By Jennifer Martinez - 10/19/12 09:27 PM EDT
The White House's latest change to the order is "an effort to placate industry" because it would result in faster clearances of intelligence reports to businesses, said James Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, about the report.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned in a speech last week that foreign cyber actors "are targeting the computer control systems that operate chemical, electricity and water plants and those guide transportation throughout this country." Panetta admitted that the military knows "of specific instances where intruders have successfully gained access to these control systems."
The Defense chief also warned that Iran is stepping up its activity in cyberspace.
GOP lawmakers have been critical of the White House's effort to issue a cyber order, arguing that it would impose more mandates on businesses. They contend that only Congress has the authority to enact policy that would adequately address the cyber threat and have advocated for legislation focused on facilitating information-sharing about cyber threats between government and industry.
White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment on the report. Hayden has said that the White House believes an executive order is not a substitute for congressional legislation on cybersecurity and a comprehensive bill is still needed to protect the U.S. from cyberattacks.
-- This story was updated at 9:23 p.m.