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Industries Still Lagging Behind in Cyber Security

With the increased threat of cyber crimes, industries across the country are becoming more aware of the need to increase cyber security efficiency. While some are making large steps to become more secure, there are still large industries lagging behind. By gaining an understanding of the ever increasing threat, there is hope for improvement in the years to come.

United States Government

After a major security breach last year in the Office of Personnel Management, the United States Government is doing its best to increase cyber security. Despite improvements, a new report from risk assessors SecurityScorecard shows the government still has a long way to go.

Government offices have struggled for a long time trying to keep up with cyber hackers. To be fair, government agencies are a bulls-eye for cyber criminals, and with hundreds of branches across the U.S., both on the state and federal level, it’s a tough task to ensure total security. That being said, cybersecurity is a matter of national security, and we need to be doing much better.

From April 2015 to April 2016, SecurityScorecard found 35 major data breaches across government agencies and Federal agencies scored worst on malware defense, software patching flaws and network security.

President Obama has vowed to improve governmental cyber security and has asked congress to dedicate $19 billion to the cause for its fiscal 2017 budget proposal.

Education

Another area that consistently ranks among the most unprepared for cyber threats is the education sector. Due to the important and valuable intellectual property held by educational institutions, especially those in higher education, they are becoming prime targets for cyber attacks. The technological and scientific research that happens in university settings can be used for monetary gain among those looking to infiltrate computer systems. For this reason and others, it is crucial for universities to be proactive with their cyber security.

For two straight years there has been a drop in the security score for educational institutions that coincide with the school year. This is likely due to the rise in the number of people connecting to networks in the university sector. Universities taking proactive measures to increase funding for cybersecurity and hiring cybersecurity managers score far better than the industry average for security grading.

Automakers

With new vehicles increasingly equipped with online features as well as third party applications, they are facing a growing threat of cyber attacks. Also, one can easily imagine the problems faced by the growing trend of self-driving vehicles if hackers are able to breach the security of the computer systems that run these machines.

It is hard to comprehend the scope of a large-scale cyberattack on an automaker. Whether it is shutting down production of large factories or infiltrating systems in vehicles that could affect driving safety, the possibilities are unfortunately almost endless.

“If you were able to do something that could affect a large scale of an industry — like 100,000 cars — you could see that being in the arsenal of a nation-state’s tool kit as a new form of warfare,” says John Carlin, U.S. assistant attorney general for national security.

References:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cybersecurity-rankings-idUSKCN0XB27K

https://www.bitsighttech.com/hubfs/Insights/Q315_BitSight_Insights_Energy_Utilities.pdf?t=1442931636227&utm_campaign=resource+center&utm_source=hs_automation&utm_medium=email&utm_content=22205572&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-83uH0gdym1fXT2Z6ioyv1QeKOatlAJqHyyiWQ7ANVC2mbi

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2016/04/14/405443.htm