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In an article on February 13, 2013, eWEEK quoted Venable partner Jamie Barnett on President Obama’s recent executive order on cybersecurity. The executive order aims to increase national cyber defenses in infrastructure, improve information sharing about cyberthreats, and establish a cybersecurity best practice framework. While praised by many, the executive order does not have the authority of law and cannot be enforced.

Commenting on the executive order, Admiral Barnett said "the executive order is at least a step in the right direction, but I don’t think anyone would say it’s the end-all in cyber security." He explained that "what they’ve set forth in the executive order is a process that may stretch across industries. Some will be specific to industries."

Admiral Barnett added that even though the executive order is aimed at voluntary standards, some agencies such as the General Services Administration may require companies to adhere to the standards and practices that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) develops as a part of the requirement to be eligible for federal contracts. He pointed out that because the President’s action is an executive order, there is no means of enforcement and that legislation would be necessary for enforcement to be implemented.