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Is New WaPo Report That Claims America is Just as Vulnerable to Cyberattacks as 5 Years Ago Accurate?

Is New WaPo Report That Claims America is Just as Vulnerable to Cyberattacks as 5 Years Ago Accurate?

In America, billions have been spent over the past half decade in an effort to secure the country against cyberattacks from foreign sources.

Last year, the big news in cybersecurity revolved around major supply chain incidents. Such as the ones that targeted American entities Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods. These attacks clarified the potential threats facing the US and the rest of the world. So, despite the well-defined dangers facing western nations, American cybersecurity, along with Canada and most of the western world, are thought to be severely lacking in manpower.

In fact, a new report from the Washington Post claims that America is either just as vulnerable to hacking attacks or even more vulnerable today than five years ago. These concerning reports warning of a shortage of capable cybersecurity and IT professionals in America should be particularly concerning, considering the multitude of changes that have occurred at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the last year. 

CISA has gone out of its way to promote increased cooperation between the public and private sector since last summer. And it can be reasoned that those efforts may actually have potentially helped to keep America safe from cyber threats this year as opposed to 2021.

Among the many changes at the agency was the installation of Jen Easterly as Director.

That isn’t to say that there haven’t been large scale attacks that the general public may not be aware of, but there certainly hasn’t been supply chain disruptions at the level of the Colonial Pipeline or JBS Foods hacks. 

So, who is right? Are the so-called experts polled by the Washington Post on point? That is actually difficult to discern. The American situation is different from most of the rest of the world, as attacks like the one earlier this week by the Killnet hacking group cut off as much as 70% of Lithuanian internet infrastructure from the rest of the web in retaliation for the blockade of trade between Kaliningrad and Russia.

A major attack yes, but Lithuania is not the United States in terms of funding for cybersecurity. Besides these kinds “big-game” attacks and the other more devastating attacks generally carried out by state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat Groups (APTs), the majority of cyberattacks globally still target individuals, as ransomware families like the STOP/DJVU gang produce hundreds of variants and have raked in millions of dollars in ransoms from individual victims.

Regardless of whether or not we are actually safer or in greater danger than 5 years ago. More recent efforts to secure both Canada and the US have now been based around installing mandatory reporting requirements for private sector businesses that become hacked. 

In Canada, a newly proposed bill, if passed, will force organizations in certain federally regulated industries to report any cyber events to the Canadian government’s Cyber Center.

The bill also gives the government authority to audit private sector organizations. To ensure that they are complying with new laws. If an audited organization or individual fails an audit. As a result, they face administrative penalties of up to $1 million for individuals and $15 million for organizations. 

The potential new laws in Canada follows last month’s news of a Huawei ban on Canadian 5G networks. And again, part of the reason for bills like this is the fact that private sector organizations like cybersecurity certification group (ICS)2 continue to claim that the global cyber workforce needs to grow by 65 % in 2022 to provide effective cybersecurity. 

Ultimately, the US and Canada must prioritize cyber threats. Especially as cyber powers like Russia and China, which have limited options to attack western nations conventionally. Lastly, look to win the grossly underreported ongoing cyber world war.  

Julio is a business and political strategist. The Editorial Director for Reactionary Times. And a political commentator and columnist. Julio’s writing focuses on cybersecurity and politics. Websites including Newsmax. Townhall. American Thinker. BizPacReview. All have published Julio’s work.

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Is New WaPo Report That Claims America is Just as Vulnerable to Cyberattacks as 5 Years Ago Accurate?