By Ray Cardello for July 21, 2021 Season 2 / Post 37
This post could have any one of three different titles. When will Biden get tough, How does Biden get tough, or my favorite, Does Joe need to check with Hunter before getting tough. The title I chose indicates my view that Joe cannot get tough on cyber-attacks, primarily if they originated in China. We all knew that the deal cut by Hunter Biden with China was going to come back to bite us in the rear. We did not know when the bite would come. Being handcuffed by whatever sweet deal Hunter, and Joe, received is now putting Joe Biden in a corner. We need firm, decisive action against whoever is committing these cyber-attacks on private and government operations. Right now, Biden is inconsistent. His words and actions hard much harsher on Russia than on China, leading Americans to believe we do not have a concrete plan to counter these attacks.
We know that nothing happens in either China or Russia without knowledge and consent from the ruling powers. So whether these attacks are a government-sanctioned effort or the work of individuals within either country, the government is complicit. We do not know if Putin is holding anything over Joe Biden. We do know that China has Joe in their back pocket. Pointing the finger at the culpable party has been easy in the last few months. Taking action appears to be where we are having a lack of commitment to hold the guilty accountable. This uneven approach is going to bolster the cybercriminals to step up their game.
The National Law Review had this to say about the chance of attacks:
NOT “IF” BUT “WHEN”
If the statistics are correct, the question for most companies is not if they will be a victim of cybercrime, but when. When a company experiences a data breach, the immediate aftermath can be hectic—companies often find that they are scrambling to answer critical questions like what information was accessed, who gained access, whether individuals are at risk, and to act quickly to mitigate the damage.
Companies must also be prepared to comply with the legal obligations to individuals, state attorneys general, and other regulatory bodies in the aftermath of a breach—a task that is often daunting in the midst of an already stressful situation. Every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands has enacted legislation requiring notification of security breaches that involve personal information, and, depending on the types of information involved in the breach, other laws or regulations may impose additional obligations. Global requirements to protect information proactively further complicate this issue. In many circumstances, companies are under strict timelines to notify impacted individuals and report the breach to the authorities, credit-reporting agencies, and more
So we know what an entity needs to do in the event of an attack. But we need to know what our government will do if the attack came from a foreign government, and that is where the issue gets muddied. We cannot wait for an integral segment of our infrastructure to be attacked before we know our recourse. We have already had our energy sector hit with ransomware, and we know our water supply is at risk. We can be brought to our knees by an attack on our internet, electrical grid, medical systems, and it is evident we are not prepared to stop an attack, so Biden has to make it clear what he will do in the event of an attack. He cannot and will not go on the record. This inability is not leadership but a weakness that is putting everyone in peril.
The fact that we are vulnerable is not the fault of Biden. Technology and our dependence on it for nearly every activity we need or enjoy have resulted in quantum leaps forward in innovation. The security of our systems has not kept up with growth. We are paying the price for that shortcoming with the ease at which criminals can violate our systems. They will continue to get more aggressive as long as there is no price to pay. That is where we need Biden to step up and be clear. Until he does, the attacks will continue, fingers will be pointed, but none of us will feel any safer. That is not a comforting thought for anyone except China and Russia. It is apparent that after fours years of bogus talk of Russian Collusion, we finally have it, and now nobody wants to talk about it.