O’Neill wrote in a commentary published Tuesday on GCN about the Biden administration’s recent efforts to secure critical infrastructure and one of those is the release of a national security memorandum, which he said calls for federal agencies to advance a “proactive cyber strategy.”
“That strategy should be backed by legislation and actively enforced rather than positioned as guidance,” he said.
“Reported security oversights and vulnerabilities must also be immediately addressed through better interagency information sharing. Back-end IT systems should be updated (in accordance with NIST guidelines) to phase out legacy components and enable regular patching,” O’Neill added.
He said agencies should further drive the implementation of zero trust approaches as stated in the White House’s cybersecurity executive order to better protect their networks from insider threats and unauthorized data access.
O’Neill said lawmakers should propose legislation that would combine and formalize cyber measures across federal critical infrastructure.
“Without collective agreement about proper cyber defense protocols at the highest levels of government, it becomes exponentially more challenging to implement informed cyber policy across the entities those agencies oversee,” he added.