A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), presented to the President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, revealed that the number of “cyber incidents reported by federal agencies jumped more than 1,300 percent, from 5,503 to 77,183, over the 10 years through fiscal 2015,” according to a recent Washington Post article. The GAO first put the security of federal information on its “high-risk” list in 1997, but the problem has increased exponentially since then. “Over the last several years, we have made about 2,500 recommendations to agencies aimed at improving their implementation of information security controls,” explained Gregory Wilshusen, DAO’s director of information security issues. “These recommendations identify actions for agencies to take in protecting their information and systems.”
While the public sector lags far behind in cybersecurity, especially compared to the financial industry, in the last 18 months, President Obama and his administration have ramped up focus on cybersecurity through establishing the Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) as well as the President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. Industry experts have reiterated that regardless of who wins the presidential election, the next administration should focus on continuing the efforts, not re-litigate them.