Cybersecurity capabilities lag at the state level, a major threat
U.S. state and local officials are concerned about about whether they can respond to cyberattacks. They’re still vulnerable to Cyber disasters, since 2006, there has been a 650 percent increase in the number of reported cyberattacks in the United States, rising to 41,776 in 2010 from 5,503 in 2006.
The Senate is expected to debate two cybersecurity bills in coming weeks. One bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and supported by Democrats and the White House, requires critical infrastructure to meet baseline security standards. Another bill, sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and supported by Republicans and the business lobby, does not focus on regulations, but instead on increased information sharing between the government and private sector.
According to the The National Preparedness Report (NPR) released by Federal Emergency Management, commissioned by President Barack Obama’s administration, nation had made “significant progress” in prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery in its collective preparedness from external, as well as natural and technological hazards.
“The number of cyber attacks—including attempts to gain unauthorized access to information or attempts to compromise the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of information systems—has increased significantly in recent years, triggering an expansion of cybersecurity initiatives in the government and the private sector. The Nation is highly reliant upon interdependent cyber systems, yet stakeholders have an incomplete understanding of cyber risk and inconsistent public and private participation in cybersecurity partnerships. Trends also point to cyber criminals’ continued focus on stealing customer records, including personally identifiable information, payment card data, email addresses, and other customer data. States indicated through the SPR that Cybersecurity was the core capability with the lowest average self-assessed capability level. The Goal identified Cybersecurity as a discrete preparedness core capability for the first time, unifying the wide range of Cybersecurity efforts under a common definition.”
Cyber attacks have increased significantly in number and sophistication in recent years, resulting in the Federal Government and private sector partners expanding their cybersecurity efforts.
The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) reported an over 650-percent increase in the number of cyber incidents reported by federal agencies over a five-year period, from 5,503 in FY 2006, to 41,776 in FY 2010. Almost two-thirds of U.S. firms report that they have been the victim of cybersecurity incidents or information breaches.
To counter these and related threats, federal and private sector partners have accelerated initiatives to enhance data collection, detect events, raise awareness, and respond to cyber incidents.
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