The White House has released a new U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy that aims to shift the burden of defending the country’s cyberspace towards software vendors and service providers. The strategy, developed under the Biden-Harris administration. It also highlights the collaboration between public and private sectors. Also the collaboration with , international allies, and partners as essential for securing the nation against cyber threats.
Main objectives of national cybersecurity strategy
The main objectives of the new strategy are to defend U.S. critical infrastructure. It aims to disrupt malicious threat actors targeting to endanger U.S. interests. Also to invest strategically to establish a more secure digital ecosystem. This is for international partnerships to achieve shared goals. To achieve these objectives, the Federal Government plans to deepen operational and strategic collaboration. It is with software, hardware, and managed service providers. These providers should be with the capability to reshape the cyber landscape in favor of greater security and resilience.
Shifting the burden of cybersecurity defense
The White House emphasized the need to rebalance the responsibility to defend cyberspace by shifting the burden for cybersecurity away from individuals, small businesses, and local governments, and onto the organizations that are most capable and best-positioned to reduce risks for everyone.
This new approach aims to divert liability for security failures to software companies, making them responsible for ensuring that their products and services are secure. The government also intends to make reasonable attempts to secure the use of infrastructure against abuse or other criminal behavior, making it more difficult for adversaries to abuse U.S.-based infrastructure while safeguarding individual privacy.
Disrupting malicious actors
The new cybersecurity strategy proposes more aggressive campaigns to make state-backed/financially motivated malicious activity unprofitable and ineffective. The goal is to render criminal cyber activity unprofitable and foreign government actors engaging in malicious cyber activity no longer see it as an effective means of achieving their goals. Disruption campaigns must become so sustained and targeted that they discourage state-backed/financially motivated malicious activity.
Ransomware as a major threat in new national cybersecurity strategy
Ransomware is identified as a major threat, and the administration “strongly discourages the payment of ransoms.” The government will continue to target ransomware gangs operating from safe havens like Russia, North Korea, and Iran.
China and Russia identied as top threats
The administration identified China and Russia as the most active and aggressive states behind malicious activity targeting U.S. critical infrastructure and assets. The strategy highlights how China has expanded cyber operations beyond intellectual property theft to become the most advanced strategic competitor with the capacity to threaten U.S. interests and dominate emerging technologies critical to global development.
Russia remains a persistent cyber threat as it refines its cyber espionage, attack, influence, and disinformation capabilities to coerce sovereign countries, harbor transnational criminal actors, weaken U.S. alliances and partnerships, and subvert the rules-based international system.
Coordination of efforts to national cybersecurity strategy
The Office of National Cyber Director (ONCD) will coordinate efforts to implement this new cybersecurity strategy in coordination with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the oversight of the National Security Council (NSC). The ONCD and OMB will make annual reports to the President and the U.S. Congress to highlight the strategy’s effectiveness. They will also provide federal agencies with yearly guidance on cybersecurity budget priorities to ensure its goals are achieved.
The new U.S. National Cybersecurity Strategy aims to improve the country’s ability to defend against cyber threats by shifting the burden of cybersecurity defense to software vendors and service providers, increasing international cooperation, and disrupting malicious threat actors. The identification of China and Russia as top threats highlights the importance of monitoring.