With $1.3 trillion of investments to infrastructure projects on tap in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, National Cyber Director Chris Inglis today emphasized the importance of making sure each of those projects is made secure from a cyber perspective.

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Appearing virtually at the Google Cloud Security Summit May 17, Inglis said that though the bill will primarily fund physical projects like bridges, roads, and similar “hard” infrastructure, it’s important that each project is thought through from a cybersecurity aspect as well.

“You’ve just seen that the U.S. government has allocated $1.3 trillion to the improvement of infrastructure broadly across the United States,” Inglis said. “A lot of that looks like that’s aimed at physical infrastructure and to be sure it is going to have a physical manifestation, but, at the end of the day, we need to make sure that every one of those dollars is cyber aware.”

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act set aside $2 billion for cyber activities, but Inglis said that even projects not specifically linked to cybersecurity need to be cyber resilient.

He said that projects like bridges will look to take full advantage and “economize” the physical infrastructure inside of it, such as through advanced sensors that can share live information about the load the bridge is bearing at a moment, or weather systems that may come into play.

Inglis emphasized that as these physical infrastructure projects look to capitalize on emerging technologies, the cyber resilience of the systems needs careful attention.

“We need to make sure that’s done with cyber resilience and robustness in mind,” Inglis said. “Every one of those dollars has to be spent that way.”

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.