Trump’s Cyber Security Promise in Troubled Waters?

Earlier this year, in a regressive move, Donald Trump eliminated the post of the National Cyber Security Coordinator during the restructuring of the National Security Council. The executive decision was met with great resentment, and the embarrassment was immediately covered up by the congressmen, who introduced a bill to reinstate the position.



The urgency with which the post was put up again and additional powers were added to the chair marks the importance of cybersecurity in the current scenario.

Recently, a leading law professional of Capitol Hill highlighted the poor cybersecurity measures followed by the US Government and all hell’s broken loose since. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the US Governmental agencies have not followed the recommendations to beef up data security. 71 out of 96 investigated federal agencies were running software that are in the high-risk category. Surprisingly, not just the regular agencies but even the National Security Agency (NSA) the watchdog agency responsible for defending the communication systems in the United States, is itself at the risk of cyber-attacks!

The same information was released in the State of the Software Security report of the previous year. A software testing service named CA Veracode collected the data and released the information for the public. Interestingly, compared to businesses and private organizations, government agencies are more lax about their cybersecurity. Furthermore, considering the sensitive data that these agencies store in parallel with their greater vulnerability to cyber-attacks makes it a severe problem.

The US Government pledged to take cybersecurity seriously and to take proactive steps to make cybersecurity a priority. However, the promise made over a year ago seems to be just empty words considering that no concrete step has been taken to install at least basic protection against any form of digital threat. Earlier this week, the civil societies have issued letters to the Department of Homeland Security and NSA to stop the usage of Adobe Flash citing security reasons. According to sources, the multimedia software sheaths security loopholes and may even stop receiving support and security updates by 2020. However, no concrete guidelines have been issued as to how such malicious programs will be phased out. Moreover, the agencies are not following the recommendations and security plans that have been existing previously.

Government Agencies, who are the responsible parties in the event of a cyber-compromise, have yet to follow the GAO recommendations for shielding the critical digital infrastructure. Furthermore, no clear rules have been established as to how these agencies will be held accountable.

All in all, the pressure is mounting on the Trump administration to keep and follow up with their cybersecurity promises. Hopefully, some tangible measures will be taken to effect in the near future.

 Marshall Lyne is a self-professed security expert; he has been making the people aware of the security threats. His passion is to write about Cyber security, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. He writes for Norton security products at www.norton.com/setup .

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