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White House Seeks to Strengthen Critical Infrastructure Security With New Memo; Xage’s Roman Arutyunov Quoted

White House Seeks to Strengthen Critical Infrastructure Security With New Memo; Xage’s Roman Arutyunov Quoted
Roman Arutyunov, Co-Founder, SVP, Xage Security

President Joe Biden signed a new memorandum on Tuesday to improve the security and resilience of U.S. critical infrastructure.

The National Security Memorandum, which replaces Presidential Policy Directive 21 signed in February 2013, directs the Department of Homeland Security to oversee the whole-of-government effort to ensure the security of U.S. critical infrastructure and the DHS secretary to submit a national risk management plan to the president, the White House said Tuesday.

The NSM requires the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to serve as the national coordinator for security and resilience and the U.S. Intelligence Community to gather, produce and share information and intelligence with federal and local agencies and critical infrastructure owners.

The new memo designates a federal agency or department as the sector risk management agency and reaffirms the designation of 16 critical infrastructure sectors.

The importance of minimum security and resilience requirements is also highlighted in the latest document.

Roman Arutyunov, co-founder and senior vice president of products at Xage Security, called the revision to PPD-21 a “monumental and much-needed move,” saying the rewrite reflects major steps to protect U.S. critical infrastructure by mitigating nation-state attacks and preventing malicious actors from gaining access to critical systems, networks and other assets.

“However, I believe it’s a missed opportunity to not include space as a critical infrastructure sector. The administration has said they plan to revisit whether to add it to the list but, given the rising threats posed by near-peer competitors, we cannot afford to wait,” he said of the new memo.

“After all, the Space Force was designed to protect our society and people – from the highest ground of any battlefield – and that cannot be done without the right foundations and regulations in place,” Arutyunov added.

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Written by Jane Edwards

is a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, where she writes for ExecutiveBiz about IT modernization, cybersecurity, space procurement and industry leaders’ perspectives on government technology trends.

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