The Colonial pipeline, the most important in the country, resumes its activity
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has signed an executive order on Wednesday to improve American cybersecurity after the computer attack perpetrated against the Colonial oil pipeline, the most important in the country and which was forced to close to protect operating systems, being able to finally resume its activity this Wednesday.
The order has been in process since the beginning of the Biden Administration and is intended to serve as an example for the private sector to take the initiative in strengthening cybersecurity, as indicated by a senior government official at a press conference in the White House.
The executive order supposes the establishment of reference cybersecurity standards for all software that the Government acquires, as well as that all software used by it will comply with these standards within nine months.
In this sense, software developers who do business with the Administration must make their security data available to the public, reports ‘The Hill’.
In addition, the order requires the deployment of the use of encryption and multi-factor authentication by the Government in a “tight” period of time, as detailed by the senior official, who added that providers must obtain an approved exemption from the National Security Council. (NSC) if encryption is not fully implemented in six months.
On the other hand, Biden’s newly signed order establishes a government-wide terminal detection and response system to help federal agencies share information on cyber threats.
It also includes the creation of a standardized “playbook” on how agencies should immediately respond to future cyber breaches. It also involves the establishment of a Cyber Security Review Board, which will be made up of the Department of Security, the Department of Justice, the Pentagon, and the private sector.
“Today more than ever, cybersecurity is a national security imperative and an economic imperative,” said the senior Administration official in this regard.
At the same time, it has influenced that the executive order marks the beginning “to modernize our cyber defenses and safeguard many of the services on which we depend”, as well as “it reflects a fundamental change in our mentality in the response to incidents”.
This new order is put in place as the United States grapples with cyber threats.
“Recent cybersecurity incidents, such as SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange and the Colonial Pipeline incident – which provides 45 percent of the East Coast’s oil and was forced to shut down operations through Wednesday – are a” reminder. It is sobering that public and private sector entities in the United States increasingly face malicious and sophisticated cyber activity, both from state actors and cybercriminals, “the White House stressed in this regard.
These incidents, according to the Administration, “share common ground, including insufficient cybersecurity defenses that leave public and private sector entities more vulnerable to incidents.”
In this context, the senior official has specified that the first task of the Review Board will be to investigate the SolarWinds incident and develop a report on it. “This is really the goal, that each important incident that occurs, we have a thoughtful way of reviewing it and learning from it,” he added.