As he prepared for his trip to Europe in order to meet with other NATO allies to discuss the next steps in Russia’s ongoing invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, President Joe Biden took a moment to issue a grave warning to various state governors throughout the nation.
Specifically, the president has warned multiple governors to enhance their critical infrastructures as much as possible in order to offset potential attacks from Russian hackers.
As reported by Politico, the president’s warning to governors includes the following recommendations: enhancing readiness to combat potential cyberattacks, ensuring that response plans are ready, and increasing oversight of various critical infrastructures and other utilities.
In the letter to the nation’s governors, as well as Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., Biden observed that a significant percentage of “[American] critical infrastructure is privately owned and overseen at the state and local levels,” in a letter that had been exclusively obtained by Politico.
As a result of the grave threats facing United States infrastructure, Biden urged governors “to take urgent action” across their states in order to “to exercise the authority [governors and their teams have] to prepare your critical infrastructure to withstand a cyberattack” in his letter.
Amongst these encouragements, Biden also directly called upon the Washington D.C. Mayor and various state governors to band together in order to increase cybersecurity, as well as the responses to any potential attacks on critical infrastructures, including water and energy.
Politico also reported that one of the recipients of the March 18 letter was California governor Gavin Newsom, whose state is home to a number of key critical infrastructures for the nation.
“There are things that only you as governor can do to secure your state’s computer systems,” Biden declared to Newsom, adding that the governor also had unique power to protect California’s other critical infrastructures, alongside citizens.