The United States is on the verge of a cybersecurity crisis.
In the last decade, the United States has seen its cyber-security infrastructure suffer significant damage and there are fears that the country will soon face a similar threat.
That’s what the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning us about.
In the wake of the recent hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SNE), which exposed a trove of confidential emails, the FBI has made several alarming announcements.
The FBI’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCIC) released its 2017 report on cybersecurity threats, warning that “cyber threats remain very real and are growing.”
NCIC stated that the threat is real because the cyber-threats are evolving.
“Cyber threats today are different than they were in the past because of advances in technology, including the internet and social media, as well as the growing number of distributed systems and the increasing use of IoT devices,” the NCIC report stated.
“We are seeing the proliferation of new threats, including malware and cyber attacks, as part of a wider and increasingly sophisticated attack on our nation’s infrastructure,” NCIC noted.
The FBI’s report comes on the heels of the US government’s decision to launch a new cyber-crime task force, the Cyber Threat Working Group, and the FBI is already working to bolster its own cyber-operations capabilities.
The NCIC is already conducting research into the vulnerability of IoT-enabled devices.
While it’s not uncommon for the FBI to make public announcements regarding cybersecurity threats and its own work in the field, it’s important to remember that the FBI’s own cybersecurity expertise is limited.
Its cyber-intrusion and exploitation of IoT technology is a relatively new phenomenon, so the FBI doesn’t have a deep understanding of how these new devices and technologies work.
That being said, the report from the NCI did mention that the United Kingdom is currently at the forefront of cyber-espionage and the UK is not immune to the threat.
“As part of our global effort to support cybersecurity, we are working with our international partners to strengthen our cybersecurity posture and enhance our capacity to detect and respond to cyber attacks,” the FBI said in a press release.
“This includes the development of a national cyber security strategy, which is designed to strengthen the capability of the UK Government to respond to and mitigate cyber-related threats.”
The FBI has previously said that it will not stop at IoT.
The agency has said that its cybersecurity efforts will extend beyond the IoT, with the focus on the “information infrastructure, financial, health and other systems.”
In short, the government wants you to think that the US has some sort of cyber war on its hands.
But that’s not what’s happening.
In 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made a commitment to its employees that “we are investing heavily in our nation-state’s cybersecurity capabilities, to increase the resilience of our critical infrastructure, and to improve our nations cybersecurity posture to the highest level.”
The agency also pledged to “make cybersecurity an integral part of the work of our DHS Cybersecurity Coordinating Council.”
While the US Homeland Security and Homeland Security Council has not been a huge success, the fact that DHS is still working on cybersecurity and working with private companies to build better cybersecurity products and services has to be commendable.
The US is not alone in its efforts to enhance its cyber capabilities.
Britain has also been building up its own cybersecurity capability.
In 2017, it launched the UK Cyber Security Infrastructure Strategy.
The UK is also working with other governments to develop its own tools and solutions.