President Joe Biden has recently signed an executive order aimed at improving the cybersecurity of U.S. federal government networks and enhancing the country’s overall digital defenses. The order comes in response to the numerous recent cyber attacks that have targeted critical American infrastructure, such as the Colonial Pipeline attack in May 2021.
The executive order includes a range of directives and measures aimed at increasing information sharing between government agencies and private sector organizations. It also requires federal contractors to adhere to certain cybersecurity standards.
One of the key initiatives outlined in the order is the deployment of a new government-wide endpoint detection and response (EDR) system. This system will enhance the ability to rapidly detect and respond to cyber threats across federal networks.
Another important aspect of the order is the requirement for implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) and encryption for data held by federal agencies. MFA is a security measure that requires individuals to provide multiple forms of identification to access a system or account. Encryption ensures that data is protected even if it is intercepted.
The executive order also focuses on ensuring the security of cloud-based systems used by federal agencies. It calls for the development of a standardized approach for assessing the security of these systems and requires the adoption of security best practices, such as encryption and a zero-trust architecture.
Furthermore, the order establishes a Cybersecurity Safety Review Board that will be responsible for investigating significant cyber incidents affecting federal civilian executive branch agencies. The board will provide recommendations to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Overall, the executive order is aimed at strengthening the country’s cybersecurity posture and enhancing the ability to prevent and respond to cyber threats.