Cybersecurity: Strength and Cooperation
With the introduction of a new administration and a new Congress, there continues to be a focus on cybersecurity. President Biden has chosen Rob Joyce to advance this goal as Director of Cybersecurity at the National Security Agency (NSA) with the help of Anne Neuberger serving as Deputy National Security Adviser for the National Security Council (NSC). Measures that have been proposed include but are not limited to “$200 million for additional hires to support the federal Chief Information Security Officer and U.S. Digital Service; $300 million to modernize the General Services Administration’s IT systems; and $690 million for Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to spend on federal-civilian network security and pilot secure cloud-computing services.” The ranking member for the Select Committee on Intelligence, Chair Mark Warner has explained that “he would hold hearings on the SolarWinds hack and plans to reexamine the concept of a mandatory national data breach notification system.” These actions would help alleviate the current threats and damage caused by the recent SolarWinds supply chain hack and the threats following the tragic Capitol Assault.
Over the past several decades, the issues surrounding cybersecurity threats have increasingly become more frequent and complex as international adversarial governments have continuously advanced and gained new tools and skills designed to degrade global cybersecurity networks. The Department of Defense (DoD) has stated “Adversaries China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea are increasingly taking malicious cyber activities in the gray zone, which is below the threshold of armed conflict.” These efforts to subvert to global cybersecurity networks have been met with increasing concern at the federal level and has served as a point of emphasis with the recent proposed motions at the federal level to address international actors. With the SolarWinds supply chain hack, the Biden Administration has stressed that international adversarial government threats can be mitigated with a more robust and comprehensive set of policies to address private sector and civil society relationships with adversarial governments to provide more stringent cybersecurity walls against potential threats.
However, the most severe threats to our cybersecurity network fall on the recent domestic events. This includes the tragic events that occurred during the assault on the Capitol, and the associated cybersecurity risks. U.S Attorney Michael Sherwin stated that, during the assault, “Materials were stolen, and we have to identify what was done, mitigate that, [as] it could have potential national security equities.” This highlights the growing domestic concerns and actions that require our private defense industrial supply chains and relevant government agencies to cooperate to form a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that require more well-refined operation systems. Within DoD, one of the most pressing matters is the proper implementation of the recent Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMCC). This required certification process would provide a durable long-term relationship between the Defense Industrial Base and government agencies with an emphasis on a greater degree of protection between currently vulnerable information networks. These parameters would help detect and mitigate the devastating effect of disinformation and propaganda that will result with the distribution and use of materials to erode our democratic and cybersecurity structures.
With the new administration, government officials and the Defense Industrial Base have remained resolved to stand dedicated to the idea that the strengthening of our cybersecurity networks is of the utmost importance for the stability and advancement of our national interests. Moreover, the Biden Administration has signaled that a strong stance against potential adversarial state and non-state actors will send a clear a decisive message regarding our stringent stance against actions that will seek to divide and subvert our republic.