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Office of Personnel Management breach one year later – look how far we’ve come

Posted by Milo Speranzo on Sep 6, 2016 4:05:59 PM

government cyber securityIt’s been more than a year since the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach that exposed the personal information of millions of U.S. Federal workers. You’ve probably seen the news – the breach exposed personal information from a jaw-dropping 22 million people including finger prints, social security numbers and other private information. Victims included current and former Federal employees, retirees, contractors and others who had undergone Federal background checks. It brought to light the need for extreme vigilance in today’s cyber world.

Although cybersecurity is still a major concern, do you stop and think twice about opening email attachments? A year ago today, you may not have thought about that question. But now, as a result of a heightened focus on preparing for cyber attacks, the United States government is putting the people, processes and technology in place to make sure employees are educated on threats and agencies have the ability to effectively prevent or effectively respond to a breach. It continues to focus on building a more secure fortress to improve our security posture and our ability to prevent the next threat.

So what’s changed since the OPM breach?

The massive breach sparked a major cultural change at OPM. While there’s a long road ahead to significant reduce the risk of data breaches, the government is kicking hackers out and taking names in the process.

One new hire in particular, Clifton Triplett, OPM’s newest senior cyber security advisor, is clearing the rubble after the fallout from last year’s breach. By initiating new plans for responding to cyber incidences and mandating more secure access to agency networks, Triplett is driving change and pushing forward enhancing OPM’s IT infrastructure plan.

But securing a country’s most sensitive information is not a one man job, and other public sector agencies continue to suffer from a shortage of cyber security professionals with the right skills to defend networks and data.

That’s why the private sector are equipping agencies with the protection they need to keep sensitive information secure from complex and proliferating threats.

What can we expect in the future regarding cyber security?

Market Research Media projects that cyber security spending will grow from $18 billion in 2017 to $22 billion by 2022. And, with a new administration coming into the White House in January, we’re sure to see cyber security continue to be a top priority and pain point.

There’s no time to rest when hackers are at bay. We must continue working to keep our sensitive information out of the wrong hands. To learn how you can secure your valuable data against cyber threats, look to Avnet Government Solutions or reach out to your Avnet Account Manager.

Tags: Security, Cybersecurity, Cyber Security, Cyber Threats, data protection, IT Security, OPM breach, cyber attack, Government, security

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