- Computer security
- Managing Cyber Threats: Issues, Approaches, and Challenges
- High-Risk Issues
- IoT Security Issues: Top 10 Challenges – IBM Developer
Increasingly, federal, state and local governments are targets as hackers, organized criminals, foreign countries and others attempt to steal or manipulate sensitive data. Cyberattacks often target government networks to gain access to sensitive personal information of citizens and employees, as well as proprietary software, strategic plans and other information. The challenge for any agency is to identify threats and vulnerabilities, invest in risk mitigation and continually assess and improve cybersecurity efforts.
Learn the scope of this challenge, the kinds of threats already occurring and steps every level of government can take to help prevent future cyberattacks.
Cyberattacks against local, state and federal government agencies are increasing. A Government Accountability Office report found that between and , the federal government alone saw a 1, percent increase in information security incidents. Different types of perpetrators can initiate cyber threats, and their motivations vary widely.
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Foreign nations may seek to obtain sensitive voter information; criminals may steal government employee data to sell and commit fraud; and hacktivists—those motivated by ideology rather than profit—advance their agenda through targeted attacks. What is more, methods of attack vary, including ransomware that encrypts data, email-based social engineering attacks which trick the recipient into opening a malicious link or attachment and zero-day exploits i.
Federal government: Hackers have breached data files and websites of federal offices and agencies to gain the sensitive personal information—including Social Security numbers and home addresses—of millions of employees, contractors and taxpayers. This was an example of a rising trend in hacktivist activity targeting state and local governments.
Despite the fact that cybersecurity is a priority for public sector chief information officers and chief information security officers, government agencies at all levels continue to experience difficulties.
Managing Cyber Threats: Issues, Approaches, and Challenges
At the federal level, successful cyberattacks are often the result of negligent insider actions e. At the local and state level, however, a basic failure to fix known vulnerabilities is the leading reported cause to blame. Local and state governments often are challenged by a lack of budgetary and skilled personnel resources to manage cyber risks effectively. To provide transparency to the public and comply with Freedom of Information Act requirements, government entities often post contracts on their websites. Solution: Implement procedures to document who is able to change vendor payment instructions and validate all changes with vendors by calling them at a known telephone number or initiating small test payment transactions.
Information for public sector officials such as names, email addresses and phone numbers is available to the public. Criminals can use a spoofed email address or phone number to try to execute an emergency transaction, or they may try to dupe an employee into processing a transaction at the urging of someone they believe is a public official or a superior. Solution: Train employees to investigate any requests and validate transactions with appropriate hierarchy.
Cyber attackers can infect government computers with malware, which can then be used to execute large transactions from outside the country and direct funds to accounts controlled by criminals. Solution: Educate employees not to open suspicious emails or click on unknown links. Use security features to reduce the ability to execute freeform wires, and make sure you have appropriate input to approve wires and wire templates.
In May , President Trump signed an executive order to improve the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure.
The order calls for a risk management approach to address cyber threats. This is in line with industry standards and best practices to reduce risk, given that there is no single tactic or tool that can guarantee data confidentiality, integrity and availability.
Rather than focusing all resources on keeping bad actors out of a network, organizations should adopt a layered, risk-based suite of tools, policies, training and ongoing assessments to make systems more secure and attempts to obtain data easier to spot. Even as threats change, there are four hallmark components of any effective cyber risk management effort. Managing cyber risk should stem from the highest levels of a government entity. The consequences of a breach are so great—including issues related to national security and election integrity—and the resource demands so substantial that cybersecurity should be viewed as a strategic priority for the entire organization.
Leaders should bring together the appropriate resources and stakeholders to implement a holistic cyber risk management program. The cyber risk justifies that level of governance and should be viewed in the same way institutional risk is viewed. The weakest link in a cybersecurity chain is often the employee using a network computer or mobile device connected to the organizational network. For instance, an employee could make the mistake of opening a harmful email that appears to come from a government contractor.
To educate employees, government entities should hold cyber breach exercises at least biannually.
Training and awareness programs must describe the types of threats that employees may face, the actions they should take and to whom the threat should be reported. The more employees are tested and the more robust their training, the more diligent they will be. Indeed, a SANS Institute study found that without cybersecurity training, 30 to 60 percent of individuals fell for a social engineering attack e. After six to 12 months of quarterly training, those rates dropped to 19 percent; with monthly training, susceptibility rates fell to 5 percent. The CSF, and its affiliated self-assessment toolkit, helps organizations set benchmarks, identify priorities, implement risk management tactics, measure improvement and adopt appropriate changes.
Using this approach, government entities can drive cybersecurity capability maturity to a level that can meet the current cyber threat. It can be difficult for government entities—particularly at the state and local level—to have sufficient in-house resources to implement all cybersecurity tactics, conduct all assessments, stay abreast of numerous legislative and regulatory requirements and engage in forensics, should a breach occur.
We have a dedicated site for Germany. Modern society depends critically on computers that control and manage systems on which we depend in many aspects of our daily lives. While this provides conveniences of a level unimaginable just a few years ago, it also leaves us vulnerable to attacks on the computers managing these systems. In recent times the explosion in cyber attacks, including viruses, worms, and intrusions, has turned this vulnerability into a clear and visible threat.
IoT Security Issues: Top 10 Challenges – IBM Developer
Due to the escalating number and increased sophistication of cyber attacks, it has become important to develop a broad range of techniques, which can ensure that the information infrastructure continues to operate smoothly, even in the presence of dire and continuous threats. The book includes broad surveys on a number of topics, as well as specific techniques. It provides an excellent reference point for researchers and practitioners in the government, academic, and industrial communities who want to understand the issues and challenges in this area of growing worldwide importance.
This book is intended for members of the computer security research and development community interested in state-of-the-art techniques; personnel in federal organizations tasked with managing cyber threats and information leaks from computer systems; personnel at the military and intelligence agencies tasked with defensive and offensive information warfare; personnel in the commercial sector tasked with detection and prevention of fraud in their systems; and personnel running large-scale data centers, either for their organization or for others, tasked with ensuring the security, integrity, and availability of data.