Weekly News Roundup January 27-31, 2020

Posted on by Kacy Zurkus

As we close out the first month of 2020 and quickly approach the Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses, it’s no surprise that cybersecurity is moving toward center stage in politics. According to The Washington Post’s article “The Cybersecurity 202,” “Election officials are striking a confident tone about digital security at their final summit before caucus and primary season begins.”

Still, there are some unknowns that make both regulators and voters a little uneasy as technology becomes imbedded into the caucuses. Whether it’s states (like Iowa) introducing voting capabilities on smartphone apps or debates over whether the United States needs a separate cybersecurity agency, people are talking cybersecurity.

In fact, more people in government are talking about cybersecurity, and we will hear from many current and former government officials, including Liesyl Franz, US Department of State, and Robert Kolasky, Department of Homeland Security, who will weigh in on everything from the need for more private and public collaboration to nation-state attacks at RSA Conference February 24-28, 2020.

Let’s take a quick look back at other events that made headlines this week.

Jan. 31: The election season is heating up, and experts warn that Americans are still vulnerable to online advertising manipulation from foreign governments “and domestic grifters trying to influence the election, just as they did in 2016. Those attempts could become more sophisticated this year as tech companies wrestle with a dysfunctional federal election watchdog agency and deploy haphazard safeguards that still offer plenty of loopholes,” according to The Associated Press.

Jan. 30: A group from the University of Southern California has set out on a cross country mission to provide cybersecurity training to campaign staffers and poll workers.

Jan. 30: A report released by ImmuniWeb found that almost all of the world’s largest airports “had an alarming lack of systems in place to protect their websites, mobile applications and public clouds,” according to TechRepublic.

Jan. 30: The use of non-emergency drones was halted by the US Department of Interior as it investigates whether there are any cybersecurity issues with the Chinese-made equipment and software. Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating an Israeli spyware vendor NSO Group Technologies to determine whether the company was involved in “personal and governmental hacks.”

Jan. 29: An exclusive report published by The New Humanitarian claimed that dozens of UN servers were compromised in a data breach that started in July 2019. The Associated Press also reported that the breach stemmed from a flaw in Microsoft’s SharePoint software.

Jan. 28: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a 10-page document outlining the cybersecurity practices used in the financial industry, highlighting different approaches taken by those who work in “governance and risk management, access rights and controls, data loss prevention, mobile security, incident response and resiliency, vendor management, and training and awareness,” Infosecurity magazine reported.

Jan. 27: Politico reported, “Bipartisan efforts in the House and Senate to kill what’s known as the call detail records program reflects a remarkable political shift from a few years ago, when the Obama administration and national security hawks were able to keep the program, exposed by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, alive in an altered form.”

Kacy Zurkus

Senior Content Manager, RSA Conference

RSAC Insights

hackers & threats

Blogs posted to the RSAConference.com website are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the blog author individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of RSA Conference™, or any other co-sponsors. RSA Conference does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this blog.

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