Cybersecurity is an issue that stretches across the boundaries of the public and private sectors. Institutions small and large are constantly facing a persistent threat on the cybersecurity front.
If you tuned into the news over the last holiday season, you likely saw more than a few stories on the topic we mention on the very front page of this site – the OPM data breach. Not only was it the most expansive data breach in U.S. government history, it was nearly a year before it was ever detected. To give a little more idea on the breadth of cyber attacks in on entities like this, consider a few of these headlines from the past few years.
- In 2012 National Nuclear Security Administration officials noted that the computer systems of the agency are “under constant attack” and face millions of hacking attempts daily.
- In 2013 and HP exec put a number to the cyberattacks faced by the U.S. Navy on a daily basis – 110,000.
- In June of 2015 the OPM story broke. Over 21.5 million Americans had personal data stolen during this breach. This included military records, veterans’ status information, addresses, dates of birth, job and pay history, health insurance and life insurance information, pension information, and data on age, gender, and race. Even 5.6 million sets of fingerprints were compromised.
- While they are currently updating the information, in 2015 Trend Micro identified massive amounts of data that had been stolen against U.S. public and private sector targets, specifically targeting U.S. defense contractors, by the Chinese hackers.
- March 16, 2016 – Assistant Atty. General for National Security, Tom Carlin noting that while said that while there is no evidence to suggest they currently possess it, ISIS is “actively attempting” to possess destructive cyberattack capabilities.
- March 24, 2016 – The DoJ announces the indictment of seven alleged Iranian hackers for conspiring to conduct a series of cyberattacks against civilian targets in the U.S. financial sector.
On the flipside of this, just a few days ago, the U.S. Cyber Command began an offensive campaign against ISIS.
These issues and more just highlight just a few of challenges facing the public sector, and none of these even touch on the massive data breaches suffered by private businesses over the last half decade. More importantly, events like these reinforce the importance of building a solid relationship between the innovators in the public and private sectors.
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