The White House recently released a new directive clarifying the government’s role in the event of a cyberattack. This interesting information came to us from The Hill in their article, “White House breaks down cyberattack response roles.”

The directive outlines which federal agency will take the lead in different areas of response efforts in the event of a significant cyberattack. The responsibility has been divided up between the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

The DOJ — through the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) — will take the lead in identifying those responsible for the attack, while the DHS will assist victims in repairing their systems. The ODNI will provide intelligence support.

The directive also provides a five-level model officials will use to rank incidents. Level 1 incident is “unlikely to affect public health, national security … or public confidence,” and at the other end of the spectrum, a Level 5 incident “poses an imminent threat to wide-scale critical infrastructure services, national government or to the lives of U.S. persons.”

Melody K. Smith

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