Recent surveys reveal sorry state of government cybersecurity

By Erin Ayers on August 28, 2017

Cybersecurity of network of connected devices and personal data securityGovernment entities at the state and federal level trail their private sector counterparts on cybersecurity, according to recent reports from security experts.

Surveys from SecurityScorecard and Netwrix found that government entities, a popular target for hackers, have far to go to properly guard against attacks. Compared to retail, healthcare, and transportation, government received among the lowest scores, rising over only education and telecommunications.

“It’s clear that cybersecurity incidents are not going anywhere and that government will continue to remain a target. But with technology propelling forward and hackers as motivated as ever, government agencies are struggling to put up effective cybersecurity defenses- and hackers are taking advantage,” wrote SecurityScorecard in its report.

Netwrix found that only 14 percent of government entities feel like they are “well protected” against threats.

“We know that cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and intense. We also know that some attackers are very interested in the sensitive data stored by government agencies — from citizens’ data (addresses, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, financial data, healthcare records and) to other information critical to local or national security,” wrote Ryan Brooks of Netwrix in a blog post on the firm’s 2017 IT Risks Report.

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Erin is an editor at Advisen. She has 15 years of journalism experience. Prior to Advisen, Erin covered property-casualty insurance for 13 years as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at eayers@advisen.com.