The Biden administration has unveiled its National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan (NCSIP) to detail the execution of the national cybersecurity strategy introduced earlier this year. Coordinated by the Office of the National Cyber Director, the plan establishes timelines and assigns responsibilities across 18 federal agencies for around 65 different initiatives. Cybersecurity professionals have praised the detailed plan, emphasizing its significance amidst increasing online threats, notably from state-affiliated hackers in countries like Russia and China. The NCSIP is a “living document” expected to be updated annually, and it’s designed to boost communication between government entities and the private sector, while also helping agencies to prioritize risk remediation activities and allocate the budget accordingly.
Despite the administration’s efforts, the implementation of the strategy faces challenges. Some GOP lawmakers caution against excessive industry regulation, and some set deadlines in the NCSIP, such as the Cyber Safety Review Board initiative by the Department of Homeland Security, have already been addressed. Before this strategy’s release, the Biden administration had made efforts to strengthen cybersecurity in vital infrastructure areas. However, there have been setbacks. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faced a lawsuit from several Republican-led states over its water system cybersecurity mandates, resulting in a stay on the EPA’s guidance. The strategy’s success, therefore, depends not just on its comprehensive design but also on its ability to navigate these challenges and garner broad support.