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Critical Infrastructure Defense and National Security Are Top Priorities for the New US Cybersecurity Strategy

The Biden-Harris Administration today released a new National Cybersecurity Strategy which aims to “secure the full benefits of a safe and secure digital ecosystem for all Americans.”

President Biden intends to use “all the tools of national power” to protect national security and public safety while allowing for economic prosperity. And it seems that national power is going to be aimed at the tech giants, as the strategy is focused on “shifting the burden for cybersecurity away from individuals, small businesses, and local governments, and onto the organizations that are most capable and best-positioned to reduce risks for all of us.”

The strategy points to China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as being the worst offenders when it comes to “aggressively using advanced cyber capabilities” against the US. However, it’s China that the US government views as the most dangerous threat, claiming:

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) now presents the broadest, most active, and most persistent threat to both government and private sector networks and is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do so.”

The approach to achieving this enhanced level of national cybersecurity is reliant on five pillars:

  • Defend critical infrastructure
  • Disrupt and dismantle threat actors
  • Shape market forces to drive security and resilience
  • Invest in a resilient future
  • Forge international partnerships to pursue shared goals

All five pillars seem typical for a modern approach to cybersecurity, and it looks as though Biden intends to take a similar line to the CHIPS Act. There will be a focus on long-term investments in cyber defense and resilience, but cybersecurity R&D is being prioritized, as are “partnerships with academia, manufacturers, technology companies, and owners and operators,” alongside “developing a diverse and robust national cyber workforce.”

The full strategy document can be here.

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