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Biden Instructs Intelligence Agencies to Increase Intelligence Sharing with Private Sector Regarding Threats from China and Russia

President Joe Biden of USA (Credits: KCUR)

President Biden has issued a national security memorandum aimed at enhancing the security and resilience of critical American infrastructure.

The directive orders US spy agencies to share intelligence more proactively with private companies managing critical infrastructure, to counter threats from foreign adversaries like China and Russia, criminal groups, and hackers.

The memorandum updates guidance introduced in 2013, identifying new security procedures for 16 critical infrastructure sectors to guard against natural disasters and man-made threats.

President Biden (Credits: NBC Connecticut)

It tasks intelligence agencies with declassifying information to share with the private sector or sharing information with cleared private companies to better guard against security threats.

The Biden administration drew lessons from its warning about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and is now working to share intelligence on potential threats, including “serious” threats from China.

In February, the administration warned that Chinese cyber actors were pre-positioning themselves in US critical infrastructure to launch potential cyber attacks, dubbed “Volt Typhoon.”

The memorandum tasks the Department of Homeland Security with overarching responsibility for coordination among federal agencies, directing DHS to submit a biennial “national risk management plan” summarizing work on mitigating risks to critical infrastructure.

Joe Biden (Credits: The New York Times)

It also seeks to codify and require minimum security and resilience requirements for critical infrastructure entities, which were previously voluntary.

The memo reaffirms the 16 critical infrastructure sectors and identifies which government agencies should liaison with which sectors, as part of an “all hazards approach” to national resilience.

The administration aims to increase adoption of requirements addressing sector, national, and cross-sector risks to critical infrastructure, acknowledging that voluntary approaches have mitigated risk but more must be done to ensure security and resilience.

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