President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, on the heels of the cyber-attack against Colonial Pipeline Co., which suffered a major ransomware attack late last week that has caused supply chain issues in the Southeast. 

The Order is intended to show that the federal government is taking a leadership role on cybersecurity defense by improving the cyber defense of the government and its subcontractors, including software vendors who do business with the federal government.

The Order requires that all software sold to the federal government follow prescribed cybersecurity standards within nine months and that software developers share their security data publicly.

It also requires the government to deploy encryption and multifactor authentication and establishes a government-wide endpoint detection and response system so federal agencies can share cyber-threat information, and a “playbook” on incident response. Vendors that do business with the federal government are required to report security incidents to the government to increase the availability of threat intelligence.