A delayed transition of power from President Trump to Biden fueled by lawsuits and efforts to stall Biden-Harris’ team on getting up to speed, could threaten U.S. national security and leave the new administration flat-footed in responding to cyberattacks.
Kicking off a new administration with a cyber incident, especially off the back of a hotly contested election process, would trample public faith and morale around the country\’s fresh start and overall sense of security.
Unfortunately for Biden, cyber attackers thrive on flat-footed administration transitions, and delays will only shine a spotlight on the U.S. as a target, especially for espionage campaigns that gather intelligence rather than those that look to directly cause chaos and disruption. The fear of increasing vulnerabilities could push the new administration to rush to put things in place without getting a full lay of the land. I\’d hope that Christopher Krebs, who has proved to be a credible voice, will continue at his post so that he can plug gaps and ensure continuity. A large transition of power at CISA would be damaging for Biden\’s cybersecurity preparedness.
A delayed transition also heightens the burden of risk for individuals that Biden has chosen for his future administration. Without a smooth transition to get these people cleared, briefed, and properly protected, all of these individuals and their data will be put at unnecessary risk of cyber intervention.
The good news for the Biden camp is that, as former VP, he\’s experienced with White House cyber briefings, so he\’ll get up to speed much faster than a president-elect who has never stepped foot in the West Wing.