As Cybersecurity Concerns Grow, Shifts in Perspectives and Debates Are Sparked

It seems as though new cybersecurity concerns are discovered every minute. Across industries and sectors, the list of those immune to the impact of cyber implications is smaller and smaller. But, with heightened concerns also come both debated and agreed upon methods of handling the situation. We take a look at the latest coverage discussing the issues and proposed resolutions.

Cybersecurity 202

In our first story of the week, The Washington Post’s ‘Cybersecurity 202’ reported that the Government Accountability Office expressed worries about the vulnerability of the energy grid that is responsible for providing consumers with electricity. In a report, they depicted the scale of problems that a breach on this system could cause. The report follows the recent attempted compromise of a water treatment plant in Florida and the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was granted a larger role in addressing industrial system threats.

SolarWinds and Microsoft Attacks Still Reverberating

However, infrastructure concerns are not the only items on the list. According to the New York Times, as the U.S. intelligence agencies still grapple with the effects of not detecting the SolarWinds and Microsoft attacks soon enough, Congress and the administration are having to reevaluate the approach to cybersecurity. Not only are there limitations to the depth of surveillance that agencies are allowed to conduct, but there are also continued debates over such practices. In the meantime, it has been private cybersecurity firms that have detected the attacks. With the threat of such cybercrimes growing in presence, Biden administration officials are acknowledging the need to develop stronger relationships with private sector organizations such as tech and cybersecurity firms. Some envision a system in which such organizations can share detected threats more efficiently, especially as the slowness of the process to identify attackers continues to pose a problem. However, the way in which to build such a system still stirs some controversy.

New Debates and Perspectives Emerge

But as that approach is being sorted out, Intel and the Ponemon Institute found that IT decision-makers agree on a few things. As summarized in an article for Forbes, with cybersecurity’s great relevance, transparency, and a focus on being proactive are the top priorities in the industry now and moving forward. Of the 2,000 participants surveyed, 64% said that transparency about “updates and mitigations.” In addition to communicating about practices, 7 out of 10 of the decision-makers responded that they prefer to work with firms that actively monitor systems. According to the Forbes article, Suzy Greenberg, Vice President of Intel Product Assurance and Security for Intel, explained that these points are significant considering that businesses are estimated to spend $106 Billion on cybersecurity with the drastic increase in reported cybercrimes.

Key Takeaways:

“The Cybersecurity 202: Wyden calls for ‘time out’ in government cybersecurity contracting” – Aaron Schaffer, Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/03/19/cybersecurity-202-wyden-calls-time-out-government-cybersecurity-contracting/

  • The Government Accountability Office expressed worries about the vulnerability of the energy grid that is responsible for providing consumers with electricity.
  • In a report, they depicted the scale of problems that a breach on this system could cause.
  • The report comes after industrial system concerns have received wider attention.

“White House Weighs New Cybersecurity Approach After Failure to Detect Hacks” – David E. Sanger, Julian E. Barnes & Nicole Perlroth, New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/14/us/politics/us-hacks-china-russia.html

  • U.S. intelligence agencies still grapple with the effects of not detecting the SolarWinds and Microsoft attacks soon enough.
  • Biden administration officials are acknowledging the need to develop stronger relationships with private sector organizations such as tech and cybersecurity firms to address such issues and future threats.
  • However, the debate about how to approach surveillance on behalf of government agencies still poses the question of how a system between agencies and private organizations can set up a collaboration.

“Intel Report Spotlights Importance Of Transparency In Cybersecurity” – Tony Bradley, Forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tonybradley/2021/03/17/intel-report-spotlights-importance-of-transparency-in-cybersecurity/?sh=4654f8507250

  • According to the report “The Role of Transparency and Security Assurance in Driving Technology Decision-Making” from Intel and the Ponemon Institute, IT decision makers agree that transparency and proactive approaches to cybersecurity are important.
  • Of the 2,000 participants surveyed, 64% said that transparency about “updates and mitigations.”
  • Additionally, 7 out of 10 of the decision makers responded that they prefer to work with firms that actively monitor systems.

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