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Ice Miller Federal Cybersecurity Update Ice Miller Federal Cybersecurity Update

Ice Miller Federal Cybersecurity Update

With the backdrop of the SolarWinds cyber-compromise, the Biden Administration and Congress are moving on several fronts to advance new cybersecurity programs and funding. Among key steps are nominating a cadre of experienced professionals to lead the White House, Homeland Security and other key agencies. We note in particular the return of Rob Joyce, well known to many in the foreign policy and cybersecurity community, as NSA’s Director of Cybersecurity. Joyce replaced Anne Neuberger who recently moved to the NSC as Deputy National Security Advisor. Neuberger last week spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations, and one of our partners, a member of CFR asked her to speak to the SolarWinds compromise (The Cybersecurity Threat From Russia | Council on Foreign Relations (cfr.org)). Chris Inglis, a veteran of NSA and another highly qualified cyber professional, was nominated to be the first National Cyber Director, a position that has been supported by many cyber-professionals and was part of the recommendations of the Solarium Commission.
 
White House Requests $2.1 Billion To Bolster Federal Government Defenses

On April 9, 2021, the White House asked Congress to allocate $2.1 billion in discretionary spending for Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), building off of the $650 million provided for CISA in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The Biden Administration intends for this boost in funding to “obtain support services to protect and defend Federal information technology systems.” This funding request is consistent with the federal government’s increase in cybersecurity requirements placed on contractors as well as its increased interest in procuring cybersecurity services and innovation from the private sector. In fact, the White House requested $916 million, an increase of $128 million over the 2021 appropriated amounts, to expand scientific and technological research at NIST, which has been a key standard-bearer in the Defense Department’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program.
 
Global Threats Hearings Scheduled

This week, the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on worldwide threats. This marks the first time since January 2019 that the nation’s intelligence agency chiefs appear for one session, giving citizens the opportunity to hear directly from them on the dangers facing the country. The DNI report, available at National Intelligence Council Releases Global Trends Report (dni.gov), provides a future and forward leaning assessment of a fractured and more uncertain world. On April 15, the House Intelligence Committee will hold its own session, the first since 2016. Participants will include the heads of ODNI, CIA, NSA, FBI, and DIA. It is likely the House will discuss, among other things, the SolarWinds compromise.
 
5G Alternatives

In a bipartisan letter sent to President Biden, lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee are urging the Administration to spend an additional $3 billion on 5G alternatives to those Chinese companies offer and the U.S. government has deemed a national security threat. Specifically, the letter calls for at least $1.5 billion each for both the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund and the Multilateral Telecommunications Security Fund. Collectively, these funds would provide foundations for secure 5G networks that are integral to the country’s ability to adopt the Open Radio Access Network equipment at the scale necessary to compete with the equipment vendors of our strategic rivals.
 
Ice Miller’s National Security Practice

Ice Miller’s Washington DC team will be providing regular updates such as this one on national security and cybersecurity developments. Please forward these to friends and colleagues who may be interested. We encourage you to contact us for any areas of interest we can add to our coverage.

We will also shortly be kicking off a monthly discussion with leading practitioners on national security topics such as CFIUS, 5G security, cybersecurity, and export controls. Please contact us if you would like to be added to the initial invite list.
 
Ice Miller Cybersecurity Attorneys

Ice Miller has extensive experience assisting companies to navigate and comply with federal cybersecurity laws and regulations, as well as taking advantage of cybersecurity-related procurement opportunities. Our team includes Guillermo Christensen, managing partner of the Firm’s Washington DC office, a former CIA officer with national security experience in the intelligence community and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Guillermo currently serves as the general counsel to the U.S. Association of Cyber Forces (AUSCF). Other members of the team include Christian Robertson, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer who regularly advises clients on federal government procurement and international supply chain matters, and George Hornedo, a former advisor on multiple political campaigns, focusing on government relations services in Ice Miller’s Public Affairs Group.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.

 
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