There Is A New Sheriff In Town; Biden Actions Against Russia Hit Reset on Cyber Policy But More Change May Be Needed, Says ITIF

April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON—In response to President Biden’s executive order taking action against Russia for its malicious activities against the United States in cyberspace, ITIF Vice President Daniel Castro issued the following statement:

Today the United States hit reset on the nation’s cybersecurity policy. Biden’s job is to make Putin and others realize the Trump era is over and there is a new sheriff in town. With today’s announcement, he’s off to a good start. The question is now whether the United States and its allies can consistently impose significant and proportionate costs on nations that engage in or support cyberattacks that undermine global security.

The actions announced today will position the United States and its allies to be more prepared for future attacks. A key part of this strategy is better attribution to reliably identify the source of attacks. But it remains to be seen whether better attribution will cause Russia or China to change tactics. Put simply, a “name and shame” approach won’t work on the shameless, and both Russia and China have brazenly engaged in state-backed cyberattacks in recent years.

The Biden administration should hope for the best but prepare for the worst, including deploying offensive countermeasures to respond to future incidents of state-backed cyberattacks and expanding its investment in defensive cybersecurity technologies and capabilities.

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There Is A New Sheriff In Town; Biden Actions Against Russia Hit Reset on Cyber Policy But More Change May Be Needed, Says ITIF