This past Wednesday (July 28, 2021), President Biden signed a National Security Memorandum seeking to counter the growing threat and increasing cost of escalating ransomware attacks on American interests. The memorandum comes as a response to vulnerabilities revealed during recent ransomware attacks on US infrastructure, including on Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods .
The memorandum calls on federal agencies to develop “cybersecurity performance goals for critical infrastructure.” This directive has been accompanied by a steady push from the administration for greater action and accountability by private companies and organizations. The specificity and multi-pronged approach of the Biden administration marks a more-robust posture against threats that seem to be accelerating in frequency and severity on an almost weekly basis. In a tacit recognition that neither the government nor the private sector can “go it alone,” the memorandum calls for collaboration between industries and agencies to set goals and develop action plans.
There will certainly be more to come about this topic from the administration, and it will be interesting to see how—and to what degree—the administration’s call to action to corporate America will resonate among commercial interests in infrastructure, supply chain, and technology, media, and telecom (TMT) companies in particular.