Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs notes that the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the teleworking switch made by most companies to prevent spreading of the virus in the workplace, is one of the “biggest drivers” of IT and cyber modernization.
While Krebs mentioned that the teleworking transition was relatively seamless, he admitted there were a few modernization hurdles agencies encountered while implementing these changes. “What we saw were, unfortunately, things that we knew all along,” Krebs said. An example he gave was how virtual networks had not been maintained over time throughout the ecosystem despite modernization efforts made by the Federal government. “They had a path, they had a plan but the plans … were not designed for instantaneous activation,” he explained.
CISA released guidance to help accommodate for the quick shift and reiterated what security measures agencies should consider when working more extensively in the telework environment. Krebs also mentioned that there’s still a lot of discomfort with certain technology despite government progress. “Cloud is really the first technology that the government has not been able to develop and deploy of its own organic capability,” he said as an example. “There’s a lot of uncomfortability with that and there’s still some unknown questions, or answers rather,” Krebs added.
Krebs also mentioned that CISA has been partnering with international peers to help prevent cyberattacks. The common theme globally of criminal phishing attacks and scams is the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though there are efforts to combat these attacks, Krebs reiterates that it’s still important for the public to be hyper-aware during this time.
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