When it comes to cybersecurity and assurance measures designed to protect sensitive digital assets few people would argue that the risks of attack and compromise has increased sharply over the past few years.
For example, computer security giant McAfee released their 2010 Q3 Threats Report and in it they reported that on average 60,000 new malware threats were identified each day. In their 2011 Q1 Threat Report 6 million unique pieces of malware were recorded. This was the most active quarter in malware history. These figures clearly indicate the severity of the current cyber threat.
The primary focuses of Britain’s Office of Cyber Security and the Cyber Security Operations Centre based at GCHQ (one of the three UK Intelligence Agencies) is the constant attempts to break into government departments. Supporting that focus they routinely analyze the defensive posture of government departments and agencies.
To that end, the Intelligence and Security Committee conducted a security study that covered 2010 and 2011. The conclusion drawn from this work is quite startling! It found that government departments and agencies see investment in information assurance as unimportant.
It appears the driving factor behind this is the absence of proper funding to implement proper security measures.
Development and implementation of a proper information assurance program takes time and money that is a certainty.
This is not a one-time expense. As the cyber threat environment continues to evolve at break-neck speed, security programs must be updated and the user community made aware of the latest threats, methods and techniques so they do not fall victim to the latest malicious tools and trick that are used to compromise systems.
Isn’t it funny how it all seems to come down to money or the lack there of?
Kevin G. Coleman is a long-time security technology executive and former Chief Strategist at Netscape. He is Senior Fellow with the Technolytics Institute, where he provides consulting services on strategic technology and security issues.