On July 28, 2021, President Biden signed a national security memorandum that seeks to “significantly improve” the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure systems. The “National Security Memorandum on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems” (the “Memorandum”) reflects the administration’s conclusion that “[t]he cybersecurity threats posed to the systems that control and operate the critical infrastructure on which we all depend are among the most significant and growing issues confronting our Nation.” It builds on President Biden’s May 2021 Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity,1 which included a focus on operational technology systems and primarily addressed the security practices of government agencies and government contractors.2 With recent cyber attacks affecting a major pipeline, water systems and other critical infrastructure, the Memorandum describes two key actions the administration is taking to respond to this intensifying challenge.

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