The White House has released a final cybersecurity framework, a voluntary best-practices guide to help chemical manufacturers, refiners, utilities, and other nationally critical industries protect themselves against potential attacks by hackers. The framework comes one year after President Barack Obama issued an executive order directing the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards & Technology to compile existing standards and guidelines as one step to counter the lack of progress on cybersecurity legislation in Congress. “Our critical infrastructure continues to be at risk from threats in cyberspace, and our economy is harmed by the theft of our intellectual property,” Obama says. According to NIST, organizations can use the framework to determine their current level of cybersecurity and to establish a plan for upgrading their computer network security. The plan also offers a methodology to protect privacy. “It reflects the efforts of a broad range of industries that see the value of and need for improving cybersecurity and lowering risk,” NIST Director Patrick D. Gallagher says.