Mike Pompeo Approves Creation of Bureau of Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies (CSET) to Lead Cybersecurity Diplomacy Amid SolarWinds Hack (Meggie Miller /The Hill)

pompeo cyberspace security emerging technologieslead solarwindsmiller
pompeo cyberspace security emerging technologieslead solarwindsmiller (Image Credit: freepik)

In an effort to combat the ongoing cybersecurity threat posed by the SolarWinds hack, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has approved the creation of a new office at the State Department the Bureau of Cyberspace Security and Emerging Technologies (CSET).

The new office will have a wide range of responsibilities, including leading diplomatic efforts on cybersecurity, ensuring that emerging technologies remain secure, and developing protocols to protect digital infrastructure. 

The CSET bureau is being created as part of a larger effort to strengthen international security in cyberspace. It will be responsible for coordinating with other government agencies and foreign nations regarding cyber issues, such as responding to cyber incidents and developing strategies for protecting against future attacks.

Background on Pompeo’s Cybersecurity Push

The creation of CSET is just the latest move by Secretary Pompeo to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity capabilities. Since taking office in 2018, he has worked with other government agencies to increase cooperation on cyber-related issues and launched several initiatives aimed at sharing best practices across governments.

He has also pushed for increased information-sharing between countries on cyber threats, advocating for closer collaboration between military forces on countering cyberattacks and advocating for greater international cooperation in developing global standards for digital infrastructure protection. 

Pompeo has emphasized that “cybersecurity is a priority” and that it is essential for countries to develop policies that safeguard their citizens’ data, intellectual property, critical infrastructure, economic assets, and national security interests.

He recently argued that although there are legitimate concerns about technology becoming a tool for authoritarian regimes or malicious actors, there must be efforts made to ensure technological development remains safe while still benefiting society overall. 

Impact of SolarWinds Hack 

The announcement from Secretary Pompeo comes amid heightened concern over the potential damage from the SolarWinds hack which was discovered late last year and is believed to have been perpetrated by Russian hackers.

The attack led to the theft of sensitive data from numerous government agencies and private companies around the world. In response to these developments, President Biden issued an Executive Order mandating new cybersecurity requirements from federal agencies as well as launching an investigation into potential vulnerabilities in U.S.-based networks due to supply chain risks associated with third-party software providers like SolarWinds itself. 

The establishment of CSET signals an important step forward in addressing this issue as it places responsibility for addressing these challenges within one dedicated organization with both internal expertise on emerging technologies as well as external knowledge across various cybersecurity domains.

Both domestically and abroad thereby allowing CSET staff members to develop comprehensive strategies tailored towards responding effectively against any given attack vector or vulnerability landscape while simultaneously preventing future intrusions through sound risk management processes.  

CSET’s Role Going Forward 

Going forward CSET will have an important role in shaping U.S.-led diplomatic initiatives focused on cyberspace security around the world including strengthening political commitments amongst nations regarding digital infrastructure protection standards.

Supporting international capacity-building efforts promoting human rights online by providing technical assistance raising public awareness about best practices when using technology; engaging in meaningful dialogue concerning ethical considerations surrounding artificial intelligence (AI), biotechnology (BT), and robotics (ROB) applications.

Working with other intergovernmental organizations such as NATO, OECD, UNODC, etc., in order to create shared understandings about cyber norms collaborating with academia & industry experts so that public policymakers can stay up-to-date with ever-changing technological advancements

And most importantly offering advice & guidance/supporting policy-making concerning how best to respond/adapt U . S . foreign policy towards evolving geopolitical contexts & situations involving either malicious actor/state-sponsored cyber operations OR emergent events related TO disputes within cyberspace.  


Given the increasing reliance on technology, countrywide due to its various benefits especially during the pandemic era ranging from teleworking opportunities & access TO remote schooling programs ability TO secure a digital environment becomes even more paramount now than before.

Hence establishment OF CSET serves AS a crucial first step ON part OF the US Government TO provide additional safeguards & measures necessary FOR the global community against any malicious cyber activities whether originating domestically OR imported externally.

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