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Jul 18, 2023

US Publishes Implementation Plan for National Cybersecurity Strategy

US Cybersecurity

Governments worldwide have acknowledged the urgency to protect their nations against cyber threats, defending critical infrastructure, safeguarding sensitive data, and promoting a secure digital environment. From state-sponsored ransomware attacks targeting vital industries to the theft of sensitive government data, the consequences of cyber threats can be far-reaching and devastating.

Due to the explosion of unmanaged endpoints in the past few years, many federal agencies experience a visibility gap where IT and security leaders cannot see all the vulnerable assets within their environment. The Armis platform, which is FedRAMP Authorized, already helps government agencies close that visibility gap and protect the mission.

Recognizing the evolving nature of these threats, the Biden-Harris administration National Cybersecurity Strategy aims to provide a coordinated and proactive approach to safeguard the country’s digital infrastructure. A first iteration of its implementation plan was published on July 13th and is built around five pillars:

1. Defend Critical Infrastructure

This set of actions describes harmonized cybersecurity requirements across critical infrastructure sectors, while encouraging the use of frameworks and international standards.

In terms of information sharing, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will also evaluate where gaps exist and determine if existing reporting mechanisms can be leveraged. Where SRMAs (Sector Risk Management Agencies) do not have robust information sharing capabilities already in place, CISA will work with them to develop a process to mature their capabilities.

We encourage all stakeholders to also address any visibility gaps that may exist. Sharing critical alerts and information is important but if the convergence of IT/OT/IoT/IoMT continues to challenge the ability to see all devices, gaps and vulnerabilities will continue to be exploited.

2. Disrupt and Dismantle Threat Actors

The main objectives of this pillar are twofold: develop an international plan to discourage nations from acting as safe havens for cyber criminals, and increase the speed and scale of disruption operations.  This will be achieved through enhanced Public-Private Operational collaboration and sharing of sensitive cyber threat intelligence.

3. Shape Market Forces to Drive Security and Resilience 

A major strategic objective of this chapter is to drive the development of secure IoT devices through R&D, procurement and risk management efforts. Ultimately, this should lead to a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirements program for labeling the Internet of Things (IoT).

We support the pivotal labeling initiative and will work with the Administration as part of this directive to enhance the visibility and security posture of IoT devices deployed by the federal government, states, and enterprises and their alignment with the labeling scheme controls. We also look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that this effort leads to creating a real-time and dynamic process covering the entire threat landscape – managed and unmanaged connected devices across IoMT, IoT, OT, and IT.

4. Invest in A Resilient Future

Still today, the Internet infrastructure retains fundamental structures of its past. Consistent with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), this pillar will focus on adoption of foundational Internet infrastructure capabilities and technologies like IPv6, secure DNS, modern Protocols, secure internet routing, etc.  The goal is also to strengthen the nation’s Cyber Workforce and drive adoption of cyber secure-by-design principles into Federal projects.

5. Forge International Partnerships to Pursue Shared Goals

The United States and its international counterparts share common cybersecurity interests and can work together by exchanging cyber threat information, best practices, sector-specific expertise, secure-by-design principles and coordinated incident response activities. Ultimately, the implementation plan is here to expand coalitions and disrupt transnational criminals or other malicious cyber actors.

A dynamic Plan for long-term-resilience

The National Cybersecurity Strategy outlines a path for achieving two significant shifts:

– Having more sector actors to bear greater responsibility for digital security

– Increasing incentives to make long term cybersecurity investments

Armis applauds the Administration’s initial release of the implementation plan. We believe the importance of this plan being a dynamic model cannot be overstated and the call for collaboration between the public and private sector will help accelerate a forward leaning posture within each identified pillar.

We will continue to provide actionable asset visibility and threat intelligence on novel attack vectors for IoT/OT as part of our overarching mission to monitor the entire attack threat landscape. We will work with the Administration and government partners, together with its ecosystem, to deliver future security controls, measurability, innovations and processes that can elevate security.

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