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White House unveils National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan

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The White House today released its first version of its implementation plan for its National Cybersecurity Strategy, including more than 65 initiatives aimed at mitigating cyber risk and bolstering investment into cybersecurity.

The National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan defines responsibilities across federal agencies, along with timelines for the execution of each of the outlined initiatives. According to a fact sheet published by the White House, the plan marks a significant step towards enhancing transparency and fostering cooperation in national cybersecurity matters.

Leading the list in the NCSIP is a commitment to engage the public and private sectors to leverage their resources and expertise to counter cyber threats more effectively. The partnerships are said to ensure “that the biggest, most capable and best-positioned entities – in the public and private sectors – assume a greater share of the burden for mitigating cyber risk.”

Among the major initiatives outlined in the NCSIP is the commitment to update the National Cyber Incident Response Plan. The update is said to ensure that both government and private sector partners respond cohesively during a cyber incident, emphasizing streamlining and improving the incident response and recovery process.

Ransomware gets a look-in in the plan, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency spearheading a joint task force dedicated to combating the increase in ransomware attacks.

The NCSIP also emphasizes the need for greater software transparency. CISA has been tasked with leading an effort to identify and reduce gaps in the software bill of materials, allowing market actors to better understand their supply chain risks.

The implementation plan followed the launch of the National Cybersecurity Strategy in March. The plan is focused on making the digital ecosystem more resilient against hacking campaigns.

The initial reaction to the NCSIP from cybersecurity professionals has been mostly positive, with Nick Schneider, chief executive officer of security operations company Arctic Wolf Networks Inc., telling SiliconANGLE that the National Cybersecurity Strategy pillars outline what the private sector has been ringing alarm bells on for years and laid the groundwork for an unprecedented opportunity for the cybersecurity industry to lead the way to an era of business resilience for all American companies.

“An effective defense against today’s cyber threats requires a unified approach to tackle these critical areas of investment and it’s encouraging to see continued alignment between private sector goals and those of the public sector,” Schneider explained. “No business should be left behind in today’s cyber war due to their size or scale and it’s on the private sector to bridge the gap for businesses that may not have the talent or resources to advance these initiatives.”

Sunil Muralidhar, vice president, Growth & Strategic Initiatives at zero trust security company ColorTokens Inc. was also positive, calling the national cybersecurity strategy “forward-thinking for the present and future in its plan of action – focusing on our cyber defense, offense and resiliency.”

Chris Hauk, consumer privacy champion at Pixel Privacy, was more skeptical. “One of the three biggest lies is ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,’ so I am admittedly suspicious of any regulations or agreements any government puts into place,” Hauk said. “Relying on the government or big tech to protect users’ privacy or to protect against cyber attacks is a fool’s errand.”

“It appears that the initiative may require software and operating system vendors to automatically update their software and OS with little to no effort on the user’s part,” Hauk added. “While this would help protect against future cyberattacks, it could also cause trouble for corporate IT departments.”

Photo: Wikipedia

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