With a colossal 61.6 percent of open vulnerabilities between 2019 and 2022, the public sector is leading the way in cyber risk, according to new research from The Cyentia Institute and Security Scorecard. As cybercrimes become more sophisticated and supply chain attacks increase, this persistent vulnerability can cause disaster for agencies and their missions. This proved true in 2020 when hackers infiltrated the Department of Homeland Security and Treasury Department, among others, via spyware that had been embedded in software. In 2021 the United States’ principal oil pipeline, Colonial Pipeline was hacked, creating a national security threat that caused President Biden to issue a state of emergency and later an Executive Order. Because of these large-scale failures, the federal government has made addressing cybersecurity challenges a priority, particularly the areas that are most susceptible to attack: data storage. Hybrid cloud helps to solve the current vulnerabilities and threats plaguing agencies to ensure mission success.
Over the past two years as Americans have adjusted to remote work and all that comes with it, agencies have embraced private and public cloud platforms as more viable options for data storage. Since employees can now feasibly work from any location, the data and the capabilities must also be available, which is why the cloud has become so popular. But while the cloud is expanding user access and encouraging global collaboration, government IT decision-makers have continued to voice concerns about the security of all that data floating around in the cloud.
In response to security concerns, the hybrid cloud is designed to protect the data it’s storing from unauthorized access. It does this by quarantining the data so that it is only visible to authorized programs. This ability to hide data from unauthorized users can give agencies a peace of mind that only the right people have access to classified information.
Protecting data from current and future threats is an ongoing process. Although the past years have exposed many vulnerabilities, there have been many advances and successes as well. Agencies are finding the most success when they embrace partnerships with private sector organizations to augment cybersecurity teams and assist with training and support. Howard Boville, head of IBM’s Hybrid Cloud platform, explained, “The federal government and the private sector need to work together to create cybersecurity policies that are adaptable to rapidly emerging threats, are based on effective risk management, and tap public-private partnerships. It is critical to ensure we are fighting against the constantly evolving cyber and compliance threat landscape to protect the world’s data.” Robust and reliable cybersecurity is a goal for all government and civilian organizations, and it is most effective when the best practices and ideas are combined.
Vulnerabilities in cybersecurity create risks that have caused and will continue to cause large scale disasters. Private sector organizations work diligently on fresh solutions to help federal agencies succeed in their ongoing missions. As cloud adoption becomes even more ubiquitous, various platforms are being adapted to address these threats and attacks. The hybrid cloud is one tool that addresses some of the recent vulnerabilities by creating one singular location for all data storage, reducing the chance of data loss or other issues when data is spread across multiple public and private cloud platforms.
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