Biden Puts Everything On The Backburner To Make Cybersecurity A Priority
President Joe Biden recently met with executives from some of the country’s top technology companies and financial institutions as the White House urges the private sector to tighten up cybersecurity against increasing attacks.
The meeting follows a string of merciless ransomware attacks targeting critical infrastructure with attackers extorting multimillion-dollar payments from major corporations. There have also been unapproved cyber operations that U.S. authorities have been able to connect to foreign hackers.
Biden’s key statements referred to cybersecurity as a “core national security challenge” for the United States.
“The reality is most of our critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, and the federal government can’t meet this challenge alone,” Biden said. “I’ve invited you all here today because you have the power, the capacity and the responsibility, I believe, to raise the bar on cybersecurity.”
Ransomware was just one of the subjects during the meeting, the main purpose of the meeting was focused on recognizing the “root causes of malicious cyber activities” and ways the private sector can strengthen cybersecurity.
Attendees of the meeting included Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy, and CEO of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, Sundar Pichai. Other notable guests were leaders from IBM, Microsoft, and Automatic Data Processing. Multiple Cabinet secretaries and national security officials were also representing the administration.
A senior administration member characterized the meeting as a “call to action” indicating the importance of keeping it on the books and making it a priority even while Biden’s national security team has been preoccupied with the disorganized evacuation of Americans and Afghan citizens. The mere fact that the president made the meeting mandatory shows how the administration made cybersecurity a priority over everything else going on in the world right now.
At one point during the meeting, Biden pointed to a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he said he made his expectation apparent that Russia take the steps necessary to rein in ransomware gangs because “they know where they are and who they are.”