Shift from post-remediation to pre-prevention, prioritize investment before threats occur, and strengthen pre-network security protection levels.
On May 18, U.S. time, in the keynote speech on the second day of RSAC, Anne Neuberger, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies, proposed on behalf of the National Security Council. The new U.S. administration’s approach to modernizing cybersecurity defenses.
Anne begins by describing the increasingly dangerous cyber threat landscape, noting that the US President Joe Biden’s administration has already faced and dealt with two large-scale cybersecurity incidents, the “solar wind” ( SolarWinds) and Microsoft Exchange attacks.
“Governments and corporations are increasingly subject to regular, sophisticated and malicious attacks from criminals, and cybersecurity is now more important than ever and critical to national security,” she said.
Anne mentioned that this is the time to really start to change the mindset – from post-remedial to pre-prevention, prioritizing investment in before threats occur, and strengthening pre-event cybersecurity protection levels. At the same time, make necessary processing, feedback and review of large-scale events that have occurred.
Afterwards, Anne proposed three areas in which the US federal government is currently working to enhance national cybersecurity:
1. Enhance modern cyber defenses
Anne said the SolarWinds attack showed that “some of the most important cybersecurity measures are not being rolled out systematically across federal organizations.” These included multi-factor authentication, encryption and endpoint detection.
Software supply chain security is a key focus. The software we use and buy at this stage has defects and vulnerabilities, which are not acceptable. From the government’s point of view, in the next stage, we will take more active measures to do our part to ensure that the software purchased by the government is free of defects and security loopholes. Because usually the software purchased by the federal government is also purchased by major infrastructures, large and medium-sized enterprises and individuals. As such, this plan “will facilitate the private sector to build new systems to provide timely visibility, detection, response and deterrence capabilities.”
Also, integrate visibility into software security, because visibility builds trust, and such visibility and trust builds better, more complete systems.
2. Increase activity in the international network field
The move is intended to re-emphasize U.S. international leadership and work with strategic partners to face cyber threats together.
Anne emphasized that the U.S. must improve its international partnerships “to counter adversaries who use technology to undermine U.S. and international security.” At this point, she highlighted a number of initiatives, including the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), which aims to “address cybersecurity Threatening and holding destructive actors accountable.”
She revealed that one of the U.S. government’s top priorities for maintaining global cybersecurity will be “working together to combat ransomware,” and that such cooperation will become increasingly common. She observed: “Ransomware poses a national security threat to countries all over the world, and because of the enormous economic benefits, these groups will disrupt schools, hospitals, and governments and companies.” Of particular concern, Anne said, is that Ransomware actors often attack by focusing on known vulnerabilities, which are endpoint and computer software vulnerabilities.
At the same time, the escalating sophistication of ransomware teams, both in their tactics and in their operating styles, including double extortion, cannot be ignored. Anne commented: “International cooperation is critical when dealing with ransomware. Transnational criminals often operate using international infrastructure and money laundering networks.”
3. Ensure that the United States has a stronger competitive stance
According to the data, the proportion of the U.S. investment in innovation in GDP is at the lowest point in the past. In this regard, the United States will invest more funds in innovative frontier industries in the future to ensure the United States’ advantages in frontier technologies. As a result, the administration’s American Jobs Plan has a proposal calling for $180 billion to be invested in emerging research and development. The investment will go to areas such as AI, quantum computing and microelectronics.
Anne said this financial investment is critical to strengthening U.S. cyber defense capabilities. She particularly stressed the importance of quantum computing in this regard, as the technology “has the potential to revolutionize certain unsolvable computing problems,” but also has the ability to “fundamentally disrupt cybersecurity and the technology platforms on which it is based. “
Because quantum computing provides a new medium for malicious actors to hack into IT systems that “underlie our financial and national security communications” and could have a “disruptive” impact on specific encryption solutions such as isometric encryption.
Therefore, in the American Jobs Plan, the United States will work to accelerate leadership in quantum computing and quantum information science, a move that will help protect the United States from disruptive threats.
In the end, Anne said: “Increasing the nation’s cybersecurity, protecting critical infrastructure, and broadly enhancing U.S. advantage is the Biden administration’s commitment to fundamentally improving U.S. national security.”