Computer hardware and software will always run as intended until a human interacts with it to make it operate outside of the scope in which it is designed. Cybersecurity is relatively a new field of study in the scheme of things. Couple that with the fact that the internet was not designed with security in mind—it is like taming the Wild West. Cybersecurity Engineers and Scientists agree that the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain is the human element. When it comes to protecting our nation from cyber-attacks, the weakest link is the Biden Administration. Since the 2020 election, our country has seen a severe uptick of cybersecurity incidents against government agencies and their infrastructure, and Joe Biden has no clue what to do to thwart future attacks from happening. Remember, the DNC was hacked by Russians and cost Hillary the election in 2016. At least, that is what is detailed in the Mueller Report.
In Bidens first 100 days, he signed 52 executive orders, none of which took the initiative to bolster cybersecurity defenses. Only one of those executive orders came close to discussing cybersecurity, and it came off the heels of the SolarWinds hack. The only thing that the executive order accomplishes is placing sanctions on Russian officials for engaging in “malicious cyber-enabled activities” and a long list of other activities that really do not have anything to do with our nation’s cybersecurity. It was not until the Ransomware attack of the Colonial Pipeline that Mr. Biden chose to take any action that formally addressed reform concerning the United States Cybersecurity policy by writing Executive Order 14028: “Improving the Nations Cybersecurity.”
Two major cybersecurity breaches have taken place since Biden “won” the election. The SolarWinds Hack and The Colonial Pipeline Ransomware attack. The Colonial Pipeline Ransomware affected American’s because it caused gas shortages across the east coast. A ransomware attack occurs when a bad actor gains access to a target system, encrypts the data so only they can read it, and hold said data for ransom. In this case, the hacker group asked Colonial to pay $5 million to reclaim their systems and operations. The other hack was the SolarWinds hack, and the depths of this attack may not be fully known for some time. Experts and the Biden Administration have blamed Russia, of course, for this security breach, but President Trump was reluctant to pin the attack on Russia. Whoever it was, the attack was centered around gaining access to data of thousands of SolarWinds customers, including the Federal Government, who used the Orion Network Management system to manage their IT resources. The SolarWinds attack compromised the data of over 30,000 organizations, and it one of the largest data breaches—ever. To recap: Russia hacked the DNC, Russia pulled off the largest data breach in recorded history, and Colonial Pipeline was held up for $5 million. Certainly, Joe Biden’s EO “Improving the Nations Cybersecurity” is going to pack a punch and put a stop to all of the insanity. Spoiler alert, it does not.
You do not have to be a cybersecurity expert to read that there is nothing in Biden’s Executive Order as far as a strategy that will mitigate these attacks. This order gives the appearance of action and does nothing in terms of actual network infrastructure changes that will bolster, or as Biden says, “Improving the Nations Cybersecurity.” It is a memo of suggestions that claims it will remove roadblocks for the sharing of threat intelligence between agencies. It expects ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) to report data to the appropriate agencies when these events occur. All the orders in this document pertain to how to respond to a cyber incident after or before an attack, but not anything that will prevent attacks. It also re-introduces security implementations that are or should be being performed—such as securing supply chains. In other words, research who the federal government purchases hardware and software from (See: Huawei).
Biden and the Democrats have had over 4 years to stew about the DNC “hack” and should have worked with their Big Tech pals in Silicon Valley to cook up a plan to mitigate these threats. Sadly, they were too busy using the “hack” as a tool to attack President Trump at every turn and as an excuse to give Hillary cover for losing in 2016. Over four months into this administration, we have already seen one successful breach against our nation’s infrastructure and another against who knows how many agencies. This should have been a top priority before the hack, not after it, and all Joe Biden could pen was an executive order that essentially comes off as a memorandum of not understanding what the threat is and how to stop it.