Cybersecurity is nothing to take lightly. The U.S. government was part of a global cybersecurity breach led by Russian-speaking hackers that stole employee data and much more in June of 2023. When a cybercriminal steals data information, they could become privy to someone's most sensitive details from their location and phone number to their Social Security number and passwords.

The Department of Defense and other government agencies process highly sensitive government records that if leaked, could jeopardize national security. This is why the Department of Defense and Homeland Security are working together to develop stronger methods of protection.

Here's an overview of the latest information.

Lifting the responsibility

In March of 2023, the Biden-Harris administration made an announcement that cybersecurity will be a primary focus to protect the interests of the American people and their government.

The first half of this promise aims to lift the responsibility of cybersecurity off of the shoulders of individuals, small businesses and local governments. These expectations are instead placed onto the plates of larger entities that have the means and dexterity to provide such a service.

The administration will leverage the use of public and private collaboration to defend mission-critical information, while increasing regulations on essential industries such as banking and healthcare.

A proactive approach

There is a large gap between a reactive approach to cybersecurity and a proactive approach. Reactive is where a business has some security in place, but is otherwise reacting to every threat that occurs as it's happening in the moment. A proactive approach, however, requires that an entity does everything in its power to prepare its infrastructure long before a threat ever happens — and then develop new methods of security when a breach does occur.

In the White House's address, the administration mentions realigning their focus on a long-term approach to cybersecurity for a more resilient future. This would help ensure that when a breach happens, the effects are minimal and hold no long-lasting damages.

Cybersecurity resilience means reducing technical vulnerabilities and ensuring that all mission-critical information is backed up and separated from the primary modules.

The address says it's focused primarily on ransomware. This occurs when a hacker is able to get into your system and hold some of your data "hostage" through walls of bugs and blockers until you're able to pay their ransom. NetApp notes that ransoms can range from $10,000 to millions, with the highest ever recorded being $70 million. Any business would be devastated by just one attack such as this — especially if the data being held is critical to their business.

The solution is ensuring that all data — especially that which your business is built on — is backed up in several separated spaces as often as possible.

A robust cyber workforce

All of this work is not possible without a capable team of trusted developers and information technology professionals. The U.S. plans to work together with its international allies to develop counter-threats and joint preparedness. Oftentimes, the cost of implementing such a robust system can get high, but together, these expenses are mitigated as much as possible.

In peacetime and in crisis, the government is working hard to protect and reinforce the nation's critical information.