About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

As US Struggles To Safeguard Nation's Digital Infrastructure, Cyber Attacks Reach an All-Time High

Cyber attacks in the United States have experienced an increase of 33%.
Cover Image Source: Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko | Pexels

Over the past two years, the United States has witnessed a disturbing surge in cyber-attacks. This alarming trend is further exacerbated by a gap in cybercrime data and monitoring capabilities, leaving the nation inadequately prepared to combat the scenario. Moreover, the increasing complexity of cyber threats poses a formidable challenge to the existing cybersecurity infrastructure. 

Image Source: Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko |Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko | Pexels

Cybercriminals are strategically targeting the education and research sectors, exploiting the vulnerability arising from their possession of sensitive information and the lack of solid cybersecurity measures. Pete Nicoletti, the Chief Information Officer at Check Point Software Global, highlights a noteworthy uptick in cyber-attacks on government and military entities during the fourth quarter of 2023. He suggests a correlation with ongoing global conflicts, citing the Israel-Hamas war and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Despite being geographically distant from conflicts like those in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, local communities, such as Steele County in Minnesota, are not immune. Dave Purscell, the Director of Information Technology in Steele County, studies the local repercussions of these global cyber threats. He emphasizes that our interconnected screens bring the wars home, as cybercriminal activities surge against firewalls, originating primarily from countries like Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Image Source: Photo by Josh Sorenson |Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Josh Sorenson | Pexels

Local governments are increasingly becoming targets of cyber attacks due to their lack of protection and security measures like those implemented by larger federal or state organizations. Purscell explains that these entities hold a significant amount of sensitive information, making them lucrative targets for cybercriminals seeking to exploit potential vulnerabilities.

To address these concerns, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal of 2021 allocated $1 billion for states and territories over the next four years, aiming to fortify cybersecurity measures. However, Purscell notes that not all states have applied for these funds. In Minnesota, federal and state-matched funds totaling $23.5 million have been allocated, with at least 80% directed toward local governments and a minimum of 25% earmarked for rural communities.

John Israel, Chief Information Security Officer of Minnesota IT Services, is at the forefront of leading cybersecurity teams and the Minnesota Cybersecurity Task Force. He stresses that not every local government possesses adequate security measures, prompting the launch of the Whole of State Cybersecurity Plan. This initiative aims to provide comprehensive cybersecurity outreach to local governments across the state, ensuring a unified front against cyber threats.

A report revealed a staggering 33% increase in attempted ransomware attacks worldwide, with 1 in 20 U.S. organizations falling victim to such attacks last year. Nicoletti explains that the cybercriminal enterprise is expanding, constituting a multibillion-dollar industry, potentially ranking as the world's third-largest economy after the United States and China.

One of the significant challenges in the current scenario is the use of artificial intelligence by cybercriminals, making phishing scams delivered through email harder to detect. Nicoletti underscores the growing complexity of cyber threats, emphasizing the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures to counteract these tactics.

Scammers are waiting for you to swipe that card and then vanish with your money|Pexels
Image Source: Scammers | Pexels

The United States is facing an unprecedented surge in cyber threats, impacting both national and local levels. The allocation of funds through initiatives like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal offers a lifeline, but challenges persist in ensuring effective implementation and outreach, particularly at the local level. The multifaceted nature of cyber threats, coupled with the utilization of advanced technologies by cybercriminals, necessitates a collective and proactive response to safeguard the nation's digital infrastructure.