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Krebs on Biden’s cybersecurity executive order: ‘It’s a really ambitious plan’

Greg Nash

Christopher Krebs, the nation’s former top cybersecurity official, said President Biden’s executive order aimed at improving federal cybersecurity is “a really ambitious plan,” in the wake of the U.S.’s Colonial Pipeline being targeted of a ransomware attack.

Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order that requires the establishment of baseline cybersecurity standards for all software sold to the federal government. it also calls on all software utilized by the government to meet those standards within nine months.

According to a senior administration official, the executive order, which has been in the works since early in the administration, is meant to serve as an example to the private sector of the federal government taking the lead on strengthening cybersecurity.

Krebs told host John Dickerson on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that if the order is implemented properly, it should be effective.

“I think it’s a really ambitious plan. I think it should be effective if implemented properly, which I have confidence in the team, both at my old agency as well as in the National Security Council and elsewhere,” Krebs said.

Krebs said the executive order will lead to “improved security standards and improved security performance.

“But the benefit here is that typically executive orders really only apply to the federal government. And what we’re going to see is through the power of the purse, through the purchasing apparatus of the United States government in the software from U.S. tech companies and others, we’re going to see improved security standards and improved security performance,” he said.

“And there’s a trickle down or cascading effect where, you know, the government buys the same things that we do out in industry and at home so all boats should rise with the tide here,” he added.

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