The FBI has posted job openings for Special Agent (Cyber), a sign that the law enforcement agency may more aggressively try to counter current cyberattacks and ones that definitely will happen in the future. Perhaps the recent disaster at Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) and possible threats to the federal government have spurred the agency to increase its ability to thwart what has become a wildly growing and severe problem.
There is a mixed perception about whether Washington has done everything it can to prevent attacks from enemies such as North Korea and potential attacks from organizations, particularly ISIS. It is presumed that, while small countries and terrorist groups cannot create these menaces on their own, they can recruit experts who can.
Recent reports point to a failure of the federal government’s ability to combat the most sophisticated cyberattacks. According to the Guardian:
A $10bn-a-year effort to protect sensitive government data, from military secrets to social security numbers, is struggling to keep pace with an increasing number of cyberattacks and is unwittingly being undermined by federal employees and contractors.
At a time when intelligence officials say cybersecurity trumps terrorism as the No1 threat to the US – and when breaches at businesses such as Home Depot and Target focus attention on data security – the federal government isn’t required to publicize its own data losses.
Perhaps this lack of disclosure is because the government has done such a poor job defending both itself and U.S. companies.
The attacks from cyber-criminals have not only increased significantly, they have become a frightening part of everyday news. At least U.S. citizens and companies know how dangerous the trouble is. The FBI job posting is a small sign that the issue has become so severe that the government has decided it must take its defense efforts much more seriously. It might work, unless the work is too little too late.