By Jean Schaffer, Federal CTO, Corelight
As the first National Cyber Director begins to settle into office, private industry is very hopeful that this will be one of the turning points to solidify a true private/public partnership for raising the cybersecurity posture of the U.S. As I mentioned in my previous post, Chris Inglis is perfectly positioned to establish the cybersecurity battle rhythm for our nation. His leadership style will without a doubt capitalize on the strength brought about from the collaboration and integration of the appropriate Federal departments, agencies, and the private sector to develop and implement the U.S. National Cyber Strategy.
The priorities as set forth by the National Cyber Director Act, are to be the principal advisor to the President on cybersecurity strategy and policy, develop the U.S. National Cyber Strategy and supervise the implementation of the strategy, lead the interagency planning and response for the Federal Government’s integrated response to cyberattacks, engage with private sector leaders on cybersecurity and emerging technology issues, and annually report to Congress on the cybersecurity threats and issues facing the nation.
Since being unanimously confirmed by the Senate on June 17, I am certain that Chris has already reached out to the appropriate Federal departments and agencies to establish the communication patterns that will synchronize the daily operating tempo for planning, decision, and execution of the U.S. National Cyber Strategy. As an effective leader will attest, the established battle rhythm must be fluid to address crisis situations such as REvil’s July 2 midday ransomware attack of Kaseya’s VSA managed service provider (MSP) product, timed to take advantage of the minimum staffing over a holiday weekend. On July 4, CISA and FBI jointly published the guidance for MSPs and their customers affected by the Kaseya’s VSA Supply Chain ransomware attack. Chris will have to lead the Federal Government’s integrated response to cybersecurity attacks while simultaneously developing the cybersecurity strategy as quickly as possible to bolster the whole of government’s cybersecurity posture. This includes our nation’s critical infrastructure, defense industrial base and the multitude of government agencies.
As the cybersecurity advisor to the President, Chris will be able to contribute to the discussions surrounding the U.S.’s response to China, Russia and others who are seeking to harm the U.S. It will take all of us, private industry and government, to grow additional cybersecurity personnel, develop the cutting-edge technology and deploy it widely in order to shore up our cybersecurity posture. The Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity stated it best – “The private sector must adapt to the continuously changing threat environment, ensure its products are built and operate securely, and partner with the Federal Government to foster a more secure cyberspace.” Corelight, among many other companies that make up the private sector, is doing just that by actively engaging with the appropriate agencies and cybersecurity experts to ensure awareness of the capabilities that can be brought to bear in this area. We have banded together with multiple alliances and companies to encourage the Federal Government to ruthlessly apply commercial existing preference regulations to software and technology procurements to allow for cutting-edge technology, private sector innovations, and rapid deployments to Federal Government agencies.
A larger area that Chris must improve upon is the collaboration and orchestration of a distributed, multi-agency alignment of roles, responsibilities and budgets for cybersecurity. Our adversaries are identifying and capitalizing on the fissures and seams in our cyber defenses, as witnessed by the ever-increasing number of cyber attacks, but Chris needs to lead the nation in identifying and closing those seams to reduce adversaries’ opportunity to exploit weaknesses.
It will certainly be an interesting next couple of years for our nation in the cybersecurity area, and the team at Corelight is leaning forward to join others in providing innovative thoughts, ideas and technology to help raise our cybersecurity posture, and that of our customers.