On March 21, 2022, President Biden issued an executive order on improving the nation’s cybersecurity which included a 60-day “cybersecurity sprint” to shore up federal networks. The directive also called for increased information sharing between the public and private sectors, as well as enhancing the government’s own incident response capabilities.
The president’s actions come after a series of high-profile cyber attacks against U.S. companies and government agencies, including the SolarWinds hack that impacted more than 18,000 organizations worldwide.
In his executive order, Biden noted that “cybersecurity is essential to the continued functioning of the Federal Government and the safety, security, and economic well-being of the American people.”
The order also creates a Cybersecurity Directorate within the National Security Council, which will be responsible for developing and coordinating the government’s cybersecurity policies and strategies.
The president’s directive is a welcome step forward in improving the nation’s cybersecurity posture, but it is only the beginning. It will take a sustained effort from all levels of government, as well as the private sector, to make significant progress in protecting our critical infrastructure and information.
Small businesses (SMBs) should take note of the president’s actions and be aware of the increased focus on cybersecurity at the federal level. They should also review their own security posture and ensure that they are taking steps to protect their networks and data from potential attack.
Here are many key points SMBs should know about President Biden’s cybersecurity warning:
The SolarWinds Hack Was a Huge Wake-Up Call
The recent string of cyberattacks, culminating in the SolarWinds hack, has been a huge wake-up call for both the public and private sector. It’s now more clear than ever that every organization, no matter its size, is a potential target for sophisticated cybercriminals.
SMBs Are at Risk Too
While large organizations like SolarWinds and the U.S. government may be the main targets of these attacks, it’s important to remember that SMBs are also at risk. In fact, 61% of all data breaches affect small businesses, according to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report.
Cybersecurity Must Be a Top Priority
In light of these recent events, it’s clear that cybersecurity must be a top priority for all businesses, large and small. This means taking steps like implementing strong security protocols, training employees on cybersecurity best practices, and investing in incident response plans.
SMBs Need to Be Proactive
While the government is taking steps to improve cybersecurity, it’s important for SMBs to be proactive as well. This means taking steps like implementing strong security protocols, training employees on cybersecurity best practices, and investing in incident response plans.
Information Sharing Is Key
One of the key components of President Biden’s executive order is increased information sharing between the public and private sectors. This is a vital step in improving cybersecurity, as it allows businesses to learn from each other’s mistakes and better protect themselves against future attacks.
Incident Response Plans Are Essential
Another important step businesses can take to protect themselves from cyberattacks is to develop and implement incident response plans. These plans outline the steps to be taken in the event of a data breach or other cybersecurity incident, and can help minimize the damage caused by these events.
Cybersecurity Insurance Is Important
While no business is completely immune from cyberattacks, having cybersecurity insurance can help mitigate the financial impact of these events. This insurance can help cover the cost of things like incident response, data recovery, and customer notification in the event of a breach.
Now is the time for businesses of all sizes to take cybersecurity seriously. By taking steps like those outlined above, SMBs can help protect themselves from potential attacks and keep their data safe.