Biden administration updating cybersecurity protocols after Microsoft Exchange hack

Last week, Senior Administration Officials gave updates on the SolarWinds and other cybersecurity concerns. 

This past February, the Texas software company, SolarWinds, experienced a system-wide security threat, and since, there have been numerous security breaches at other tech companies like Microsoft and FireEye, a cybersecurity firm.  

The officials said that their first priority is expelling the threat and working with the compromised agencies to ensure a satisfactory security status. This process should be completed by the end of March. 

After the breached companies return back to a blank slate, the second issue of priority includes Biden’s “Building Back Better to Modernize Federal Defenses” initiative. This is to combat technological threats for the future and prevent issues like this from happening again. 

Administrators have concerns about the pace of modernizing the entire federal security system. President Biden expressed interest and concern about strengthening current systems as well as extending to other areas. For example, administrators stated that cybersecurity protections need to extend to health, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies. 

One of the practical improvements includes having a rating system on any software they are considering purchasing. Other plans for security protocols and standards will be coming out in the next few weeks. 

As stated in the White House teleconference, the recent threat which involved compromised vulnerabilities on Microsoft Exchange servers, initiated efforts by Administration Officials to help engineers build back compromised information. Furthermore, these companies are working with the federal government to reverse-engineer the threats and identify the criminal culprits. 

The reason for these attacks is linked to numerous weaknesses in domestic software that were taken advantage of by more sophisticated engineers, likely internationally, according to a CNET article.

The next steps of the federal government involve working closely with the private sector. This includes a better sharing of information and strategies to mitigate threats. Also, leading federal engineers to plan on working with existing systems like cloud computing and other software systems to make improvements. 

A recent tweet from the NSA Cyber account states the importance of updating and following security protocols. International cyberattacks are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to its on-the-ground domestic predecessor. Now, it is long overdue for US defense strategy to have a digital upgrade and push towards cybersecurity protections. 

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