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A White House spokesperson said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden and other US officials will meet with private sector executives on August 25 to discuss measures to strengthen cybersecurity, emphasizing the importance of coordinated action.
Members of Biden’s national security team and administration officials will meet with corporate executives to “explore how we can work together to collectively strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity,” according to a White House National Security Council spokesperson. “Today more than ever, cybersecurity is an economic security and national security imperative, and both the federal government and the private sector play a critical role,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, ransomware attacks have surged and Biden administration officials have been working to strengthen cyber defenses for crucial infrastructure sectors such as pipelines. The Department of Homeland Security demanded on Tuesday that owners and operators of vital pipelines that convey hazardous liquids and natural gas implement “urgently needed measures against cyber breaches.” In May, a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline disrupted petroleum supply in the southeastern United States, prompting the Transportation Security Administration to issue a security alert.
Because of the incident, a large portion of the pipeline’s 5,500-mile (8,900-km) route was shut down for many days, leaving thousands of gas stations across the Southeast without fuel. As far as we know, it was the most disruptive cyberattack ever. Following a major drive by the Biden administration to engage with private enterprises on ways to improve cybersecurity, notably among small businesses, next month’s high-level summit will continue that effort. More than 145 of 255 priority power entities have adopted cybersecurity monitoring technology as part of a pilot programme begun in April, according to a spokeswoman.