recommended reading

VA Thwarts Over a Billion Cyber Threats -- Just in March


The Department of Veterans Affairs experienced a significant surge in cyber threats in March, Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren said during a Thursday call with reporters.

The department blocked 1.19 billion malware instances and 358 million intrusion attempts into VA systems in March alone, Warren said. This number is up since February, when VA reported blocking 930 million malware instances and 4.3 million intrusion attempts.

If the volume of threats continues to ramp up, Warren said, ”any agency will run into the point where we may get overwhelmed.” He added later, “Nothing I do will reduce what’s coming at me one bit.”

Instead, he said, VA will need to scale its cybersecurity to prevent what could be an exponential increase in threats. He said the department has been beefing up its continuous monitoring technology, reinforcing external network connections, and security training.

When asked about the motivations behind the threats, Warren said his team doesn’t segment threats by cause, focusing instead on withstanding the volume of threats when they come in.

“It is across the board,” he said. “There doesn’t appear to be any disincentive for an individual or an organization . . . to come after the VA as well as other organizations for data.”

Though he didn’t propose a solution to the problem, Warren said during the call that an expanded cybersecurity budget, as well as a more generous operational budget, might help VA manage an influx of cyber threats.

Warren noted that he has shared information about the volume of threats with the Office of Management and Budget, and says he hopes other agencies will be up front about the threats they face.

“We need to figure out, ‘how do we take this on together as a society,'” Warren said.

(Image via fotogestoeber/

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion

Florida’s Concealed Carry Permit Holders Names Exposed

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.