March 22, 2022

President Biden calls on private sector to harden cyber defenses immediately

White HousePresident Joe Biden Monday released a statement on domestic cybersecurity to elevate his previous warning about the potential for Russia to conduct cyberattacks on the U.S. The statement explained that the enhanced warning comes based on evolving intelligence that the Russian government is exploring options related to cyberattacks. In addition, the Administration issued a new fact sheet that includes actionable steps to harden cybersecurity.

"My Administration will continue to use every tool to deter, disrupt, and if necessary, respond to cyberattacks against critical infrastructure," wrote Biden. "But the Federal Government can’t defend against this threat alone. Most of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and critical infrastructure owners and operators must accelerate efforts to lock their digital doors."

To help reduce cybersecurity risk across the United States, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) compiled a list of free cybersecurity tools and services to help organizations better their security capabilities.  

Of note, CISA recently released an insights post, “Preparing for and Mitigating Foreign Influence Operations Targeting Critical Infrastructure,” providing necessary steps for organizations to assess and mitigate risks from information manipulation from malicious actors.  

In addition, the NCUA along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a response to the current events, encouraging credit unions of all sizes and their cybersecurity teams to “adopt a heightened state of awareness and to conduct proactive threat hunting.” The NCUA also highlighted its Automated Cybersecurity Evaluation Toolbox (ACET) which may help credit unions to sell-assess their cybersecurity preparedness.

NAFCU recommends credit unions take look into all cybersecurity tools and services and will continue to work with the Administration, NCUA, CISA, and other agencies to ensure credit unions remain protected and up-to-date on cybersecurity developments.