Today, January 20 2021, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the Unites States of America.
He and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office on the West Front of the US Capitol.
The Inauguration Day celebrations will take place in unprecedented circumstances, with increased security measures following the January 6 attack on the US Capitol building and a variety of social distancing precautions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts in the cybersecurity field have commented on the key cybersecurity matters that are likely to play pivotal roles in the Biden/Harris administration over the next four years.
“The first days of 2021 have been marked by tumultuous events that have diverted attention and resources from what should be a safe and streamlined transfer of power,” said Andrew Rubin, CEO and co-founder, Illumio.
“On top of that, the US is dealing with the SolarWinds breach, which is perhaps the largest and most catastrophic single breach event our country has ever seen. Together, this has created a perfect storm for cyber-attacks and left the United States with a heightened level of cyber-risk, which threatens the safety and security of the country as a whole.”
Biden therefore has a huge amount of work to do in the cybersecurity area, with attacks at an all-time high against the US public and private sector, added Chris Morales, head of security analytics at Vectra.
“We did not improve the nation’s cybersecurity posture over the last four years,” he argued.
A key area of concern is the debate over end-to-end encryption and law enforcement, Morales continued. “The Trump administration believed that private industry should provide access to encryption, which fundamentally breaks personal privacy.”
Furthermore, at the end of Trump’s term, “he fired the top level cybersecurity official at DHS, Chris Krebs, who routinely countered Trump’s statements as contradictory. Chris Krebs did a great job of aligning government with industry and cybersecurity.”
Rubin argued that, moving forward, the US needs a more robust, multi-pronged strategy to mitigate future attacks that couples prevention and monitoring with an effective perimeter protection strategy for all critical entities.
“Given the current situation and vulnerabilities, the US should assume that bad actors are already in their environment. To keep people and information safe, the government should prioritize measures, like establishing deeper layers of security, that can mitigate the impact and spread of a breach.”
Morales concurred, adding: “I would like to see a pivot from cyber-warfare back to risk mitigation and personal privacy. While going on the offensive sounds like a deterrent, it is not aligned with how cyber-attacks truly occur.
“The target is a mix of public/private, and every organization is left to its own defenses. Attacks happen on home turf, not in a distant land where a military can wage war, and cyber-attacks end up hurting the end users more than the army waging war. It is good to have offensive capabilities, but we’ve got to shore up our own internal defenses first. For example, solving ransomware targeting local/state governments with small security staffs and lack of budget.”