Good Morning DC. President Biden is in a celebratory, beach mode, and has no public events scheduled.

Good Morning DC! It’s Thursday and our President is taking a day off. Yesterday evening he headed to his beach house in Rehoboth, DE. After a long Memorial Day weekend and nonworking Monday, Biden is now taking Thursday off to celebrate Jill’s birthday. If Trump did that, it would have been a national scandal, but with this President, it’s just another day in Bidenville. 

The Desk of Donald J Trump is officially out of business. Former President, who made his brand by vowing to never quit, has quit on this one. In less than a month, his blog shut down. Jason Miller told us to “stay tuned” but Trump, a man of instant gratification he is, has shown the world that he has no endurance for serious writing and long-term audience building. 

Cybersecurity is becoming an urgent priority for the White House given recent ransomware attacks. In a memo Good Morning DC obtained, the National Security Council’s top cyber official, Anne Neuberger calls on the private companies to “take ransomware crime seriously and ensure your corporate cyber defense match the threat.”

In a memo, Neuberger wants to see private companies implement the six following steps:

1. Implement the five best practices from the President’s Executive Order: multifactor authentication (because passwords alone are routinely compromised), endpoint detection & response (to hunt for malicious activity on a network and block it), encryption (so if data is stolen, it is unusable) and a skilled, empowered security team (to patch rapidly, and share and incorporate threat information in your defenses). 

2. Back up your data, system images, and configurations, regularly test them, and keep the backups offline: Ensure that backups are regularly tested and that they are not connected to the business network, as many ransomware variants try to find and encrypt or delete accessible backups.

3. Update and patch systems promptly: This includes maintaining the security of operating systems, applications, and firmware, in a timely manner. Consider using a centralized patch management system; use a risk-based assessment strategy to drive your patch management program. 

4. Test your incident response plan: Run through some core questions and use those to build an incident response plan: Are you able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Would you turn off your manufacturing operations if business systems such as billing were offline? 

5. Check Your Security Team’s Work: Use a 3rd party pen tester to test the security of your systems and your ability to defend against a sophisticated attack. Many ransomware criminals are aggressive and sophisticated and will find the equivalent of unlocked doors. 

6. Segment your networks: There’s been a recent shift in ransomware attacks – from stealing data to disrupting operations. It’s critically important that your corporate business functions and manufacturing/production operations are separated and that you carefully filter and limit internet access to operational networks, identify links between these networks and develop workarounds or manual controls to ensure ICS networks can be isolated and continue operating if your corporate network is compromised. Regularly test contingency plans such as manual controls so that safety critical functions can be maintained during a cyber incident.

Across the pond, the office of the Royal Family has confirmed that the Queen will host the Bidens at Windsor Castle on Sunday, June 13. The first American president the Queen met was Truman.

What Will Biden do today? President is in a celebratory, beach mode, and has no public events scheduled.

What will VP Harris do today?

At 11:30 AM EDT, Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks on the importance of investing in broadband. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will also deliver remarks.

Mid-year resolutions have now become more popular than ever before. June is the start of the mid-year and a perfect opportunity to set goals worth accomplishing.  

Actress and filmmaker Jodie Foster will be the special guest of the Opening Ceremony and Honorary Palme d’Or of the 74th Cannes Film Festival.

And that’s a wrap for this Thursday morning, June 3, 2021. If Joe Biden can take a day off, why can’t you? Thanks for waking up with me. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first. 

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...

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