A new executive order has been signed in the hopes of strengthening federal networks and infrastructure. The White House released the order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure on May 14.

"The EO is intended to modernize, improve and maintain the infrastructure of federal agency information technology and coordinate the efforts of these agencies, and thereby provide for increased risk management," writes lawyer Rosemary McKenna in The National Law Review. "The heads of federal agencies will be held accountable by the President for implementing risk management measures commensurate with the risk and magnitude of the harm that would result from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction of IT and data."

McKenna talks about how the EO is calling for risk management reports outlining current measures and action plans to implement NIST cybersecurity standards, and how they must be provided to the Office of Management and Budget and the Secretary of Homeland Security within 90 days of the EO "or, at light speed for government," writes McKenna. "Within 60 days of these reports, the Director of OMB and his designated posse must report to the President on whether the agency reports are appropriate and sufficient, together with a plan to implement through policies and additional measures that may be needed (aligned with the NIST cybersecurity standards), as well as budgetary needs."

The EO also builds on a previous one ordered by President Obama in 2013 covering critical infrastructure cybersecurity, writes McKenna, with a group of agencies led by the Secretary of Homeland Security identifying collaboration between agencies and other stakeholders.

The EO also attempts to develop means of "strategic options for deterring adversaries and better protecting the American people from cyber threats."