Cybersecurity after OPM Breach
The data breach at the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in 2015 was a wakeup call for the U.S. Government. It was just what many government officials had predicted and feared—that one day, they would fall victim to a cyber-attack.
In the recent times, we have again witnessed some of the biggest breaches in the history of the United States. A report on the OPM attack confirms the theft of more than 18 million social security numbers and other personal details from OPM. The cause of the breach was attributed to a lack of oversight, and the fact that changes in security technology take years.
The White House immediately sprang into action, increasing the spending budget and implementing new security requirements. Actions taken include bolstering cyber-threat detectors, patching critical vulnerabilities, and implementing two-factor authentication.
Since the Trump administration took over, we’ve seen that not many things have changed since the attack. They have not filled the key cyber security position, there is a dearth of skilled cyber security experts, and an outdated system is still in place.
If the current administration wants to avoid another outright debacle like the OPM breach, they need to upgrade their infrastructure, collaborate with private industry, and get a highly skilled and trained security workforce for the White House team.
The administration should make it a top priority to make smart investments in security. The previous administration spent 75 percent of their allotted budget on maintaining the legacy system, some of which can no longer be updated. Instead of wasting time and money on outdated systems, the government needs to put in a new system.
The government needs to make sure they have the right tools to check and monitor every system in their network. They need to be able to identify and prioritize threats in order to mitigate vulnerabilities efficiently. While other governmental organizations like the Department of Defense (DoD) are embracing these systems, progress is slow. This is unacceptably dangerous because cyber-criminals lurk around every virtual corner, and would relish the chance to be able to attack the White House, caught unawares.