White House to convene 30-country cybersecurity meeting

The White House plans to convene a 30-country meeting this month to address cybersecurity, President Biden said in a statement Friday. 

The topics of the meeting, Biden said, will include combating cybercrime, improving law enforcement collaboration, stemming the illicit use of cryptocurrency, building trusted 5G technology and better securing supply chains. 

“We are bringing the full strength of our capabilities to disrupt malicious cyber activity, including managing both the risks and opportunities of emerging technologies like quantum computing and artificial intelligence,” Biden said. 

The first cybersecurity meeting will be held virtually, CNN reports

The meeting follows a series of dramatic cybersecurity incidents over the past year, including the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack that shut down gas and oil deliveries throughout the southeast, the SolarWinds software supply chain attack and an extensive hack on Microsoft Exchange servers.

Following the Kremlin-backed SolarWinds attack, cyber attacks became a major part of talks between Biden and Russian president Vladimir Putin over the summer. 

In late July, Biden said that a major cyber reach could lead to “a real shooting war.”

In addition to mobilizing multi-national cybersecurity initiatives, the Biden administration has taken steps to improve cyber resiliency domestically. 

“The Federal government needs the partnership of every American and every American company” to address cybersecurity, Biden said Friday. “We must lock our digital doors — by encrypting our data and using multifactor authentication, for example—and we must build technology securely by design, enabling consumers to understand the risks in the technologies they buy.”

Back in August, Biden secured promises from major tech companies, such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, to spend significant sums improving the nation’s cyber resiliency. In May, the president issued a cybersecurity executive order requiring federal agencies to modernize their cyber defenses. The Biden Administration earlier this year also launched a 100-day initiative to improve cybersecurity across the electric sector.

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