Just six months after the White House released its National Cybersecurity Strategy (NCS), Acting National Cyber Director (NCD) Kemba Walden said that her office is looking forward to publishing a posture report.
Walden explained that the document will hold the NCD accountable for the cybersecurity of the nation, and advise President Biden on where to go next in an effort to advance the country’s cyber defenses.
Earlier this summer, the NCD released its much-awaited marching orders to implement the NCS that it published in March. The implementation plan lays out 69 “high-impact” initiatives tasked to 18 separate Federal agencies, with a timeline for completion.
“We’ve executed this National Cyber Strategy, the implementation plan, these RFIs with data collect so we can do the implementation, the workforce and education strategy – all of that has happened,” Walden said during day one of the 14th Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit in Washington. “Now as we move forward, we are leaning heavily into getting those objectives done.”
“The next step, though, is to make sure that we are held accountable for all of it,” Walden said. “So, we are looking forward to publishing what we call a posture report. What is the state of cybersecurity now, this would be partly by data driven – that we’re getting input, that we’re assessing it, that we’re analyzing it, that we are operationalizing it.”
She continued, adding, “Then we’re going to publish and be held accountable for what’s the cybersecurity posture of the nation so that we can advise the president on the new things and advance.”
One piece of the report, Walden noted, will be a look into the cybersecurity of space systems.
“Some of the things that we’re leaning into, outside of the strategy – at least that’s not clearly placed in the middle of the strategy – is cybersecurity space systems, for example,” Walden said. “What does that look like? We’re leaning in with the National Space Council and the National Security Council on answering that question.”
Walden has preached in the past the importance of the values-driven aspect of the new cyber strategy. The forthcoming cyber posture report, the NCD said, will go more in depth on what it means to be aligned with White House values.
“We have said openly and emphatically that we are after a digital ecosystem that is defensible, resilient, and aligned with our values,” Walden said. “What is aligned with our values mean? When you start thinking about cyberspace as a part technology, a part people, a part doctrine – at that technology layer what does that mean align with their values? So, you’ll be seeing a bit coming out of our office there.”
Additionally, on July 31, the Biden-Harris administration unveiled its National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy to increase the number of Americans in “good-paying, middle-class” cyber jobs.
Unleashing America’s Cyber Talent is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive approach aimed at addressing both immediate and long-term cyber workforce needs.
“So, implementation of the workforce, implementation of the National Cyber Strategy, space, and what does it mean to be aligned with our values, and that will be wrapped up in our cybersecurity posture report,” Walden concluded. “That’s the second symphony – those are the movements that we hope to accomplish.”