The Federal Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP), announced at the end of October, is an ambitious initiative aimed at keeping cybersecurity a high national priority. But will it work? And will it succeed in helping us to finally get ahead of attackers?
With several high profile cyber-attacks and breaches in the past year, the CSIP responds by focusing on multiple efforts with the goal of reducing full scale cyber penetrations. The plan highlights the necessities to create critical processes in order to establish best practices and recruiting and retaining a top cyber workforce. It will also forge a partnership between government and industry to leverage the best of existing, new, and emerging technology.
The CSIP is the sequel to the White House’s summer “Sprint,” a 30 day assessment of federal assets and networks. Agencies were to provide additional information protection, improve resiliency, and report on their progress. Organizations were also charged with patching vulnerabilities, reviewing access to networks, and implementing stronger authentications.
In 2014, the federal government incurred 67,000 information security incidents, an increase of over 1,100% since 2006, according to US-CERT. Additionally, recent breaches exposed millions of personnel records and security-clearance files, and advanced persistent threats (APTs) have reached an unprecedented level of savvy and persistence. Even the Government Accountability Office has acknowledged the government is often ill-equipped to prevent and defend against threats.
So why should the Sprint successes and this new federal Implementation Plan offer hope for an actionable and sustainable cybersecurity strategy?