White House Seeks to Protect Industrial Control Systems From Cyberthreats With New Memo

The White House has released a national security memorandum to improve the cybersecurity posture of critical infrastructure.

The memo announces the establishment of the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative to facilitate the deployment of technologies meant to provide threat detection and visibility and cyber response capabilities in operational technology and control system networks, the White House said Wednesday.

The initiative kicked off with a pilot program with the electricity subsector. A similar pilot for natural gas pipelines is now underway. The White House expects similar programs for water, chemical and wastewater sectors to follow later this year.

The document also directs the secretaries of the departments of Homeland Security and Commerce to develop cybersecurity performance goals for critical infrastructure.

The secretary of DHS should release preliminary goals for control systems no later than Sept. 22 and final cross-sector control system goals within a year of the memo’s release.

“These performance goals should serve as clear guidance to owners and operators about cybersecurity practices and postures that the American people can trust and should expect for such essential services,” the document reads.

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