Cybersecurity: Our Nation’s Biggest Threat?

When most Americans think of cybersecurity, they think of high profile attacks – Russia’s role in hacking the 2016 election, the Equifax cyberattack affecting at least 143 million people, and two major security breaches suffered by Yahoo in 2016.

As early as March 2013, America’s top intelligence officials considered cyber attacks and digital spying to be the top threat to national security, even more so than terrorism. But an “it can’t happen to me” attitude still prevails, and numerous surveys show that Americans fail to take even the most basic security measures with their own digital devices.              

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity has been defined as a “body of technologies, processes, and practices created to protect computers, networks, programs, and data from attack, damage, and unauthorized access.” Cybersecurity is important because much of the data stored on computers and other devices are sensitive information that, should it fall into the wrong hands, often has very negative financial and personal consequences.

Our Cybersecurity Challenges

One of the biggest challenges to a cybersecurity program is the constantly evolving nature of security risks. The traditional approach would be to focus most resources on the most critical system components and protect against the larger threats, leaving less important system components and risks vulnerable. But in the current environment, where security threats often arise quicker than they can be effectively dealt with, more practice and adaptive approach is essential.

According to a 2017 Slate report, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Better devices and apps aren’t likely to save us since there will always be bad guys looking to access personal, corporate, and government information. While additional regulation to compel the big technology players to invest in security is needed, ordinary people, no matter their skill level, are essential to our collective degree of cybersecurity. We need to view the everyday user as a potential force against cyber hackers, and as a whole take cybersecurity much more seriously.

If you have been the victim of a cybersecurity breach, contact Murray & Murray today.

Emergency Numbers/Websites Related to Cybersecurity

  • Center for Internet Security – aims to safeguard private and public organizations against cyber threats.
  • Cloud Security Alliance – non-profit focused on best practices for security assistance within Cloud computing.
  • Department of Homeland Security – draws on the nation’s resources to protect infrastructure from cyber threats.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – publishes a large variety of guides addressing cybersecurity.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) – assists bank directors as well as consumers with understanding cybersecurity risks.
  • Identity Theft Resource Center – provides assistance and consumer education to the victims of identity theft.
  • Krebs on Security – advice from one of the better-known security bloggers in the world.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – publishes guides and standards that describe security best practices.
  • Security Now – on online community devoted to making you and your organization more secure.
  • Schneier on Security – written by security technologist and guru Bruce Schneier, who has been blogging about security issues since 2004.
  • Threat Level on Wired – explains privacy and security issues in the post 9/11 age.
  • United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) – the 24/7 operational division of the Department of Homeland Security’s NCCIC.