By Guy Page
The Russian government is considering cyberattacks against the United States, the White House warned March 21. The State of Vermont’s digital infrastructure leaders want the rest of state government and industry to take the threat seriously.
“I have previously warned about the potential that Russia could conduct malicious cyber activity against the United States, including as a response to the unprecedented economic costs we’ve imposed on Russia alongside our allies and partners,” President Joe Biden said in a letter posted on the White House website. “It’s part of Russia’s playbook. Today, my Administration is reiterating those warnings based on evolving intelligence that the Russian Government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks.”
Unlike conventional and nuclear military attacks, cyberattacks are often ‘deniable’ by governments, yet are potentially catastrophic to sectors of the U.S. government and industry and the people who rely on them.
Vermont Chief Information Officer and Secretary of Digital Services John Quinn said today it’s unlikely the State of Vermont will be targeted directly by Russian cyberattacks. More likely, Vermont could be “collateral damage” in attacks on national critical infrastructure, he said.
Quinn has been briefing government and industry leaders about the potential dangers, and urging them to contact his office if problems arise. He’s concerned that private industry – banks, for example – would bring problems to their own private consultants first, before notifying him.
In anticipation of a Russian cyberattack, it’s all hands on deck, the White House said.
“The Federal Government can’t defend against this threat alone,” Biden warned. “Most of America’s critical infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector and critical infrastructure owners and operators must accelerate efforts to lock their digital doors. ….I urge our private sector partners to harden your cyber defenses immediately by implementing the best practices we have developed together over the last year.”
Categories: State Government