The threat of cyberattacks that we often tell you about has to do with hackers breaking into your computer system, taking it over and possibly demanding ransom to gain access to your computer. But cyberattacks are also taking place on a federal scale that's threatening the government and all U.S. citizens.
The federal government, including President Obama, has been the victim of cyberattacks. And, as the 2016 presidential race is heating up, you're starting to hear more candidates being asked how they'll protect the country from cyberattacks.
The government is taking cybersecurity seriously. In fact, the Office of Management and Budget, which assists the president in implementing his policies, recently issued its Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan.
That plan outlined five objectives, including prioritizing the protection of high-value information, the acquisition and deployment of emerging technology, and rapid response to cyberincidents. Now, the federal government is soliciting ideas from IT leaders within the government, with the help of the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
To that end, it's created an online "ideation" site, to collect ideas from IT leaders. Its goal, according to IBM, is to generate ideas that create "forward movement on cybersecurity for government."
A detailed report is being worked on, but so far it's collected 150 ideas. These can be grouped into eight distinct areas to improve the federal government's cybersecurity efforts. IBM and federal workers aren't discussing the recommendations yet.
However, among the ideas brought up are: A self-auditing checklist similar to the one used by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Another is to create something similar to Wal-Mart's "security mavens" initiative, where development teams provide security support.
Also among those ideas: Security "tips of the day;" simulated attacks; and creating a reserve corps of cybersecurity experts from the private sector who would be on call to help out for actual cyberattacks.
Keep reading Happening Now for updates for news on the OMB's CSIP report and recommendations.