Harris calls for ‘cyber doctrine’ to address increasing attacks

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to mark the first-ever federal Maternal Health Day of Action
Associated Press/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Vice President Harris is calling for a “cyber doctrine” and greater international coordination to address cybersecurity concerns after a year of mounting attacks. 

“I do believe that it is important for us to have a cyber doctrine,” Harris said as part of an upcoming interview on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation, airing later this week, when asked whether cyberattacks should be considered acts of terror. 

Harris pointed to her work as chair of the National Space Council in stressing the need to work towards enhancing international cybersecurity efforts, noting the importance of the “role and the responsibility that we have to work with our partners and allies around international norms and rules.”

“On the issue of cyber, it is important that we work with our allies on these issues,” Harris said. 

The comments were made after a year in which the Biden administration has been forced to confront cyber threats head-on, with President Biden taking office shortly after the discovery of the SolarWinds hack which allowed Russian government-backed hackers to compromise at least nine federal agencies. In addition, ransomware attacks against Colonial Pipeline, meat producer JBS USA, and IT company Kaseya put pressure on the administration to take action.

Some of these actions have included Biden levying sanctions on Russia in April in retaliation for the SolarWinds incident and signing an executive order in May intended to strengthen federal cybersecurity. 

Harris has also been involved in efforts to strengthen cybersecurity, most recently during her trip last month to France, where she announced new initiatives around space and cybersecurity following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. As part of this, Harris announced that the U.S. would support the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace to help bring together governments and the private sector on cybersecurity topics. 

“When I was in France meeting with Macron, this is one of the issues that we discussed, which is the importance of all of us as allies and partners and even those who are adversaries, making sure that we are all on the same page about what will be interpreted as a threat or not, and with some level of consensus about what the norms and the rules are and what they should be,” Harris told “Face the Nation.”

“I think that’s critically important as we look at emerging threats, there’s no question,” Harris said, noting that there is no need to read the President’s Daily Brief “to know that cyber is one of those issues.”

Tags cyber crime cyberattacks Cybercrime Emmanuel Macron France Joe Biden Ransomware Russia
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