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US State Department to Create Cyber Bureau

With the rise of cyber-attacks on politically valuable targets, the Biden administration has decided to tackle this head-on. The Administration, led by State Secretary Antony Blinkin, on October 27th announced the creation of a dedicated cyber bureau to tackle Cyber Crime under the Jurisdiction of the State Department.

In the light of several massive cyber breaches, including the Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds hack, the State Department has been asked to develop a program for their diplomats and other international security. The Department has been asked to focus on three things: international cybersecurity, international cyber policy and digital safety. The bureau will focus on training the department and the various diplomats across the world in identifying and limiting the damage that a cyber-attack can cause.

Unlike the UK or Europe, the US does not have a national Cyber security law. This is despite the fact that according to Cipher, the US is in the top ten in many assessments. “Around 58% of the digital security organizations are situated there and endeavor to discover better approaches to battle with the most recent attacks.”(1) In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, is a law that protects people by putting the burden on companies operating in the continent. If the data was compromised, the companies can easily be fined a significant amount, such as British Airways after someone attacked their log in systems, eventually settling on a 20 million Euro fine.

Maine Senator Angus King, who co-heads the Cyberspace Solarium Commission that recommended it, praised the move saying “"Secretary Blinken's vision for preparing the State Department to meet the challenges of the 21st century is a further demonstration of his commitment to strengthening the United States' posture in cyberspace, We look forward to working together with the State Department to establish these new authorities in statute and provide the necessary tools to the department, resulting in the long-term viability of this new bureau."

With more and more breaches being reported, it seems governments are taking steps to prevent an even greater catastrophe. Use this opportunity to determine what your company needs to do to protect your valuable data.

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