In June 2015, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that hackers had targeted its massive database of past and present government workers, accessing personal records including fingerprint files and forms used to grant and issue all levels of security clearances. Described by federal officials as one of the largest data breaches ever of a government system, nearly 22 million records were compromised. Information lost included names and aliases; Social Security numbers; birth dates; places of birth; home addresses; and much more. This highlights why government sector cybersecurity must be taken seriously.
Reports later claimed that hackers operating either for or on behalf of, the Chinese government were responsible for the massive theft.
Threatcare, a leader in proactive cyber defense, offers the Threatcare Suite; the only cloud-based breach and attack simulation technology that is used by state, local and federal governments to validate their cybersecurity. Threatcare believes that every organization has the right to know if they are protected.
Military systems, infrastructure, financial data and other government-related information has all been compromised in the Digital Age. Other nation-states including Russia, North Korea, and Iran have all targeted U.S. government systems for cyber attacks.
Of course, the federal government hasn’t been the only target. State and local governments have also been attacked and hacked. In June 2017, Department of Homeland Security officials told a congressional panel that Russian hackers attempted to access local voting systems, perhaps in an attempt to disrupt the 2016 presidential election. And while officials said that there is no evidence that any systems were actually penetrated and votes changed, the fact that a foreign government would seek to undermine our election processes is a grave threat to national security.
For governments, data systems can be a dual-edged sword. While on the one hand data and information systems can dramatically improve efficiency and smooth operations, it is becoming increasingly difficult — and expensive — to protect data.
It’s hard to imagine a citizen who isn’t in some local, state or federal information system, which in and of itself tells you just how daunting a task government cybersecurity really is.
It’s imperative for governments large and small to invest in cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions. Threatcare’s threat simulation validates protection.