On Thursday (3/2/2023), the White House released its much-anticipated National Cyber Strategy, outlining how the Biden administration will protect the United States from a growing number of online threats. This strategy’s central focus is shifting responsibility for cybersecurity from individuals and small businesses to software developers and other organizations with the resources and expertise to adequately protect their products. The strategy is focused on three primary areas, defending critical infrastructure from cyber-attacks, disrupting and dismantling cybercriminals, and forging international partnerships.
Three Key Areas of Focus
The plan’s first area focuses on securing critical infrastructure from cyberattacks by broadening minimum cybersecurity regulations for critical sectors such as healthcare, telecommunications, energy, financial services, transportation, and water systems. More public-private partnerships must be created to share resources and information to make more robust security measures. Additionally, they are taking steps to modernize national networks to keep up with evolving cyber threats.
The second area aims to disrupt and dismantle cyber criminals—including nation-state threat actors—by committing the necessary resources to “make it harder for them to threaten the national security and public safety” of the country. This involves developing new technologies that can help detect malicious activities before they can cause harm.
The third and final area is about strengthening collaboration with foreign partners who share a joint mission of protecting people from cyber threats. Strong collaboration with other countries to develop standards and best practices that can be implemented across countries is crucial to achieving this. They hope that sharing resources and information between countries will make it easier to identify potential threats before they become serious problems.
Currently, most of the burden of cybersecurity falls on individuals, who are often unaware of best practices or lack the technical know-how required to adequately protect themselves against cyber threats, putting them at greater risk of falling victim to malicious actors. By shifting responsibility to organizations with more resources, there will be fewer opportunities for malicious actors to exploit vulnerable individuals or businesses. The Biden administration hopes that this collaboration between government bodies and industry leaders will result in robust solutions which can adequately address the current cyber threat landscape while giving individuals and businesses peace of mind knowing that those responsible for developing products are held accountable for any mistakes.
The White House’s National Cyber Strategy represents a significant step forward in protecting US citizens from online threats. By shifting responsibility away from vulnerable individuals and small businesses towards those with more resources, such as software developers and large corporations, it is hoped that there will be fewer opportunities for malicious actors to exploit people’s data or hack into systems undetected. However, it remains unclear what form this proposed legislation may take or how effective it will be in practice; only time will tell if this new framework proves successful in protecting Americans from cyber threats today and in the future.