On March 10, 2021, Eric Goldstein, the executive assistant director for cybersecurity at CISA, told members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security about the four areas the CISA will focus on with the additional $650 million from the 2021 American Rescue Plan.
With all due respect, Eric Goldstein's priorities are out of order. The first priority is the defense of our network with zero trust principles. That is how to keep the bad guys out of a network and protect the data during transmission (site to site) and data storage (data at rest). Defense of our networks should be the first focus to start to replace and install a defensive network as both short-term and long-term objectives-efforts.
The unfriendly nation-states have been "at-will" entering the U.S. Government networks daily for 30 plus years, and there is no deterrence. (Clearly, unfriendly nation-states know we will not go to war over stealing our information, e.g., the OPM, SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange etc..hacks). Unfriendly nation-states have all of the monetary incentives to continue. We already know who the bad actor nation-states are since they no longer waste their time hiding who they are.
Using a castle analogy, build digital network barriers to keep the bad actors out of the castle. Eric Goldstein's priorities are backward, defending the castle once they breach the walls. A significantly lost cause.
Therefore, building up our defensive network is first and foremost the priority. Followed by or concurrently the deployment of detection sensors and expanding our capacity for incident response and threat hunting, and improving our capacity to analyze cybersecurity information…i.e., all part of the new defensive network.
U.S. Government networks are woefully outdated with well-known vulnerabilities that the bad actor nation-states and others using advanced persistent threat (APT) techniques hack into our networks at will.
Until we address, specify and install a defensive network first, the U.S (we) will be wasting billions of dollars fighting an unwinnable cyberwar.
Our country's cybersecurity-defense must be a collective, united, holistic effort of the Federal Government, CISA, Dept. of Defense, U.S. corporations, and U.S. citizens to protect our networks-data and not hamper our economy.
A Strong Cyber Defensive Network is a Strong Cyber Offense.