FORT MEADE, Md. — The White House announced today that President Joe Biden has signed National Security Memorandum 8, “Improving the Cybersecurity of National Security, Department of Defense and Intelligence Community Systems.” This Memorandum implements the cybersecurity requirements of EO 14028 for National Security Systems (NSS) - networks across the U.S. Government that contain classified information or are otherwise critical to military and intelligence activities. The Memorandum provides the Director of the NSA, General Paul M. Nakasone, in his role as the National Manager for NSS, with enhanced insight and authorities to better safeguard these systems.
“We stand ready to fulfill our role, and our responsibility, in securing our nation against foreign malicious actors, and any efforts to exploit our national security systems,” said General Paul M. Nakasone, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command, Director, NSA/Chief, Central Security Service.
The Memorandum provides the National Manager the authority to issue binding direction to departments and agencies operating NSS to take action against cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All departments and agencies operating NSS will now report to the National Manager on both the status of mitigation actions taken in response to a specific cyber incident as well as provide assessments of the overall impact to their systems. Departments and agencies are also required to notify the National Manager of known or suspected incidents or compromises of NSS.
“The new authorities will provide us with the necessary cybersecurity visibility into our most important systems,” said Rob Joyce, NSA Cybersecurity Director and Deputy National Manager for national security systems. “This new insight will allow us to identify vulnerabilities, detect malicious threat activity and drive mitigations to better secure all national security systems.”
The NSM also requires Federal departments and agencies to modernize encryption protocols used on national security systems.
“As the nation’s leader in cryptography, NSA will play a significant role in ensuring cryptographic interoperability among national security system users through cryptographic standards for use on NSS,” said Gen. Nakasone.
For more, read the full memorandum and view the accompanying fact sheet.