A Thanksgiving State-of-Mind
As families across America prepare to gather around the dinner table and nurse some turkey and pumpkin pie-induced food comas in the coming days, our country has much to appreciate. This time of year provides a welcome opportunity to remember the unique freedoms we Americans enjoy, as well as acknowledge the people and institutions that work diligently to keep those freedoms intact. And while a variety of threats to these freedoms have reared their ugly heads in the nearly two and a half centuries since our nation was born, America has persevered and thrived – only growing in confidence that our country has the resilience it takes to overcome challenges of any nature or scale.
In recent years though, we have begun to experience the effects of a relatively new, urgent, and unrelenting type of challenge: persistent cyberattack. The growing rate of attack against US government institutions of all levels threatens to compromise the sensitive data and operations that uphold that national resilience and keep us safe and secure.
Cybersecurity is National Security
As the cyber domain grows, related vulnerabilities proliferate, and the economic costs of cyberattack mount, we all must get onboard with an uncomfortable yet unquestionable new reality: national security is no longer possible without cybersecurity. And while this ethos need certainly apply to every government institution and employee that has “defense” and “security” in their title, the onus for action goes far beyond these organizations and individuals alone.
Cybersecurity must be a priority for us all.
Moving Beyond Talk
At a recent cybersecurity conference here in Arizona, a keynote speaker ruminated on this topic, acknowledging “the security of our nation depends on the cybersecurity of many different entities – not just the government.” Some are quick to judge the government’s seemingly slow efforts to shore up their networks and devices, yet many private companies and non-governmental organizations alike are failing to quickly respond to today’s diverse cyber threat landscape as well.
Luckily, some government agencies are forcing the issue. Take the Department of Defense (DoD), for example. In addition to releasing a comprehensive Digital Modernization Strategy this year, which touches on everything from mobile endpoint security to ICAM, DoD is also looking beyond itself to craft a set of cybersecurity standards for its supply chain. This five-tiered system, called the Cybersecurity Maturation Model Certification or CMMC, aims to hold every defense contractor and subcontractor accountable for their cyber hygiene – or risk missing out on lucrative defense contracts.
It shouldn’t take a mandate to spur action on this critical issue, but any unified effort to promote cybersecurity – and, as a result, national security – both within and beyond the walls of government is refreshing. And while it is encouraging that public sector institutions across the country (from federal and state agencies to school districts) are starting to make cybersecurity a priority effort instead of just a buzzword, we cannot be complacent. Much work remains to be done.
Cyberfit for the Future
When ensuring our physical security and that of our organizations, we don’t just rely on the police. We take initiative to keep our neighborhoods protected. We lock doors and windows, install alarms, put together neighborhood watches, and report strange behavior. It is high time a similar expectation of proactive prevention carry over to the cyber domain as well. Together, we can create a safer cyber neighborhood for our country.
For our part here at Acronis SCS, we know how important robust cybersecurity practices are – not just for our bottom line, but for maintaining the trust and confidence of the customers we serve… Not just for our business, but for our nation. This security-minded approach is inherent in everything we do, from implementing a comprehensive zero trust architecture internally to ensuring our customers have effective, reliable, and affordable cyber protection solutions at their fingertips.
Staying cyberfit is not a one-time deal; it is a constant and conscious choice. And it is one we must all make if our nation is to persevere and thrive for the next two and a half centuries to come.