May 21, 2018 By David Bisson 2 min read

The Department of Homeland security (DHS) has a new plan to reduce software vulnerabilities, counter malicious actors, respond to incidents and build resiliency. The DHS released a national cybersecurity strategy on May 15, which focused on addressing the evolving digital threat landscape. The unveiled plan is part of the organization’s commitment to implement these cybersecurity responsibilities over the next five years.

DHS Cybersecurity: ‘A Historic Turning Point’

Kirstjen Michele Nielsen, the DHS secretary, explained that the new national cybersecurity strategy responds to changes in the threat landscape. She found the convergence of digital security with personal and private security particularly remarkable — calling this a “historic turning point” that necessitates a reevaluation of her department’s approach to cybersecurity.

“In an age of brand-name breaches, we must think beyond the defense of specific assets — and confront systemic risks that affect everyone from tech giants to homeowners,” Nielsen said in a DHS press release. “Our strategy outlines how DHS will leverage its unique capabilities on the digital battlefield to defend American networks and get ahead of emerging cyberthreats.”

5 Security Objectives of the DHS

The DHS divided its strategy into five pillars:

  1. Bolster risk identification: Understand the department’s posture concerning national cybersecurity risk and prioritize responsive risk management efforts.
  2. Reduce vulnerabilities: Help federal agencies patch up weak points in their networks so they can achieve a reasonable level of cybersecurity.
  3. Diminish threats: Combat transnational criminal organizations and individual actors who abuse the digital space.
  4. Mitigate consequences: Minimize the effects of potentially significant security incidents through the cooperation of the entire community.
  5. Enable cybersecurity outcomes: Support activities and efforts that promote global risk management activities while making the department’s cybersecurity efforts more integrated and streamlined.

The DHS explained it intends to pursue these objectives while upholding the national values of the U.S. and protecting the civil liberties of Americans.

Collaboration in the Name of a Safer World

In its national cybersecurity strategy, the DHS revealed that it would not be able to tackle the majority of its goals alone. It said it would need to draw from the strength of the international community to track down criminals, prepare for attacks (on the scale of WannaCry or NotPetya) and promote risk management worldwide. Toward that end, it expressed its commitment to support research into security innovations that help better protect its networks as well as other organizations’ systems.

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