Obama administration to create new high-level cyber official

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is creating a new high-level federal official to coordinate cybersecurity across civilian agencies and to work with military and intelligence counterparts as part of its 2017 budget proposal.

The proposal, being released Tuesday, includes a $19-billion increase in cybersecurity funding across all government agencies — up more than 35 percent from last year.

The “Cybersecurity National Action Plan” is an effort touted by the White House as the “capstone” of seven years of often faltering attempts to build a cohesive, broad federal cybersecurity response.

Proposals include emphasizing multi-factor authentication on tax data and government benefits and reducing the use of Social Security numbers as identifiers.

The White House said one high-level official for cybersecurity would allow the government to protect cyber networks in a more unified fashion.