National security center launches program to help US firms guard against foreign hackers

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) on Monday launched a program aimed at helping U.S. companies protect themselves from cyber attacks or other threats from foreign nation-state actors.

The NCSC, housed within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), is now sharing materials on how firms can guard themselves against threats to the supply chain — or components manufactured outside of the U.S. — spear-phishing campaigns and economic espionage, like the theft of intellectual property.


“Make no mistake, American companies are squarely in the cross-hairs of well-financed nation-state actors, who are routinely breaching private sector networks, stealing proprietary data, and compromising supply chains,” NCSC Director William Evanina said in a statement.

“The attacks are persistent, aggressive, and cost our nation jobs, economic advantage, and hundreds of billions of dollars," he continued.

The materials include videos on topics like social media deception as well as brochures and posters that share facts like how foreign intelligence agencies might try to access private networks to steal private information.

The ODNI press release also cites recent indictments of foreign nation-state hackers for economic espionage, including those from China and North Korea. Alleged intellectual property theft by Chinese actors have also been at the center of the U.S.-China trade dispute, with American officials accusing China of violating a 2015 agreement meant to halt the practice.

Concerns about the threat posed by foreign hackers have been elevated since the U.S. intelligence community determined that Russia had successfully interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsAvoiding the 1876 scenario in November Democrat asks intelligence director if Trump's personal debt is security problem FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden MORE said late last month that while Russia launched influence campaigns ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, foreign actors did not compromise American voting systems.