Obama's cybersecurity plan a golden opportunity for tech

Tech companies will have a major opportunity to snag government contracts by working with the Obama administration on its planned cybersecurity goals, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

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Tech companies will have a major opportunity to snag government contracts by working with the Obama administration on its planned cybersecurity goals, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

In the report, Forrester outlines the administration's plan and discusses how tech companies can put themselves in the position to work on upgrading the nation's cybersecurity infrastructure.

Among other things, Forrester says that the Obama administration plans to declare cyber infrastructure a strategic asset and to create a national cybersecurity advisor; to work with both universities and private companies to research and develop next-generation security for both government computers and applications; and to create standards for securing personal data stored on government computers.

To this end, Forrester says that the government's new focus on updating its cybersecurity policies could be a major boon for tech companies willing to offer their services and expertise. The biggest opportunities for tech companies will come in areas such as technology planning, where companies such as Microsoft and Cisco can help provide the administration's CTO with input on overall strategy; information sharing, where security vendors such as McAfee and Symantec can work to establish systems for sharing cyberattack data; and early-warning systems, where the government can learn from high-profile Internet companies such as Amazon and Travelocity how to protect its own online data and assets.

Tech companies will also have a role to play in standards development and regulatory review, Forrester says, noting that the government will likely seek out advice from security firms that specialize in gauging IT risk.

The Obama administration has made improving cybersecurity a top priority for its tech policy team. Among other things, new cybersecurity measures will be needed to protect the personal data that will be stored on a proposed national electronic health records system that the administration expects will both cut costs and improve healthcare quality.

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