How the U.S. Government is Protecting Itself from Cyber Criminals

New initiatives hope to prevent and fix cyberattacks

Have you heard, or read any stories, about why the cybersecurity industry is failing government? The U.S. government has continually taken steps to protect itself from cyber criminals that may put government information and services in jeopardy. Cybersecurity breaches can be devastating to any organization, causing shutdowns or exposing private and personal information to the public.

The latest government strategy concerning cybersecurity released in May 2018 takes several important steps to scale up cybersecurity measures. Besides the typical steps like identifying risks, the government is also targeting transnational criminal organizations and cybercriminals capable of breaching government systems.

Another step taken through this strategy is to respond to and investigate cyber attacks to determine how and where they originated. Previously, the source of many breaches and attacks were never identified, which harms efforts to learn from these incidents and prevent future attacks.

The Dangers of Cyber Crime Against the Government

This strategy came through the Department of Homeland Security, which is the U.S. cabinet agency responsible for government cybersecurity. Cybersecurity fits well into the DHS’s responsibilities, which include anti-terrorism efforts, security of airports and other public places, and disaster preparedness. Cybersecurity is one of the most dangerous types of terrorism because of its possibility to disrupt basic systems like the electric power grid.

Why the cybersecurity industry is failing government
Continual advances in cybersecurity technology aim to keep the government and the people safe.

While government systems have the best encryption and protections available today, even a single computer genius could potentially take those systems down using the right know-how and skills. It is vital to stay at least one step ahead of hackers to protect the government.

The cybersecurity industry currently has shortages in personnel and often struggles to protect against high-level attacks that could threaten the government and private agencies. As the government investigates why the cybersecurity industry is failing government in some areas, the industry continues to give its best efforts to gain ground on hackers and cybercriminals.

While much of cybersecurity is focused on the protection of private companies, government and cybersecurity are becoming increasingly linked together because of government’s responsibility to do what it can to protect infrastructure and populations. Cybersecurity expertise is crucial to the government’s continued functioning and its ability to protect its people from the kind of harm that cyber attacks can bring.

Educating the Public About Cybersecurity

Another part of the government’s initiative, titled “Be Cyber Smart,” is focused on education of the general public to recognize and prevent cyber threats that could open up vulnerabilities and lead to data breaches. Information about how to browse safely online, use passwords, and recognize fraudulent emails and texts that may give hackers access to your personal information can help to prevent cybercrime that could spread to government systems in some instances.

Florida Tech offers advanced degrees in cybersecurity that prepare students for positions in government or private industry where they will be tasked with recognizing cybercrime when it happens and working to prevent it. Learn more about our cybersecurity program today. And if you’re interested in exploring how the government and businesses are using innovative technologies to prevent cyber attacks, read our blog on the use of artificial intelligence in cybersecurity.

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