Biden Moves To boost Security Of Sensitive National Security Systems

( The White House has issued new guidance in hopes of protecting America’s national security.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed a memorandum that sets new requirements regarding cybersecurity in regards to systems the Pentagon runs that are considered sensitive for national security. The memo also deals with other federal agencies and the intelligence community as a whole.

Last May, Biden issued an executive order about government cybersecurity. The memo the White House released this week outlines how that order applies to any national security system that is controlled by an agency of the federal government.

It says that at the very minimum, these systems should have the same security systems in place as civilian networks run at the federal level. Agencies also have to prioritize their resources so they can integration various cloud technologies.

The agencies have to also implement multi-factor authentication as well as encryption technology for almost all of the national security systems in place, and it must be done within 180 days.

Federal agencies are now required to report any suspicious breach of a national security system to the NSA (National Security Agency). Then, the NSA is required to establish a plan for then reporting those potential compromises, in conjunction with the CIA and DNI.

NSA is now also empowered to issue directives to federal agencies that would force mitigation actions to stop a potential cyber vulnerability or threat.

Biden’s memo orders the intelligence community, branches of the Department of Defense as well as the FBI, CIA and NSA to develop frameworks that would coordinate better on incidence response and cybersecurity efforts on cloud technologies for national security.

The executive order that Biden signed last year was mainly in response to some major cyberattacks, which includes an attack initiated by a group of hackers sponsored by Russia on SolarWinds.

In that incident, which occurred during the Trump administration, the hackers were able to gain access to organizations in the private sector as well as nine federal government agencies.

When they released the memo on Wednesday, the White House accompanied it with a fact sheet that reads:

“Cybersecurity is a national security and economic security imperative for the Biden Administration, and we are prioritizing and elevating cybersecurity like never before. To secure our critical infrastructure, the Biden Administration launched a surge effort to improve cybersecurity across the electric and pipelines sectors which has resulted in more than 150 utilities serving 90 million Americans committing to deploy cybersecurity technologies, and we are working with additional critical sectors on similar action plans.

“Modernizing our cybersecurity defenses and protecting all federal networks is a priority for the Biden Administration, and this National Security Memorandum raises the bar for the cybersecurity of our most sensitive systems.”

After the memo was released, Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the chair of the Intelligence Committee, commended this action. He also urged Congress to pass the bipartisan legislation that has been proposed that would require all operators and owners of critical infrastructure to report any breaches to the federal government within 72 hours of it happening.