The Obama administration is launching the new Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center to combat escalating threats from cyberattacks in the United States. Significant attacks have affected US companies and government networks in recent years and these attacks will only increase, putting your sensitive information at risk.
Recent attacks on Sony Pictures and Anthem Health, last year’s intrusion into a White House network and breaches of major bank websites a few years ago are evidence that individuals, organizations and state-sponsored groups are trying to steal sensitive information. The effect of these attacks could be financial gain, identity theft, hampering corporate or government business or even destroying critical infrastructure. All of them could have devastating consequences for those affected.
“The cyberthreat is one of the greatest threats we face, and policymakers and operators will benefit from having a rapid source of intelligence,” Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said in an interview. “It will help ensure that we have the same integrated, all-tools approach to the cyberthreat that we have developed to combat terrorism.”
Monaco, who has a decade of government experience in counterterrorism, has long thought that the lessons learned from fighting terrorism can be applied to cybersecurity. She saw that as a policymaker she could quickly receive an intelligence community assessment on the latest terrorism threat from the
National Counterterrorism Center, but that was not possible in the cyber realm.
As government organizations coordinate intelligence and a response to attacks, you need to look at your own organization and determine the best way to protect your sensitive information. Taking a data-centric approach to lock information at the point of creation is the best defense against these attacks. Encrypting files as you create them and applying a security policy that is always in effect, ensures that you are always in control of your information. Even if a hacker got access to your files, they couldn’t access the information inside. The encryption protects the data and the security policy controls access to it. If you aren’t given permission to view the data, you are out of luck. If Sony had applied this technology to its files, the script for the newest James Bond movie would not be in public hands.
Unfortunately, these incidents are more common than you realize. We only hear about the big incidents, but smaller hacks and breaches occur everyday that affect large and small companies alike. Whether it’s a phishing attack that gets people to unknowingly give up sensitive information or someone losing a flash drive with patient data, the consequences are the same: lost business, fines and lawsuits.
Encrypt and secure your sensitive information at the point of creation or download to protect it from the inevitable hacker.