July 31 (UPI) -- To protect U.S. banks, hospitals and energy companies from hackers, the Department of Homeland Security has created a body called the National Risk Management Center.
The new hub will focus on critical infrastructure often targeted by hackers and help private industry avoid and respond to global cyberattacks.
"An attack on a single tech company can rapidly spiral into a crisis affecting the financial sector, energy systems and health care," Nielsen said.
Last month, U.S. officials announced new sanctions to punish Russian entities and individuals for cyberattacks launched over the past year.
The U.S. Treasury targeted five Russian organizations and three citizens, saying they helped Moscow's Federal Security Service in "malign and destabilizing cyber activities."
The move is the latest move to guard against cyberattacks from Russia -- including last year's NotPetya, a ransomware attack that targeted government and private corporate servers worldwide and demanded a $300 million ransom.
The DHS sent a warning in March that Russian hackers had been targeting U.S. electrical grids for future attacks.
Russian actors and Moscow's government are suspected of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which spurred multiple investigations and generated controversy during President Donald Trump's summit meeting with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin this month.
"Let me be clear. It was the Russians ... directed from the highest levels," Nielsen said at the summit. "And we cannot and will not allow it to happen again."