The State of Cybersecurity Awareness

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This Nextgov and Route Fifty ebook examines cyber resources at all levels of government.

If headlines are any indication, there’s never been more interest in cybersecurity.

It’s not just the frequent, massive data breaches that have the public interested. Presidential candidates hammered each other over cybersecurity stances during debates, and the victor, President Donald Trump, promised big changes after his election.

Experts, however, question what the differences are between the Trump cyber doctrine and Obama’s. The administration's major moves—a cybersecurity executive order directing federal agencies follow cybersecurity best practices and another elevating U.S. Cyber Command to full unified combatant command—have roots in the Obama era.

The president is also forming policies under the question of whether there was or wasn't Russian election meddling during the election. Hysteria or not, state and local election officials are quietly working on how to secure the entire voting process before 2018.

Some groups are finding strength in numbers and sharing what they know. The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, better known as MS-ISAC, aims to improve the overall cybersecurity postures of state, local, tribal and territorial governments. Then there are smaller groups called information sharing and analysis organizations that share threat information and best practices tailored for specific states, business sectors and even mariachi bands.

But what happens to companies that experience a breach or cyberattack? A Homeland Security Department working group has been collecting data—like how much an incident costs in damages— to help accelerate the cyber insurance market and organizations can have a safety net. 

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