The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted the National Cybersecurity Summit in order to coordinate against threats to US infrastructure July 31. The creation of the summit was brought on by allegations against Russian hackers for meddling with the U.S. election in 2016. One of the major moves to improve cybersecurity, elevating CyberCom to Unified Combatant Command level, was an Obama-era plan, and the President’s overall cyber strategy, announced last year, also cribbed liberally from the previous administration.
However, it is still unclear what is actually happening. Vice President Pence and President Trump fail to cite the programs, policies, software, hardware, or any other technical portion that an “impenetrable Cyber Security unit,” would require to function properly.
The DHS Secretary indicated that they are “not waiting for the next intrusion before we act. We are taking a clear-eyed look at the threat and taking action—and notably—collective action to combat them.” The National Risk Management Center will create a cross-cutting risk management approach across the federal government and private sector partners through three lines of effort: identifying and prioritizing strategic risks to national critical functions, integrating government and industry activities on the development of risk management strategies, and synchronizing operational risk management activities across industry and government.
In his closing keynote address, Vice President Pence highlighted the Administration’s focus on cybersecurity and the critical role this summit played in moving forward with these efforts. Vice President Pence also called on the U.S. Senate to enact legislation to create the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency before the end of the year.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, the federal government is a shambles cybersecurity-wise. Finding little situational awareness, few standard processes for reporting or managing attacks, and almost no agencies performing even basic encryption, the OMB concluded that “the current situation is untenable.” This was determined due to the lack of resources in place to combat the “current threat environment.”
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