The Cost of Cyber Security Solutions for the Government
The U.S. government continues to invest in its cyber warfare capabilities, and its adversaries and allies are on the lookout. China, Russia, and other nations have their own cybersecurity capabilities, and evidence of cyber attacks continues to mount at a frightening pace. Government contractors can identify critical opportunities by learning about the market and its key trends. GovPurchase provides total market intelligence and can help identify key opportunities.
Ransomware is a major threat to governments
Ransomware attacks have the potential to cripple government institutions, from police departments to utilities. Not only that, businesses can also be targeted which is why executive cyber protection is a must to keep sensitive and vital information safe. By blocking critical information like crime reports and vital records, ransomware can prevent government agencies from conducting their duties. Furthermore, the attacks can force local governments to pay ransoms in order to get their data back. These attacks have a high cost to local governments, including operational downtime and lost opportunities.
In recent months, ransomware attacks have risen in popularity. For example, in March 2019, Jackson County, Georgia, was hit by ransomware, resulting in the shutdown of its entire email system. While most government offices were able to carry out their normal daily functions, some departments had to use pen and paper instead of computers. The hackers demanded $400,000 in ransom for decryption keys.
Understanding ransomware threats helps governments make smarter cybersecurity decisions. Understanding the evolving threat is crucial for developing appropriate defenses against the attacks. Over the past few years, ransomware has become exponentially more sophisticated. With new phishing attacks, double extortion, and Ransomware-as-a-Service, ransom demands have multiplied. Mapping ransomware attacks can help government organizations see the true nature of these threats.
To combat the threat, the US Department of Justice has launched a joint Task Force to help local and state government agencies combat ransomware. The task force works with international partners to identify and disrupt ransomware networks. It also improves partner capacity to detect ransomware activity within their borders. In addition, the FBI is working with other federal and state government agencies to coordinate law enforcement and other efforts to combat ransomware.
Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files or entire systems. After encrypting them, the malware demands a ransom to unlock the files and restore access. These ransomware attacks can halt an organization’s operations and result in significant loss of critical information.
Because of this, governments should consider ransomware in their incident response plan. This type of malware has shown considerable success in extorting governments. In addition, it can lead to the theft of government funds.
AI and machine learning systems detect cyber intruders
Artificial intelligence and machine learning systems can detect cyber intrusions by analyzing network traffic patterns and program behavior. They look for anomalies, such as unexpected external connections and privilege escalation. Traditional IDS and IPS rely on signature-based detection and cannot keep up with the changing nature of attacks.
AI and ML are becoming increasingly popular in security applications, from network traffic analysis to intrusion detection systems. They are also being used in secure access service edge technologies and user and entity behavior analytics. The impact of AI/ML in security is enormous, and some companies and governments are already using them. While privacy concerns about these systems are legitimate, governments must ensure that their regulations do not hinder businesses from using these technologies. This is important because cybercriminals do not follow regulations.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have proven to be extremely useful in detecting cyber attacks. These systems can identify zero-day vulnerabilities, new types of attacks, and risky behavior. They can also detect malware, spam, and phishing. AI also supports behavior-based real-time access decisions.
While AI and ML are useful in improving cybersecurity defenses, there are also concerns that these technologies can also be used maliciously. In the future, malicious actors could use AI to make minor changes to a system’s environment and alter its overall behavior. As a result, cybersecurity professionals should ensure that their AI and ML systems are not used for malicious purposes.
Cloud services stretch limited resources
When choosing a cloud service provider, the government should consider how much control it wants. This can be difficult because of the limited resources available. But there are a few steps that can be taken to improve security. For example, the government should always check that the vendor adheres to appropriate security controls. Moreover, the vendor should also be transparent and willing to share any security breaches it may discover.
One of the most significant security concerns in the cloud is data security. Cloud service providers have highly trained cybersecurity specialists that can manage the security of cloud data. The government’s limited resources for cybersecurity solutions cannot match such resources. This does not mean that the government should ignore the responsibility of keeping the data of its constituents safe.
A growing number of federal agencies are moving their IT infrastructure into the cloud. While many prefer to maintain their IT infrastructure in-house, more are turning to cloud services to increase efficiency and stretch limited resources. While cloud computing offers significant benefits to the government, federal agencies must be sure to protect the growing cloud infrastructure. As a result, they need to develop and deploy security solutions that offer government-scale protection.
As a result of the shift toward cloud-based computing, traditional security practices have changed. Although cloud providers take steps to protect their data, the organizations should also take their own security considerations. As the digital landscape evolves, security threats have become more sophisticated and are specifically targeting cloud-based services. The lack of visibility and control over data movement makes cloud-based organizations a prime target for malicious actors. This creates significant compliance and governance risks.
CISA authority to subpoena entities that fail to report attacks
The CISA authority to subpoena an entity that fails to report an attack is not limited to federal agencies. In addition to the general reporting requirements, covered entities also have to submit supplemental reports addressing attacks that are related to ransom payments. These reports must be updated as new information is developed, and covered entities must preserve relevant data for at least two years.
Noncompliance can lead to criminal prosecution or a civil action brought by the Department of Justice. Under the law, an entity that fails to report an attack may be held in contempt of court, and the CISA Director has the authority to issue a subpoena to force it to provide information.
In addition to issuing subpoenas, the CISA director has the authority to engage with covered entities that fail to report an attack. A covered entity that fails to comply with a CISA subpoena may be subject to civil action, revocation of federal contracts, or criminal prosecution.
Under the CISA act, covered entities must report covered cyber incidents to CISA within 72 hours of their occurrence. To qualify as a covered cyber incident, an entity must meet specific criteria, which CISA will define in a formal rulemaking. Such criteria include significant loss of confidentiality of data, disruption of business due to denial of service attacks, and ransomware attacks.
The CISA’s authority to subpoena entities that do not report attacks aims to protect the interests of the private sector. While the CISA has limited enforcement powers, it has also worked to position itself as a partner for critical infrastructure companies and privacy industry stakeholders. Further, CISA has sought to create a “partnership” role with the privacy sector. By subpoenaing entities that fail to report attacks, the CISA can compel them to submit additional information to protect their data.
The new cybersecurity legislation is meant to protect the United States from foreign cyberattacks. The new legislation requires covered entities to report attacks within 72 hours, or they may be referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution. It also requires CISA to launch a program to inform organizations of vulnerabilities related to ransomware and to create a joint ransomware task force to prevent attacks.