-scale cyber incident – The White House, Office of the Press Secretary / July 26: "While the vast majority of cyber incidents can be handled through existing policies, certain cyber incidents that have significant impacts on an entity, our national security, or the broader economy require a unique approach to response efforts. These significant cyber incidents demand unity of effort within the Federal Government and especially close coordination between the public and private sectors."

Significant cyber incident / White House Fact Sheet: "A cyber incident that is (or group of related cyber incidents that together are) likely to result in demonstrable harm to the national security interests, foreign relations, or economy of the United States or to the public confidence, civil liberties, or public health and safety of the American people."

The Russian Hack / Ellen Nakashima reporting in the Washington Post: "The directive comes as the administration is grappling with its latest major cyber-incident: the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee's computers [see earlier report] and the suspected release by the Russians of the embarrassing DNC emails that appeared Friday on the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks, days before the Democratic National Convention was to begin in Philadelphia."

More from Nakashima: "The directive does not discuss how the government should respond to a significant event - whether it should impose sanctions, pursue indictments or even just publicly blame another country."

Severity Schema: Also released today from the White House, cyber incident severity schema to establish common framework within the Federal government for evaluating and assessing the severity of cyber incidents.

Cyber Incident Severity Schema – Table depicting key elements of the schema.

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