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White House Rolls Out its New National Cybersecurity Strategy

March 22, 2023
With ransomware attacks, phishing, fraud and other cybercrimes on the rise, the White House introduces a multipronged approach to mitigating these increasingly serious threats.

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A growing area of concern for both private and public entities, cybersecurity has become a core priority as the variety and frequency of serious cyber threats continue to proliferate. According to CompTIA, the U.S. remains the most highly targeted country in the world, with 46% of global cyberattacks being directed at Americans. Fraud cases are up 70% since 2020; ransomware attacks grew by 41% in 2022; and phishing, malware and denial of service (DoS) attacks are also on the rise.

One University of Maryland study from several years ago found that there is a “cyber attempt” (someone attempting to defraud an organization or person online) every 39 sec. Fast-forward to 2023—and factor in the digital advancements that have taken place since that study was conducted—and one would assume that the threat has intensified.

“That number is almost incomprehensible,” CompTIA said. “Not all of the attempts are successful, but you can be guaranteed that someone at some point in time (or several points in time) has tried to steal your personal information.”

National Cybersecurity Strategy

The cybersecurity problem isn’t going away anytime soon, but a new White House initiative is being rolled out to help strengthen the nation’s defenses against it while also improving the country’s overall technology governance approach. The National Cybersecurity Strategy outlines the steps the government is taking to secure cyberspace and build a resilient digital ecosystem that is easier to defend.

“Cybersecurity is essential to the basic functioning of our economy, the operation of our critical infrastructure, the strength of our democratic institutions, the privacy of our data and communications and our national defense,” President Joe Biden states in the report. “From the very beginning of my Administration, we have moved decisively to strengthen cybersecurity.”

Some of the plan involves private companies and those involved with technology and related products/services. For example, GovConWire says the new cybersecurity plan “places more responsibility on commercial companies, software providers and government contractors to ensure that their own systems are resilient and secure, and it also calls for the FBI and the Department of Defense (DoD) to increase their efforts to thwart cyberattacks.”

Five Core Pillars The National Cybersecurity Strategy is based on five core pillars: Defend critical infrastructure; disrupt and dismantle threat actors; shape market forces to drive security and resilience; invest in a resilient future; and forge international partnerships to pursue shared goals. The World Economic Forum (WEF) summarizes the pillars and the role that each one will play in the overall cybersecurity plan as:

  • Defend critical infrastructure. To build confidence in the resilience of U.S. critical infrastructure, regulatory frameworks will establish minimum cybersecurity requirements for critical sectors.
  • Disrupt and dismantle threat actors. Working with the private sector and international partners, the U.S. will seek to address the ransomware threat and disrupt malicious actors.
  • Shape market forces to drive security and resilience. Grant schemes will promote investment in secure infrastructure, while liability for secure software products and services will be shifted away from the most vulnerable and good privacy practices will be promoted.
  •  Invest in a resilient future. A diverse cyber-workforce will be developed and cybersecurity R&D for emerging technologies including postquantum encryption will be prioritized.
  • Forge international partnerships to pursue shared goals. The U.S. will work with its allies and partners to counter cyberthreats and create reliable and trustworthy supply chains for information and communications technology.

Already Underway

The National Cybersecurity Strategy is being coordinated by the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD), which is already working to implement the strategies outlined in the report.

Various other government agencies and organizations either already are or will be involved with the effort as it progresses.

“This National Cybersecurity Strategy establishes a clear vision for a secure cyberspace,” announced Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a statement. “The Department of Homeland Security continuously evolves to counter emerging threats and protect Americans in our modern world. “We will implement the president’s vision outlined in this strategy, working with partners across sectors and around the globe to provide cybersecurity tools and resources, protect critical infrastructure, respond to and recover from cyber incidents and pave the way for a more secure future.”

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About the Author

Bridget McCrea | Contributing Writer | Supply Chain Connect

Bridget McCrea is a freelance writer who covers business and technology for various publications.