The White House could soon introduce even more regulations aimed at preventing cyberattacks on U.S. energy providers and other critical infrastructure companies after President Joe Biden signed a national security memorandum Wednesday (July 28).
The measure is a voluntary public-private effort that creates “performance controls” for cybersecurity at water treatment plants, electrical power plants and other critical infrastructure facilities. The recommendations come ahead of future cybersecurity-related policy changes.
“The absence of mandated cybersecurity requirements for critical infrastructure is what in many ways has brought us to the level of vulnerability that we have today,” a senior White House official told Reuters. “We are pursuing all options we have in order to make the rapid progress we need.”
Earlier this week, Biden pointed to hackers from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as primary threats to launch the next widescale cyberattack on the U.S.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched a new website that provides ransomware resources to protect consumers and institutions from these attacks.
StopRansomware.gov, which the DHS and DOJ teamed up with federal partners to put together, aims to be the “first central hub consolidating ransomware resources from all federal government agencies,” according to a press release from the DOJ.
The news comes as the White House’s new ransomware task force announced reward payouts of up to $10 million to anyone who provides information that can help identify these malicious hackers.
The site will aggregate resources, guidance and updates for individuals and businesses, as well as other organizations, from the DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the FBI, the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. Secret Service and the Departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services.
Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin said that, in putting ransomware attacks front and center, the department would upgrade training and resources and improve intelligence sharing.