The White House recently released its National Cybersecurity Strategy. This document outlines the government's plan to address growing concerns over cyberattacks and ransomware attacks. The administration recognizes cybersecurity as an ongoing consideration that will continue to grow in importance.
The strategy outlines two main tactics to accomplish continued data security for companies, individuals, and government agencies throughout the country:
1. Rebalance the responsibility to defend cyberspace.
2. Realign incentives to favor long-term investments.
The cybersecurity strategy outlines the groundwork for increased cyber defenses and alludes to potential regulations.
Here are three tips to align your cybersecurity strategy with the White House guidelines, to avoid any breaches that your organization may be held liable for.
1. Understand Your Responsibilities
You can't assume the government will save you from cyberattacks. Your own data security is your responsibility, especially in the case of a business holding customer information.
The strategy calls out this responsibility in section 3.1: "We must hold the stewards of our data accountable for the protection of personal data; drive the development of more secure connected devices; and reshape laws that govern liability for data losses and harm caused by cybersecurity errors, software vulnerabilities, and other risks created by software and digital technologies."
Companies that handle sensitive information are required to do all they can to protect it, otherwise it could cost them. This needs to be built into your data security strategy.
2. Know the Government's Role
The White House's strategy outlines five pillars in its approach:
1. Defend Critical Infrastructure: Gas, electric, and water systems will receive direct attention from the government, but will still need the cooperation of private enterprises.
2. Disrupt and Dismantle Threat Actors: Nation-state groups are frequent sources of cybercrime. The government will work to stop these threats.
3. Shape Market Forces to Drive Security and Resilience: Federal grants will be awarded to new infrastructure that is deemed secure.
4. Invest in a Resilient Future: Next-generation technologies will determine the stability of our networks. The White House aims to be a leader in secure innovation.
5. Forge International Partnerships to Pursue Shared Goals: A partnership will be formed with friendly countries to support a safe technological ecosystem for all.
3. Keep Your Eyes on the Future
This cybersecurity strategy does not immediately introduce any new laws or regulations, although it does hint at a few, and organizations shouldn't have to be forced to properly protect their data through the threat of fines and penalties, it should be a part of your bottom-line.
The systems you put in place today can save you from an incredibly costly data breach — the average cost for American companies is up to $9.44 million, according to IBM — in the near or distant future.
Communicating best practices, introducing automated DevSecOps tools, and hosting your network on-premises are just a few ways your organization can immediately begin strengthening your data security measures.
Our reliance on technology will keep growing as software continues to becomes more efficient. The White House's National Cybersecurity Strategy aims to put measures in place today that will protect our technological infrastructure from bad actors in the future. We can't be sure what these threats will be, but we can fortify our platforms to give ourselves the best chance at staying safe.