At a glance.
- G7 and the Quad discuss challenges of regulating AI.
- Officials urge US president to fill cyber leadership vacancies.
- US DOE asks for additional funding to stand-up threat analysis program.
G7 and the Quad discuss challenges of regulating AI.
The Register reports that both the G7 and the Quad bloc gathered over the weekend, and cybersecurity was acknowledged to remain a work in progress. While AI regulation and cybersecurity concerns regarding other new technologies were on the agenda, the members acknowledged that their governments need to do more to keep up with the rapid advances in the digital space. The member nations of the G7 (the US, Canada, Japan, the UK, France, Germany, and Italy) issued a joint statement saying, "We recognize that, while rapid technological change has been strengthening societies and economies, the international governance of new digital technologies has not necessarily kept pace.” To address AI, the group said it’s implementing what it calls the "Hiroshima AI process,” a working group focused on governance, IP rights, disinformation, and responsible use of AI. The group also said it will launch a Data Free Flow with Trust initiative aimed at supporting cross-border data flows without sacrificing personal privacy. Meanwhile, the Quad – Australia, India, Japan, and the US – agreed to work with Palau and local stakeholders to implement the island nation’s first deployment of Open RAN technology. The Quad discussed plans to support the construction of undersea internet connectivity cables, with Australia designing a $5 million Indo-Pacific Cable Connectivity and Resilience Program and the US providing technical and security assistance.
Officials urge US president to fill cyber leadership vacancies.
Chris Inglis, the US’s first National Cyber Director, resigned earlier this year, and policy makers are worried that President Joe Biden’s delay in nominating a replacement could slow progress. These concerns have only been exacerbated by the anticipated resignation of General Paul Nakasone, current head of the National Security Agency (NSA) and US Cyber Command. Earlier this month Senator Angus King (Independent of Maine) and Representative Mike Gallagher (Republican of Wisconsin) penned a letter to President Biden urging him to fill the national cyber director vacancy, stating that they are “extremely concerned” that the vacancy could “hinder the implementation” of the administration’s recently released national cyber strategy. “The White House is moving unacceptably slow to nominate a new National Cyber Director,” Gallagher told the Hill. “This problem becomes even more alarming if they allow General Nakasone’s position to go unfilled for a similar duration.” Emil Sayegh, head of data security firm Ntirety, agreed that with cyberattacks steadily increasing, the synergy brought by clearly defined leadership is key. “When there’s a vacancy of a federal office that’s responsible for overseeing cybersecurity efforts, there could be disjointed efforts and disjointed initiatives underneath that could slow down reaction to threats,” Sayegh stated.
US DOE asks for additional funding to stand-up threat analysis program.
During a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last week, officials from the US Department of Energy (DOE) discussed the accomplishments of the Energy Threat Analysis Center (ETAC) pilot program and what it will take to fully scale the initiative. ETAC is focused on connecting the cyber threat intelligence and mitigation strategies of the DOE, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, intelligence community, and private sector. ETAC was first proposed by the DOE in its fiscal 2023 budget request, and as Utility Dive explains, a full launch of the program is planned by 2027. At the hearing, Puesh Kumar, director of the department's Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response, discussed the pilot program’s early successes, highlighting the need for additional resources to support the ETAC’s continued development. FCW reports that officials are asking for an additional $5 million in the department's fiscal 2024 budget. Kumar explained that increased communication and collaboration is necessary to get a clear picture of how individual cyber threats impact national security as a whole. “And the ETAC is really meant to do that,” Kumar stated. “It's meant to not only bring the people together, subject matter experts from electric power utilities, petroleum engineers and the government together to really understand these threats."