White House Rolls Out New National Cyber Strategy, See Details (Video)

The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC)
The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC)

President Trump has signed off on a long-awaited national cyber strategy that aims to guide how his administration will handle offensive and defensive cybersecurity and cyberthreats, according to John Bolton, the National Security adviser, on Thursday.

The Details:

Security Goals:

National Cyber Strategy

  • The goals are to secure critical infrastructure and government systems, combat cybercrime, and improve incident reporting.

Innovation and Workforce Goals: 

  • One goal is to “develop cyberspace as an engine of open economic growth and resiliency,” including by developing a “superior cybersecurity workforce” and promoting American innovation in cybersecurity.

Attribution Goals: 

  • There will be a focus on enhancing cyber stability through attributing cyberattacks in order to create “norms of responsible state behavior,” according to Bolton.

International Internet Values Goals: 

  • The U.S. will continue promoting the openness, interoperability, and reliability of the internet abroad, according to Bolton.

  • This is key as China has been working to export its vision of a more closed internet abroad, which is of particular concern to the State Department’s interest in promoting an open internet.

To view the complete 2018 National Cyber Strategy, please visit here.

(Learn More. National Security Advisor John Bolton says the U.S. is under attack daily from cyberspace, including attempts to “undermine democracy. And as such, the U.S. will now use offensive as well as defensive cyber strategies to counter that threat. Courtesy of Wochit News and YouTube. Posted on Sep 20, 2018.)

DHS Secretary Nielsen on the 2018 National Cyber Strategy

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement regarding the White House release of the National Cyber Strategy.

“The Trump administration has taken bold steps to strengthen our security and prosperity in cyberspace in the face of growing threats and competition.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

“The critical infrastructure that Americans rely on is threatened every day by nation-states, cyber criminals and hackers seeking to wreak havoc, disrupt commerce, and even undermine our democratic institutions.

“Today’s National Cyber Strategy – the first in fifteen years – strengthens the government’s commitment to work in partnership with industry to combat those threats and secure our critical infrastructure.”

“The National Cyber Strategy, along with the DHS Cybersecurity Strategy released earlier this year, will guide the Department’s cybersecurity activities in a number of areas, including securing federal networks and information systems, managing risk to the nation’s critical infrastructure, and combatting cybercrime.”

“With respect to securing federal networks, for example, we have used our authorities to ensure agencies are updating and patching systems, strengthening their email security, and removing Kaspersky antivirus products from their systems.”

“To strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience, DHS works across government and industry to share timely and actionable information as well as provide training and incident response support.”

“Working with the private sector, the department’s newly launched National Risk Management Center is working collaboratively to break down silos, identify and prioritize national critical functions, provide a more holistic picture of the risk environment within and across sectors, and develop joint solutions to manage risk.”

“The strategy also identifies several important steps which will further enable DHS to successfully combat cybercrime.”

“Transnational criminal groups are employing increasingly sophisticated digital tools and techniques to enable their illegal activities online, and the strategy calls for DHS and the broader law enforcement community to continue to develop new and more effective legal tools to investigate and prosecute these criminal actors.”

“It also notes the need for electronic surveillance and computer crime laws to be updated to keep pace with the rapidly evolving environment.”

“Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and the Department of Homeland Security will continue to stand with our partners, in government and industry, to raise our collective defense against cyber threats to our security, prosperity, and way of life.”

The U.S. Department of State on the 2018 National Cyber Strategy

The White House has released its 2018 National Cyber Strategy, outlining the steps the federal government is taking to advance an open, secure, interoperable, and reliable cyberspace.

Given the interconnected and global nature of cyberspace, the State Department engages in key diplomatic and programmatic initiatives to support many key objectives reflected in the Strategy.

To preserve cyberspace as an engine of a vibrant digital economy, the United States works with foreign partners and other stakeholder groups, including civil society and the private sector, to promote best practices and policies that enhance innovation, openness, and efficiency.

Through cooperation and engagements with foreign partners, allies and other stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector, the Department supports the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance against attempts to develop state-centric governance models and rejects the use of spurious cybersecurity concerns as a pretext for digital protectionism.

We are also committed to building the cyber capacity of our international partners.

Through direct capacity building efforts, we assist partners in establishing and executing national cybersecurity strategies, addressing cybercrime, instituting cybersecurity standards, and protecting critical infrastructure from cyber threats.

Because of the interconnected nature of cyberspace, when our partners improve their cybersecurity practices, it ultimately makes other states, including the United States, safer and more resilient against cyber threats.

Internet freedom is a core principle of the National Cyber Strategy, which the Department promotes through a variety of bilateral and multilateral engagements, as well as through foreign assistance programming.

Robert L. Strayer Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy
Robert L. Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy

This includes engagement through the Freedom Online Coalition, a group of 30 governments committed to advancing Internet freedom via multilateral diplomacy and multi-stakeholder collaboration with civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders.

The Department’s efforts also focus on raising concerns bilaterally about actions that governments may take to restrict access to the Internet or suppress free speech online, and urging U.S.-based Internet companies to respect human rights and implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as they design and carry out their commercial activities.

We provide support for technology development, digital safety, policy advocacy, and research.

Since 2008, the State Department has provided over $165 million in foreign assistance to support Internet freedom programs.

Finally, we are addressing malicious state-sponsored cyber activity that is inherently destabilizing and contrary to the national interests of the United States and its partners and allies.

Through cooperation with foreign partners and allies, and engagement with other stakeholders as appropriate, we advocate for a framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace built upon international law, adherence to voluntary non-binding norms of responsible state behavior that apply during peacetime, and the implementation of practical confidence building measures to reduce the risk of conflict stemming from malicious cyber activity.

We also work to ensure that there are consequences for disruptive cyber behavior that harms the United States and our partners, with recognition that all instruments of national and international policy are available to prevent, respond to, and deter malicious cyber activity against the United States.

For updates on U.S. cyber and Internet policy, follow DAS Strayer and the Economic and Business Affairs Bureau at @StateCIP or the State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues at @State_Cyber on Twitter.