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A Different Plan for Federal Cybersecurity?

In the United States today, if someone were to ask a hundred people at random about what the country’s biggest concern for protecting the country, many might answer “cybersecurity.” For years, the United States has fought to protect itself against the cybernetic threats, but all of that could change after a recent policy change.

Is the United States safe from a massive cyberattack?  Photo from news.fiu.edu
Is the United States safe from a massive cyber-attack? Photo from news.fiu.edu

The U.S. federal government has more power to go on the offense against foreign foes under a new strategy that was signed on Thursday by President Donald Trump.

John Bolton, the national security adviser to President Trump gave no details about what types of operations or who they would go after as that information is classified but he did state to numerous news outlets that “We will respond offensively as well as defensively.”

The plan also gives direction to agencies to review and update defenses against cyber-attacks and to also have federal government work with state and local level governments, as well as private companies to improve the usual defense against cyberwarfare.

Bolton also stated that adversaries should know that the U.S. is going to be doing much more on the offense side of things.

This change in foreign and federal government policy ends the Obama policy which was at first classified but became public due to leaks from Edward Snowden. The policy had stated that the military was required to consult with the State Department, intelligence community and other agencies before even starting a cyberattack.

The new Trump policy would most likely assume that the military has much more rein when it comes to launching an attack.

In past years, the U.S. has accused China of hacking into the personal flies of the government and Russia for influencing the 2016 election using many different digital methods. The Russian scandal even has a current investigation going on that involves Trump and his supposed involvement.

Either way, the big concern for the country is what Bolton said here, “the United States and its allies are under attack every day in cyberspace.”

The forgotten war that nobody talks about or mentions has just gotten even more attention.