The White House’s Message: You, the Private Sector, Must Prepare for Russian Cyberattacks
On March 21, 2022, President Biden addressed the Business Roundtable’s CEO Quarterly Meeting. For those who aren’t familiar, the aptly named Business Roundtable is an association of CEOs who run America’s leading companies, representing 20 million employees and $9 trillion in annual revenue. The guest speaker for this quarter’s meeting was the President, who was on a mission. His address was focused on only one topic: the cybersecurity danger that U.S. companies are faced with right now.
Biden’s point was both clear and self-evident. Russia is suffering from the weight of the world’s sanctions and has several avenues of counter measures to retaliate. He said the administration has issued “new warnings that, based on evolving intelligence, Russia may be planning a cyberattack against us. … The magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential, and it’s coming.”
He went on to say, “I would respectfully suggest it’s a patriotic obligation for you to invest as much as you can” in technology to counter cyberattacks. “We’re prepared to help you, as I said, with any tools and expertise we possess, if you’re ready to do that. But it’s your decision as to the steps you’ll take and your responsibility to take them, not ours.”
Please, take the time to read the remarks yourself here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/03/21/remarks-by-president-biden-before-business-roundtables-ceo-quarterly-meeting/
To think it through a bit further, in the President’s words, “Cyberattacks are a means for them to exact costs without crossing a major red line.” Thus, cyberattacks gives Russia the ability to punch back, without escalating the specter of a Third World War.
Our government has been providing warnings to U.S. companies of the threats posed by Russian state hackers for years, while the invasion of Ukraine has only ramped up the threat dramatically. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has launched a “Shields Up” campaign aimed at helping companies strengthen their defenses and has urged companies to back up their data, turn on multifactor authentication, and take other steps to improve cyber hygiene.
For every U.S. company, the time to protect itself, and by extension, its entire network eco-system, is now. Every company can use help, whether you are new to the game or have evolved to a mature, hardened state.
Wherever you fall on the readiness spectrum, we are here to help.