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The Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act Builds on National Security Memorandum 8

On January 19th, the  President signed National Security Memorandum (NSM) 8, “Improving the Cybersecurity of National Security, Department of Defense and Intelligence Community Systems”.

NSM8 appeared to have been inspired by Project Warp Speed – specifically, the elimination of layers of reportage and bureaucracy when trying to innovate with unprecedented speed and scale.  With NSM8 and NSS, the goal was not so much the acceleration of innovation, but the ability to “defend forward” at speed and scale – with a tight OODA Loop between the White House and the NSA.  At the time, the signing of NSM 8 appeared tactical, not strategic.

Legislation introduced in the House in early April builds on NSM 8 – which inspired us to return to NSM8 for further analysis as we promised at the end of our analysis back in January. Our coda back in January:  “This memorandum is a wildly interesting national security development.  Stay tuned for more OODA Loop coverage as details are made available.”  There were major Quantum Cybersecurity strategic directives in NSM 8 which was not a part of our initial analysis.  The legislation in the house, entitled The Quantum Cybersecurity Preparedness Act is – excuse the pun – a quantum leap forward to this strategic plan for what will be “the greatest cryptographic migration in history.”  (1)

In this post, we will return to the section of NSM 8 concerned with Quantum Cybersecurity, including the 30, 60, 90, and 180-day deadlines from the date of the memorandum.

We will then take a look at the legislation to determine if the  House Committee on Oversight and Reform has become the central, public-facing organizational entity for this strategic initiative. The research question is:  How many of the deadline-driven deliverables and directives informed the bill and/or found their way into the legislation? Is this legislation the mechanism for delivery of the directives?  If not, is there a public repository available for unclassified documents which may be of interest to the private sector exploring opportunities to provide solutions?

We also included directives and deadlines related to zero trust architecture – as OODA Network members are proponents of the innovative architecture.  Also of interest (and encouraging):  commercial cloud technologies and commercial national security algorithms (CNSA) crop up in a few places, complete with specific directives.

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.