In 2020, a major U.S. information technology firm was hacked, exposing sensitive material from over 18,000 of its customers, many of which included government agencies such as the Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Not long afterward, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States was the victim of a ransomware attack, resulting in widespread shortages and consumer panic.
Unfortunately, attacks such as these are no longer uncommon. They expose the need for government agencies and private companies to bolster their cybersecurity efforts, secure their supply chains, and improve their authentication and need-to-know methods to keep their assets–and those of their customers–in safe hands. In May 2021, the U.S. government took action against these worrisome trends, signing the “Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.” Below we will discuss what that executive order entails, the authentication solutions currently in use by the federal government, and the critical next steps that should be taken to enhance cybersecurity protocols and protect against these troublesome trends.
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