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U.S. Needs “Cyber Doctrine” to Combat Cyberattacks and Hackers, VP Harris Says

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Vice President Kamala Harris is advocating for the U.S. to set a “cyber doctrine” to mount a more muscular defense against cybersecurity attacks.

“I do believe that it is important for us to have a cyber doctrine,” Harris said in an interview on CBS's Face the Nation that aired on December 26, 2021. “On the issue of cyber, it is important that we work with our allies on these issues…making sure we are all on the same page about what will be interpreted as a threat or not and with some level of consensus about what the rules and norms are and what they should be,” Harris said.

Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace

Harris’ comments follow the Biden administration’s repeated calls for worldwide support and resolve to combat cyber terrorism. In early November 2021, Harris committed the U.S. to sign on to the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, and Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology, huddled with with European Union officials, members of the European Parliament and the North Atlantic Council at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels.

The Paris Call, formed in 2018, now includes 95 governments, nearly 350 international, civil society and public sector organizations and some 600 private sector entities. The move to join the Paris Call and Neuberger’s presence in Brussels are tied to a stepped up strategy by the the White House to bring cybersecurity to the world’s center stage.

Where MSSPs Fit In: The Paris Call could be welcome news for MSSPs that support end-customers across multiple country borders. Indeed, the Paris Call could help MSSPs to embrace “international cyber norms,” while also empowering MSSPs to more rapidly and more deeply engage government leaders when appropriate.

U.S. support of the Paris Call “does not mark a change in U.S. Government policy, but rather reflects our continuing commitment to act responsibly and partner with like-minded states to promote stability in cyberspace,” the State Department said in an official statement.

President Biden's Cybersecurity Executive Order

Both have as their backdrop President Biden’s cybersecurity-centric executive order last May 2021 focused on improving the nation’s cyber stance, threat intelligence sharing, and cyber attack response efforts, along with plans announced last month to open a Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy to promote international cyberspace security, international digital policy and digital freedom.

Neuberger’s trip ran along the same lines as did Harris’ overture to “build international cooperation to tackle cyber threats,” said a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.