Cybersecurity has become a central focus in the present digital landscape. According to AdWeek, there has been a 176 percent increase in the number of cyberattacks since 2010. As hackers grow more confident and improve their infiltration techniques, companies, individuals and the government run the risk of losing large sums of money and valuable data. The dramatic increase in attacks and the recent Office of Personnel Management breach – which cost the U.S. government $19 million – have brought the issue of cybersecurity to the forefront of the 2016 election issues.
Candidates address cybersecurity
In her campaign stop in New Hampshire on Saturday, July 4, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton made a point of stressing the importance of cybersecurity. Clinton directly accused China of being responsible for the OPM breach. She was quoted saying that certain sectors of the Chinese government were “stealing commercial secrets, blueprints from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information.” To learn more about China’s involvement in the OPM breach, visit the National Cybersecurity Institute’s blog.
“During a campaign stop, Clinton made a point of stressing the importance of cybersecurity.”
As for Clinton’s campaign, it has come a long way since the security concerns involving her personal email server earlier this year. However, Clinton is not the only candidate who has struggled to uphold best practices for cybersecurity. In an effort to make his campaign as transparent as possible, Republican candidate Jeb Bush released emails from his terms as Governor of Florida. The Christian Science Monitor reported that Bush neglected to redact confidential information such as social security numbers and personal addresses prior to publishing the emails. Candidates like Rand Paul and Chris Christie have also introduced cybersecurity topics into their campaigns, but none have gone in depth on the issue yet.
Outlining the issue
It is apparent that both parties – and the government as a whole – have a long way to go in terms of cybersecurity. The U.S. Government Accountability Office stated that “17 of 24 major federal agencies indicated that inadequate information security controls were either material weaknesses or significant deficiencies.” The issue of cyberattacks and information security will likely continue to be a major part of the political agenda during the 2016 Presidential election.
The growing relevance of cybersecurity forecasts a strong future for professionals in this field. New bills and legislation will call for better protection of critical infrastructure which will create more positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expected the number of information security jobs to increase by 37 percent in the next seven years. For more information on how you can earn a degree and start your career in cybersecurity, visit NCI’s website today.