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White House Pushes for Stronger Critical Infrastructure Security

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U.S. president Joe Biden.

A senior administration official said, "The absence of mandated cybersecurity requirements for critical infrastructure is what in many ways has brought us to the level of vulnerability that we have today."

Credit: Computing (U.K.)

U.S. President Joe Biden has signed a national security memorandum aimed at strengthening cybersecurity for the country's critical infrastructure - like power and water suppliers, public health organizations, and transport systems.

The memorandum directs the Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce to develop baseline cybersecurity performance goals for all critical infrastructure sectors. It also establishes an Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative: a collaborative effort between the federal government and firms running industrial control systems, to provide the latest tools and technologies to defend against attacks.

The recommendations for private firms are voluntary, but the administration hopes they will encourage companies to improve their cyber defense ahead of other policy efforts.

Such collaborative effort between the government and private firms began informally in April, as a pilot program for the power sector. Since then, more than 150 power sector utilities have enrolled in the scheme, according to the government.

From Computing (U.K.)
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