Government organizations have a lot of data to keep safe. When it comes to maintaining data security and making sure confidential information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, government organizations need to do everything in their power to strengthen cybersecurity practices.
To this end, the federal government has increased spending on cybersecurity measures over the past few years. In fact, FedScoop contributor Greg Otto reported that federal spending on cybersecurity has increased fivefold from 2011 to 2014. In 2014, feds spent $31 billion – a marked increase from $6 billion in 2011. This is a clear indication that government organizations are beginning to realize the severity of the cyberthreat situation.
OPM hack indicates need for layered security
Recent data breaches have demonstrated an even greater need for adequate data security than ever before. The now-famous attack on the Office of Personnel Management exposed the records of some 21.5 million federal employees, according to Ars Technica, making it one of the largest attacks of all time on a government organization.
Fingerprint data was also stolen along with the personal files. Approximately 5.6 million fingerprints, in fact.
“Federal experts believe that, as of now, the ability to misuse fingerprint data is limited,” said Sam Schumach, the press secretary for the OPM. “However, this probability could change over time as technology evolves.”
Schumach went on to say that if the technology evolves to misuse this fingerprint data, only then would the OPM release information to the potentially affected parties. What does this mean? Beyond the fact that now there are 5.6 million fingerprints in the hands of malicious actors, it also indicates that despite the increase in spending on cybersecurity, the federal government still has a long way to go in terms of finding new ways to protect their data – especially if these files may one day be used against them.
Government’s dedicated response to cybersecurity issues
The General Services Administration attempted to make it easier for government organizations to invest in security systems aimed at keeping their data safe, according to FedTech contributor Julian Kimble.
“The federal government faces daily cyber attacks,” the GSA noted on its website. “Even in a resource-constrained environment, departments and agencies need to implement cost-effective and efficient cybersecurity controls for federal information systems.”
However, how can federal agencies keep their data safe and out of the hands of hackers who could use it for malicious purposes? Something needs to change. Politico reported that in this fiscal year alone, the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center has shared over 6,000 bulletins, alerts and warnings concerning cyberthreats within the government.
What else can governments do to keep systems clean?
Keeping computer systems clean from malware is one of the most important parts of cybersecurity. Investing in a reboot to restore solution like Faronics Deep Freeze could provide that crucial step between vulnerable and protected. Deep Freeze allows organizations to take a snapshot of any computer and restore settings to that frozen state if anything within the system seems wrong.
Deep Freeze can provide layered security to federal computing architectures by removing any unwanted changes or malware that may be on the system. With this capability, agencies can ensure that critical response systems, for instance, suffer zero disruptions. With the continued emergence of new cyberthreats on a near-constant basis, it’s crucial for federal, state and local organizations to invest in a cybersecurity solution that works.
Contact Faronics today for more information about how our Deep Freeze product can help government agencies keep their computer systems safe from malware and hackers.21