United States President Joe Biden recently released a memorandum on improving cybersecurity for critical infrastructure control systems. The memo is a product of a 100-day cybersecurity initiative, furthering the Biden administration’s move to safeguard US critical infrastructure.
The memo included the establishment of an Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative, a voluntary and collaborative effort between the US’s federal government and the critical infrastructure community, significantly improving the cybersecurity of these critical systems. The goal of the initiative is to defend US critical infrastructure by encouraging and facilitating the deployment of technologies and systems, providing threat visibility, detections and warnings.
Moreover, the initiative will help government-industry partnerships, allowing stakeholders to take action within their sphere of control to address cybersecurity threats on critical infrastructure.
“We cannot address threats we cannot see; therefore, deploying systems and technologies that can monitor control systems to detect malicious activity and facilitate response actions to cyber threats is central to ensuring the safe operations of these critical systems,” Biden said in the memo.
The document also announced that there must be cybersecurity performance goals, standing as a consistent baseline across all critical infrastructure sectors. These goals will be laid out by the Secretary of Homeland Security in September 2021.
The issuance of goals will be then followed by the issuance of final cross-sector control systems goals within one year upon the date of the memorandum.
Biden’s announcement comes after multiple threats have affected critical infrastructures in the US, including the Colonial Pipeline incident that affected thousands of Americans.
As ransomware and other threat actors become more and more advanced and sophisticated, there is a need for both government agencies and enterprises to future-proof their control systems, mitigating threats that could affect thousands—if not millions—of consumers and residents.
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