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The Cybersecurity 202: Cyber experts give Biden top marks at six months

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At his six-month mark in office, President Biden is making the right moves to ensure the United States is safer in cyberspace, according to an overwhelming majority of cybersecurity experts we polled. 

Biden’s term has been marked by a string of cyber cataclysms starting with cleaning up the SolarWinds Russian espionage campaign, which was discovered soon before he took office and affected hundreds of major businesses and several federal agencies. More recently, the nation has been struck by significant ransomware attacks that have threatened U.S. gas and meat supplies and wreaked havoc on small businesses. 

Biden has effectively managed the day-to-day crises while dealing with longer-range concerns such as getting top cyber officials in place and facing off with Russian President Vladimir Putin over hacking, according to 86 percent of The Cybersecurity 202 Network. 

It’s hard to imagine an administration moving more aggressively [without being irresponsible] or putting more priority on cybersecurity issues,” said Chris Finan, a top White House cyber official during the Obama administration. 

[There’s] much more to be done, but the administration is off to a strong start in the face of escalating malicious cyber activity,” said Suzanne Spaulding, who led Department of Homeland Security cyber operations for President Barack Obama. 

The network is a panel of more than 100 cybersecurity experts who participate in our ongoing informal survey. 

Experts praised Biden for taking an aggressive stand against Russian hacking. 

He pressed Putin on Russia-based ransomware attacks during a summit in Geneva last month and pledged to impose serious consequences if Putin doesn’t crack down on the groups.

Biden’s tough stance with Putin is a “particularly welcome change,” said Chris Painter, who was the State Department’s top cyber diplomat under Obama. He acknowledged, however, that “holding Russia accountable will be a real test for this administration.”

“[Biden] has made clear to Russia’s president that some cyber actions cross a red line,” said Sam Visner, director of the National Cybersecurity Federally Funded Research and Development Center, managed by Mitre.

Read the full article from The Washington Post.

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