The date was May 11th 2017, and Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee took to the podium in the White House briefing room to address a gallery stacked with members of the press. Before she started in earnest, she introduced Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert to explain President Trump’s new executive order on Cyber-Security.
Before we get into partisan politics it might be useful to quickly review just how ubiquitous financially cyber-crime has actually become. Nichole Hong from the Wall Street Journal reported that the street gang the Crips is engaging in check fraud as found in a 32 page indictment. Meanwhile, famous rapper “Willie D” from the Geto Boys was recently sentenced to 366 days in Federal prison for wire fraud. No matter where you turn, from white collar criminals, to street gangs, to famous recording artists, everyone is getting in on the cyber-crime action.
With regards to President Trump’s executive order, Homeland Security Adviser Bossert addressed the audience explaining the details of America’s latest attempt to fight cyber-crime stating “Our first priority is to protect federal networks”. “We have to move to the cloud and protect ourselves” added Bossert explaining that shared services and centralization of IT assets offer the best level of managed IT security.
Of course, being that I watched this presser on YouTube, there were numerous partisan comments left by those that disagree with Mr. Trump’s policies. “The Cloud isn’t secure” exclaimed one social media commentator. And, of course, what followed were more politically charged comments, slurs, name calling, and other things that you’d expect to see on the wall of a public restroom.
But what if we finally had an issue where President Trump, and President Obama where in full agreement?
What if the Cloud First approach was initiated by President Obama? Well, it was actually….under the Obama Administration’s 25 point plan to reform information technology. This plan mandated that each federal agency CIO identify and move at least 3 services to the cloud. On December 9th 2010, then Federal CIO Vivek Kundra spoke about cloud first policy portion of the plan noting it is an important aspect of government reform and citing its ability to cut costs by 50%.
Marjorie Censer from The Washington Times reported on December 5th 2005:
“The Obama administration has said that cloud computing will allow more people to share a common infrastructure, cutting technology and support costs.”
Bringing us back to 2017, it appears that now President Donald Trump’s executive order is a reiteration of previous policy in addition to calling for additional strengthening of Federal systems and networks; something we can all rally behind.
What can we learn from this?
Both President’s Obama and Trump are obviously very different people, yet they’re both for a Cloud First policy. The reasons are:
- Centralized Security
- Ease of Management
- Standardization, and Adherence to a Unified Framework
- Cost Reduction
- Modernizing Our Nation’s Technology
With this all said, I think we should all take a long hard look at how we think about our own technology. If two Presidents, from two drastically different ideologies can agree on one thing, in a polarized nation… fighting… torn…. and divided against itself, then perhaps the Cloud can be the one thing that unifies us all and brings us together in healing.
Nah – that sounds absolutely ridiculous. I’m not sure even the Cloud can do that. As far as the U.S Government is concerned, it is now a mandate. It may soon be a mandate in your world as well. If not, it might be a good time to consider making the move if you haven’t already.