Biden’s executive order seeks to strengthen cybersecurity for both public and private organizations.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity and protect information networks owned by the federal government. This was reported in the White House.
Recent cybersecurity incidents, such as the attacks on SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange, and the hacking attack on the Colonial pipeline, are yet another sobering reminder that American public and private organizations are increasingly facing sophisticated, malicious cybercrime from both entire states and individual hacker groups. All these incidents have common features, and first-insufficient cyber defense, which makes public and private organizations vulnerable to criminals.
The White House notes that the presidential decree will make a “significant contribution to the modernization of cybersecurity defenses, the protection of federal networks, the improvement of information exchange between the US government and the private sector on cybersecurity issues, and the strengthening of the US ability to respond” to such incidents. The executive order, the White House said, was only the first of many steps planned by the administration to modernize the nation’s cyber defenses.
However, the incident with the Colonial Pipeline was a reminder that action by the federal authorities alone is not enough. Most of the critical infrastructure in the US is owned by the private sector, and these companies make their own decisions about investing in cybersecurity. The administration called on private companies to follow the federal government’s lead and significantly increase investment in cybersecurity “to minimize such incidents in the future.”
Among the measures outlined in Biden’s order are removing barriers to the exchange of information about cyber threats between the government and the private sector, improving security in software supply chains, creating a cybersecurity security analysis board, and implementing a standard guide for responding to cybersecurity incidents. In addition, President Biden ordered the modernization and introduction of stricter cybersecurity standards in the federal government, improved systems for detecting cybersecurity incidents in federal networks, and improved practices for investigating such cases.