Tags: cyberattacks | Homeland Security | Tom Carper | OMB

Report: Feds Hit by Record-High 70,000 Cyberattacks in 2014

By    |   Wednesday, 04 March 2015 04:33 PM

Up to 70,000 cyberattacks occurred on the federal government's computer network last year, an all-time high.

The Hill reports that the attacks don't necessarily mean hackers punched through a server's security standards and got through, but there was an effort to do so.

The number of attacks was an increase of 15 percent from fiscal year 2013, reports The Hill, which cites an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report.

"Strong authentication" procedures could have stopped nearly half of the cyberattacks, according to the report.

"Although some agencies are making significant progress, this report underscores the troubling reality that cyberattacks and intrusions continue to occur at an increasing rate, and agencies need to be better prepared," Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) said in a statement issued by the committee on Wednesday.

"I look forward to learning more about federal agencies' updated FISMA implementation in the coming weeks. I also look forward to continue working closely with my colleagues in the Senate and House, especially Chairman (Ron) Johnson, on ways for Congress to help agencies address the very serious cyber threats facing our nation."

Despite the increase in attacks, the report states more government agencies — almost three-quarters of them, up from about two-thirds in 2013 — have employees use ID cards to access their computers instead of typed log-ins and passwords.

Further, 92 percent of all agencies continually monitor their networks for security threats. That figure was 81 percent in 2013.

Cyberattacks have become more and more prevalent outside of government computers as well, with large companies like Target and Sony the victims of data breaches.

In January, former Navy SEAL and FBI agent Jonathan Gilliam told Newsmax TV  stopping cyberattacks will be a big challenge for Americans this year.

"It doesn't matter if you're super rich or super poor, cyber attacks are the great equalizers of the economy or any economic status that you may have," Gilliam said.

In his Wednesday statement, Carper said the U.S. government must continue to step up its cyber security defenses.

"Last year, I worked closely with my colleague and former ranking member, Dr. Tom Coburn, to enact a law that updates our FISMA framework and will better protect federal agencies from cyber attacks," Carper said. "But this report makes it clear that we cannot rest on our laurels."

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Up to 70,000 cyberattacks occurred on the federal government's computer network last year, an all-time high.
cyberattacks, Homeland Security, Tom Carper, OMB
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 04:33 PM
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