Throughout the world, cybersecurity has become an incredibly high priority. From individuals wanting to keep their information private to businesses safeguarding financial data, cybersecurity has become essential in our increasingly digital society.
Beyond individuals and commercial enterprises, governments are also vulnerable to various cyberattacks. Cybercriminals have attempted to breach American cybersecurity defenses to harm American citizens, organizations, and government agencies in the last two decades.
Given the importance of keeping government information safe from criminals, government agents effectively safeguard government systems and networks.
Understanding how the American government protects its digital assets and computer networks can give one a better perspective on the importance of cybersecurity in today’s world.
Here is how government agents combat cyber threats.
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Globally Monitoring and Tracking Cybercriminals
Regarding cybersecurity threats, both local and domestic threats need to be safeguarded against. For this reason, the American government is incredibly proactive about tracking and monitoring cybercrime domestically and worldwide.
Specifically, United States Secret Service agents engage in robust measures to monitor cybercriminals globally as soon as they detect an instance of cybercrime.
The monitoring that Secret Service agents engage in has led to the arrest of countless cybercriminals worldwide, helping both the United States and other international countries achieve higher levels of safety.
Beyond this internal surveillance of cybercrime across the globe, the Secret Service also runs an institute dedicated to training law enforcement personnel and other government employees in cybersecurity best practices.
In this way, the U.S. government further bolsters security across different American government agencies and the country.
Cybersecurity Defenses, Anti-Malware Programs, and Firewalls
Though government networks and databases house far more critical information than most other organizations, they also engage in many of the same cybersecurity measures — albeit on a more significant scale.
Without these defenses, all U.S. government agencies would be at risk of being vulnerable to attacks made by cybercriminals.
Regarding cybersecurity defenses, the U.S. government has some of the most robust protection money can buy.
This includes safeguards such as anti-malware programs, which detect programs that search for vulnerabilities in defenses. Without robust anti-malware programs, government networks would be at a greater risk of being breached and exploited.
Firewalls help government agencies strengthen their defenses in several essential ways, such as making it far more complicated and complex for nefarious actors to gain access.
Today, firewall technology is evolving in substantial ways, and the American government is taking advantage of developments in the technology to safeguard their networks further.
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Taking Advantage of Artificial Intelligence Technology
While different government agencies already have robust defenses in place to notify officials of suspicious activity, sometimes instances of cybercrime can slip through the cracks.
Fortunately, artificial intelligence technology is helping the American government identify malicious activity with greater effectiveness, enabling various agencies to respond more efficiently to suspicious activities and attacks.
Another way the government utilizes artificial intelligence to safeguard its networks is by conducting thorough threat detection.
This is done much more efficiently with the help of AI programs and can also potentially reduce cybersecurity costs by requiring less hands-on attention from cybersecurity professionals.
Given the rapid advancement of AI technology, it’s likely that new ways of utilizing AI technology for cybersecurity will soon arise. As such, the U.S. government will likely implement new AI-driven cybersecurity measures in the coming years.
However, while artificial intelligence is being used to bolster cybersecurity in government agencies, it’s also starting to be utilized by bad actors with nefarious intentions.
One way in which cybercriminals are using AI is for phishing attacks. Rather than having to craft messages meticulously, AI applications now make it possible for these criminals to send countless believable phishing messages with the click of a button.
As a result of this growing threat, government agencies are doing their best to utilize AI to safeguard their systems and networks from cybercriminals and prepare for other AI-driven cyberattacks.
Robust Employee Training
While specialized U.S. government agents are cybersecurity experts, not every employee of the U.S. government has a background in the field.
In light of this, the government puts significant effort into training employees in various agencies in cybersecurity best practices and protocols.
This form of education is essential, given the high stakes of government networks and the information they contain.
As a result, having employees with network access who are unaware of cybersecurity practices could be catastrophic.
In this way, U.S. government agencies utilize educational initiatives to bolster American cybersecurity and keep the country safe from harm.
Homeland Security and the Cyber Safety Review Board
One of the biggest reasons the U.S. government takes extra precautions to guard its networks is to protect American citizens from homeland security threats.
This being the case, it comes as no surprise the Department of Homeland Security takes robust measures to ensure that the government and American citizens are safe from cyber threats.
The Cyber Safety Review Board is one incredible initiative that the Department of Homeland Security engages in to help keep the government safe.
Essentially, this board brings together cybersecurity professionals from both private and public sectors to help the government stay aware of the latest developments in cybersecurity and cybercrime.
The board investigates past cybersecurity attacks to develop new defenses and response plans for similar attacks.
As one can imagine, this helps various government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, stay prepared for constantly evolving cybersecurity threats.
Increasing Agility in Responding to Cyberthreats
Unfortunately, cyberattacks can cause an immense amount of damage in a short amount of time. In addition, once a vulnerability in the government’s defenses is detected, it’s more than likely that a slew of nefarious actors will attempt to exploit it expeditiously.
In response to this disheartening fact, various government agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, have an ongoing focus on increasing agility.
This prioritization of agility aims to make the U.S. government more prepared to respond to cybersecurity threats and mitigate the amount of damage they cause.
These efforts include task forces researching specific cybersecurity threats, such as malware. Beyond this, various U.S. government agencies are also trying to respond quickly to cryptocurrency and how bad actors use it for illicit purposes such as fraud and money laundering.
Beyond increasing agility when responding to cybersecurity attacks, these agencies also attempt to be swifter in punishing perpetrators.
As such, the U.S. government is prioritizing rapid responses to these types of threats to stop these attempts more effectively.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is a government agency dedicated to helping the country be safe from cybersecurity threats.
Some of their primary efforts include researching and monitoring the newest developments in cyber threats and disseminating this information to other government agencies and the public.
In addition to helping the government, the CISA also provides information and resources to businesses and other private organizations to help them safeguard themselves from new cybersecurity threats.
The deep-dive analyses the CISA engages in help keep the nation up-to-date and prepared for developing cybersecurity threats.
As such, this government organization plays a crucial role in keeping the country safe from the dangers of cybercriminals.
Extra Security with the Internet of Things Technology
Internet of Things (IoT) technology is steadily utilized by various organizations across industries and fields, including government agencies.
In essence, this technology helps connect various components of operations with intelligent technology, often helping organizations increase efficiency and even productivity.
Given the benefits of IoT technology, several government agencies are utilizing it to improve processes substantially. Unfortunately, this technology can leave holes in defenses, making the government more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
In response, government organizations have taken a keen interest in making defenses in IoT technology more effective.
One fundamental way that government agencies are making defenses more robust is by meticulously monitoring and managing various IoT devices.
In this way, the government is bolstering cybersecurity defenses and taking measures to be cautious when incorporating new technology into their operations.
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Digital Application Security
Over the last decade, the US government has changed more and more previously analog processes into digital ones.
One of the most significant ways they have done this is by creating different apps, such as those used for healthcare purposes.
While these apps have made many processes more efficient and convenient for public and government agencies, they’ve also made the government more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
In response, the government has engaged in various efforts to help keep these apps secure and safe from cybercriminals.
One crucial effort government agencies are engaging in is called application security. This is a process of consistently and proactively pinpointing and fixing vulnerabilities in application security.
As a result of these application security efforts, the U.S. government is helping to ensure that bad actors aren’t able to infiltrate government networks despite efforts to expand the government’s digital presence.
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Safeguarding Social Networks
Though a large part of the public isn’t aware, social networks pose threats to national security in various ways.
From bad actors from foreign nations attempting to sow dissent to frauds attempting to con citizens through social engineering attacks, social networks can substantially threaten public security.
Unfortunately, even government employees are at risk of being victims of cyberattacks through social media.
In these cases, cybercriminals with nefarious intentions may be able to gain access to government networks and confidential information.
This being the case, the government emphasizes social networks and the importance of being safe with them.
Beyond helping their employees develop the skills and expertise to avoid cyberattacks, various government agencies also periodically provide the public with helpful tips, such as coding resources and digital safety suggestions.
In this way, the government is helping government employees, agencies, and public citizens stay safe from cybercrime.
Vulnerability Management and Assessment
When keeping any network safe and secure, it’s vital to conduct consistent vulnerability management and assessments. This involves periodically analyzing the weaknesses of current cybersecurity measures and defenses.
Since various U.S. government agency networks house private and susceptible information, such as citizens’ personal information and intelligence data, they actively engage in these measures.
As a result of these thorough assessments, the U.S. government can consistently bolster its cybersecurity defenses and discover weaknesses in its armor.
The SEC Cyber Unit
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has had a cyber unit for several years tasked with identifying and stopping cybercrime.
In particular, this unit focuses on instances of fraud and other cybercriminal activity that could harm markets, investors, and other organizations.
Recently, the cyber unit has focused more keenly on cryptocurrency-related cybercrime. As a result, this government agency is getting closer to stopping many cybercriminals from committing fraud and harming the American economy.
The U.S. Government Takes Painstaking Measures to Protect Its Networks
As the world evolves, cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics and attempts to breach the cybersecurity defenses of U.S. government agencies.
Fortunately, U.S. government agents are working tirelessly to bolster defenses, develop new cybersecurity measures, and capture bad actors conducting cybercrime.
From the Department of Homeland Security to the Securities and Exchange Commission, each branch of the government is doing its part to keep America, its citizens, and its government agencies safe from harm.
As we delve deeper into the future and new cyber threats enter the scene, U.S. government agents must continue engaging in their incredible efforts and doing everything possible to end cybercrime as we know it today.