The Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Jen Easterly laid out her plan to avoid panic when China launches what she suggested to be inevitable cyberattacks that would cripple America. According to Breitbart, Easterly joined Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” to try to ease America’s fears of what would happen if China were to launch a cyberattack on critical infrastructure.
“In the event of a conflict, China would use aggressive cyber operations to delay military deployment, to affect military decisions, and to induce societal panic,” said Easterly. However, she is not worried because CISA is working to ensure that Americans will have the appropriate reaction if such attacks occur. Easterly said that they are “very concerned about ensuring that we can continue to have safe and secure water, that we can dispatch first responders, that we can get gas to the pump, that we can get health care to patients. And so, we really want to make sure that businesses take the steps they need to take to drive down risk and to build resilience.”
Easterly appeared to suggest that the only option America has is to react to cyberattacks on China. She stated that “it’s very, very hard to prevent these disruptions,” so instead of trying, Easterly suggested that all Americans be aware of the threats, risks, and recommended businesses to set a plan in place to ensure business runs smoothly in the aftermath of an attack.
Although Easterly has suggested that having a reaction plan is the best way to move forward, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making an effort to go talk to China about their cyberattacks. Easterly praised Blinken for attempting to “have an open and frank discussion about these issues” with the rogue nation. After seeing the capability of China to launch cyberattacks that would disrupt “critical infrastructure like oil and gas pipelines [and] transportation and rail” in the annual threat assessment, it appears Blinken has a lot to “talk about” with China.