Biden's national cybersecurity strategy may be a disaster for private businesses

America was given some bad news last week that was mostly seen as a formality.  Joe Biden is running for a second term in 2024.

The news is bad for America for a multitude of reasons, as Biden's first two-plus years in office have served as an exercise in "I told you so" for many who in 2020 clearly saw trouble over the horizon.

The prevailing theme the past 27 months has been a lack of accountability for the terrible results across all aspects of the Biden presidency.  Take the cyber-security realm for a prominent example.  For one, in December of 2020, Biden, then president-elect took time during his transition to blame President Trump for what has been pointed to by experts as the most wide-ranging reconnaissance hacking incident in history: the SolarWinds cyber-attack.

Playing on the "Russia and Trump narrative," Biden seemed to imply that Donald Trump was attempting to protect Russia from liability for SolarWinds when he stated that the attack "certainly fits Russia's long history of reckless, disruptive cyber-activities" and added, "The Trump administration needs to make an official attribution.  This assault happened on Donald's Trump watch."

Much of the hacking that has been reported in the media during Biden's term has centered on the war in Ukraine, with both sides ramping up attacks since the earliest stages of the conflict.  Although there has been a concentration of hacks occurring half a world away, there are still numerous attacks affecting domestic targets regularly, whether or not the Biden-loving mainstream and corporate media acknowledge it.

In 2022, ransomware incidents affected 106 state or local government agencies, which represents a marked increase from the 77 attacks in 2021, with 25% of those incidents resulting in the theft of data.

Last year also saw a multitude of underreported attacks against America that were perpetrated by state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups.  Many of these hacks were against U.S. defense contractors and originated from Russian state-sponsored actors.  Additionally, Iranian APT 34 targeted entities across multiple sectors in Africa, Asia, Europe, and America, with the support of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

In an effort to curb this onslaught against the United States, the Biden administration recently introduced a new National Cybersecurity Strategy.  Although the strategy claims that it will "rebalance the responsibility to defend cyberspace by shifting the burden for cybersecurity away from individuals, small businesses, and local governments, and onto the organizations that are most capable and best-positioned to reduce risks for all of us," according to cyber-compliance legal group Gibson Dunn, private entities "can expect to see direct liability, new regulations, and lawsuits from the federal government" if the current proposal is adopted.

The Gibson Dunn alert warns that "increased (government) enforcement may also be complicated by multiple agencies pursuing the same actions, resulting in the potential for companies having to deal with overlapping and uncoordinated inquiries."

In other terms, this new strategy may create a difficult situation for private companies struggling to keep their operations afloat in the midst of an anemic economy by having what has largely been an incompetent and ineffective Executive Branch forcing new compliance standards and costs.

The everyday traps that attempt ensnare Americans online are difficult enough to navigate.  From online phishing schemes to malvertising enabled by Big Tech, every click is a potential trap.  So, with Joe Biden's track record being less than sparkling, entrepreneurs should worry that they may be unfairly targeted and find themselves facing penalties for running afoul of poorly written and thought out new regulations.

Julio Rivera is a business and political strategist, editorial director for Reactionary Times, and a political commentator and columnist.  His writing, which is focused on cyber-security and politics, has been published by many of the most heavily trafficked websites in the world.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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