International efforts begin to promote improved cybersecurity checks
In a concentrated effort to improve cybersecurity efforts, the US is holding a 30-country meeting focused on cyber defense, threats, cryptocurrency scams, and more. The Biden administration looks to take aim at encouraging collaboration between countries, fighting cryptocurrency-based scams, and thwarting ransomware attacks.
Biden’s statement also discussed risk management with evolving technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing. It’s another important step forward, as creating comprehensive cybersecurity plans, guides, and regulations will require a global effort. The initial meeting will be held virtually and comes in the wake of critical cybersecurity problems.
One of the primary reasons for the meeting comes after critical cyber breaches. The Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds hack are two examples of serious infrastructure attacks, highlighting the need for improved cybersecurity protocols across the board. It also creates need for international pressure. The SolarWinds strike, for example, was decidedly Kremlin-supported, highlighting a need for nations to put pressure on their own cybersecurity infrastructure.
The issues of modern cyber attacks
The complications created by cyber strikes isn’t limited to inconvenient and financial damage. It can lead to potential, real-world conflict. When threat actors strike at infrastructure, interfering with normal operations, there are genuine impacts and implications. Not just to those affected, such as with the Colonial Pipeline attack, but the implications behind it.
If a political entity targets another country’s infrastructure to cause it harm, this can be interpreted as an attack. While the Colonial Pipeline attack interfered with fuel supplies, other cyber attacks in the past have caused problems with potential physical harm. For instance, a water filter plant, such as the Oldsmar Florida treatment center, can experience control loss resulting in unfiltered content in water, which could then directly harm a person.
Some companies have vowed to assist in increasing cybersecurity efforts such as Google and Apple. But it’s only one component to a bigger issue, as “throwing cash at the problem” isn’t a viable long-term solution.
Ideal goals of the meeting
There’s no telling what will be accomplished from an initial roundtable discussion. As with many policy-oriented goals, there is likely to be much talk. Will that talk lead to action? Let’s hope so. We can only speculate, but, there are some critical points worth addressing.
Addressing and regulating cryptocurrency scams
One of the biggest draw factors for ransomware and malware gangs is using cryptocurrency for profit, along with cryptocurrency schemes. This doesn’t mean all cryptocurrency exchanges are inherently malicious, but there’s no denying threat actors make use of them, and regulating transactions can put a serious dent in attackers’ threat margins. It’s something every country should aim to do.
The biggest thing, of course, is cybersecurity must be worked towards on an international level. One of the key problems the United States and other nations face is the origin of cyber attacks and scams. While in the US there’s a concentrated effort to broaden standards and create regulations, these can’t carry over to other nations.
Numerous cyber-attacks, for instance, originate from Russia and the Kremlin. There would need to be an effort on the Kremlin’s part to regulate and identify cyberattacks within their borders.
Education and Improved Standards
While improving standards comes down to each nation’s effort, emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity can no longer be an afterthought. Companies, organizations, and federal agencies need to come together to improve cybersecurity competency.
After the virtual meeting, we’ll see where standards sit. It is, though, a good first step forward.