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Venable partner and retired Navy Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett was quoted in the February 20, 2013 issue of Baseline Magazine on the threat of cyberattacks and President Obama’s executive order addressing cybersecurity. The executive order establishes a framework to develop better protections and safeguards against cyberattacks that could threaten critical industries and infrastructures.

“Cyber-security issues are not merely an IT problem," said Admiral Barnett. “We've repeatedly seen that cyber-threats endanger the entirety of the country's critical infrastructures. Our transportation, energy, communications, manufacturing and financial services sectors are all expending tremendous energy and resources on protecting themselves from cyber-threats.” Commenting on the president’s executive order, Admiral Barnett said it is necessary step to address the issue, adding, “The executive order represents a start, especially in requiring the National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] to lead the development of a cyber-security framework.”

Admiral Barnett advised businesses to monitor developments and participate whenever possible in the development of the framework, saying, “At the very least, businesses should monitor what is happening as the framework and standards develop.” Looking over the long term, Admiral Barnett believes the Congress will need to address the issue with comprehensive legislation. “The Executive Order may be the most that can be done, short of legislation,” he said. “A big part of all this will be whether Congress is able to pass comprehensive or 'wrap-around' cyber-security legislation in the near future.”