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Cyberspace Commission Offers Security Guidance to Biden Administration

The bipartisan Cyberspace Solarium Commission (CSC), has released new guidance to help the Biden Administration strengthen the nation’s cyber defense profile.

It’s the fifth such volume the CSC has compiled. This edition, fittingly entitled Transition Book for the Incoming Biden Administration, features a road map containing possible early policy achievements, near term priorities for action, and areas where the White House can work with Congress to promote a positive legislative agenda. Ultimately, the CSC wants to help improve the nation’s ability to prevent, withstand, respond to, and recover from significant hacking incidents. The Commission is co-chaired by Senator Angus King (I-ME) and Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI).

The CSC proposed three priorities for the first 100 days of the Biden administration:

  1. Establish the Office of the National Cyber Director. (Note: The recently signed into law National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will restore the position of national cyber director within the White House responsible for coordinating federal cybersecurity policies.
  2. Develop and promote a National Cyber Strategy to include financial consequences for adversaries that launch significant cyber attacks against the U.S.
  3. Improve the coherence and impact of existing government cybersecurity efforts and further strengthen partnerships with the private sector.

The CSC also presents six longer-term priorities for the administration:

  1. Restore American international cyber leadership.
  2. Invest more in the people we need to defend against malicious cyberattacks.
  3. Invest in the resiliency of our infrastructure.
  4. Safeguard America’s high-tech supply chains.
  5. Preserve America’s military cyber advantage.
  6. Protect America’s full spectrum war fighting and deterrence capabilities from cyber threats.

The CSC also outlines six legislative priorities for the administration:

  1. Build better cyber expertise in government.
  2. Institutionalize international cyber engagement.
  3. Promote a more secure national cyber ecosystem.
  4. Invest in cyber resiliency.
  5. Create support for victims of cyber crime.
  6. Protect American democracy.

“The members of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission look forward to working closely with the Biden-Harris Administration on areas of agreement, just as it did with the Trump-Pence Administration,” the CSC said.

The CSC is comprised of Congressional members, former government officials and private sector executives tasked with forming a wide-angle strategy to defend the nation against cyber attacks. It’s the offspring of the 2019 NDAA, named after a Cold War Era initiative during the Eisenhower administration called the Solarium Project. Of the 77 cybersecurity articles in the $740 billion 2021 NDAA, 27 are directly drawn from 25 recommendations presented by the CSC to improve the nation’s cybersecurity posture in its March, 2020 final report. The NDAA’s additional 50 cybersecurity measures were developed by Congressional committees.

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