Cyber Security

On September 20, 2018, President Donald J. Trump and his Administration released a National Cyber Strategy outlining the White House plan to strengthen the cybersecurity of the United States. The President provides a preface to the Strategy, explaining the commitment of the Administration to securing and preserving cyberspace. The Administration then goes on to organize the cyber strategy under four pillars: protect the homeland; promote American prosperity; preserve peace by strengthening the United States; and advance American influence. Within each pillar, the Administration identifies particular goals and priority actions to achieve those goals. This summary does not list each of the numerous action items, but rather provides an overview of the most prevalent themes of the Strategy.

Throughout the Strategy, the Administration reaffirms its commitment to action and accountability in cybersecurity. Key personnel and agencies will be equipped with the authority and tools to implement the vision of the White House. For example, the Strategy empowers both the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate cybersecurity amongst agencies and, within the agencies, Chief Information Officers to use technology more efficiently and effectively. The Strategy also outlines a plan to leverage America’s influence in relationships with its contractors and suppliers to share best practices and promulgate effective cybersecurity. To secure the nation’s critical infrastructure, the Administration will clarify the roles and expectations of both Federal agencies and the private sector and will improve coordination with providers of information and communication technology.

The Administration also discusses the impact of the actions of other nations, both allies and antagonists, on American cybersecurity. The Administration identifies several nations in particular, including Russia, Iran, and North Korea, that have harmed American businesses and interests. In regards to America’s partner nations, the strategy provides several plans to strengthen bonds to improve the cybersecurity of all coordinating countries. The Administration acknowledges the importance of international law and non-binding norms to the predictability and stability of cyberspace, stating that the United States will encourage responsible state behavior. Further, the United States must promote open and free internet values among other nations and help build the capacity of these countries to guard against cyber threats.

Finally, the Strategy notes the role of the United States as a leader in developing technology and asserts that this position must be maintained and encouraged to guard against cyber threats. Consistent with this position, the Administration plans to promote ingenuity and technology development within the United States.   According to the Administration, America’s leadership role as a technology innovator is critical to its strategic advantage in cyberspace.

A copy of the National Cyber Strategy can be found here.

For more information regarding this matter, please contact Kristen Connolly McCullough, Sean Neal, or Lee Ewing*.

*NOT ADMITTED IN D.C.; SUPERVISION BY PRINCIPALS OF THE FIRM, MEMBERS OF THE D.C. BAR