Federal Friday 10.25.13 – Some Semblance of Normalcy

Blog Post created by jschim Employee on Oct 25, 2013

As it’s back to business across the federal space we’re starting to see a return to normalcy in the day to day cycle. While it may take some agencies longer than others to return to full capacity, it’s nice to have that expected daily routine back in place.


One of the biggest things we’ve seen in the federal cyber-landscape since the end of the shutdown? The publication of the draft of the NIST Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework in response to Executive Order 13636. This is a nice step forward in defining cybersecurity for the nation’s defenses, both public and private. While this will be a working document going forward the groundwork has been laid to put strategic plans into practice.


There are a few areas of improvement that GCN has already pointed out. An article in CIO from earlier this month outlines that as a whole, we are still a step behind attackers and highlights the possible lack of self-awareness that many organizations still have. In the annual Global Information Security Survey, which was run by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 84% of CEOs and 82% of CIOs think their programs, “are effective in their current state.” While the positivity is a good sign, especially given that 9,600 executives participated in the survey, the total number of reported incidents is up year over year.  This number actually might be a skewed towards a higher number of attacks being that 18% of participants stated they don’t know the number of incidents their organizations had detected.


What this tells us is that there is work to be done across the board. The only way to action-ably tackle these issues is by creating a knowledgeable, educated force of cyber warriors. This is paramount to the success of any security program. While this may a be a few years off, much like IT departments in the 90’s with installing and standing up networks, cybersecurity departments now must continue to forge ahead in securing these networks while they wait for the workforce to catch up. Following the steps in the Framework will allow these teams to lay the foundation that these future employees can build upon.


On another note, we’re looking for folks in the federal cybersecutity space that would be open to being interviewed. We would like to talk to you, in generalities, about what you see in the space, from trends that are happening now to future threats you think we'll have to worry about.  If you are interested please email me directly at john_schimelpfenig@rapid7.com.


Also, check out this week’s Whiteboard Wednesday.  It’s all about patching and features the R7 pumpkin patch (and me)!