There has been a lot of back forth between the current and incoming administrations about Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. With President Obama and President-Elect Trump taking different sides on the cyberattack debate, the American public is left to research for themselves which administration has a better handle on the cyber situation.
In the Tech Age, getting accurate information is vital to instituting a strong cybersecurity plan and investing in a cyber breach insurance policy that will cover your business or NGO when it's hit by a cyberattack. If our world leaders refuse to listen to, accept, or be briefed by intelligence officials about cybersecurity, where will the American public get its protection? As part of his last action in office, President Obama has allowed the release of a 13-page report detailing how the Russian government interfered in the presidential election. What does releasing these intelligence reports mean for the American public?
Cybersecurity Intel: Russia Interfered
To protect against the threat of a cyberattack, cybersecurity experts need to know the tools cybercriminals are using to breach a network and steal sensitive, and at times, damning information. As reported by the Huffington Post, the joint report published by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation "marks the first time the federal government has gone to such lengths to attribute 'malicious cyberactivity' to specific threat actors associated with a designated country." For the layperson reading the report, it looks like a bunch of numbers and miscellaneous information, but for the cybersecurity analyst, the 13-page report shares cyber signatures that other governments and even businesses can track the foreign malware codes hidden in their own networks and boot them out of the system.
The Huffington Post goes further to say that \"releasing information on [foreign actors'] tools and operation infrastructure is the cyber equivalent of naming undercover spies. Once disclosed, malicious code becomes harmless, and the command-and-control nodes (usually vulnerable web servers or other unwitting endpoints) are either abandoned by the hackers or hardened to prevent further exploitation.\" Basically, sharing this information exposes the weaknesses of the malicious code and where it originated, forcing the cybercriminals to quit or rethink their game plan.
With the Obama administration approving the release of these intelligence records, the outgoing administration is working to better prepare cybersecurity experts around the country by helping them to recognize what sophisticated cybercriminals are using to break into well-protected government network servers. The Obama administration hasn't stopped there.
As punishment for the Russian government working to undermine the election, President Obama has put sanctions on the Russian government. According to NPR, the president has "expanded an executive order from 2015 adding new powers to retaliate against those who disrupt U.S. elections."
Russia continues to deny their involvement in the DNC hack, but has expressed looking forward to working with the incoming Trump administration.
No matter who you voted for in the presidential election, cybersecurity cannot be ignored. If the new administration sticks with ignoring cybersecurity solutions, American businesses will be put in cyber jeopardy. Get a cyber insurance quote with CyberPolicy, don't wait until it's too late.