FDD: Lack of Preparedness Could Leave Gov’t ‘Flat-Footed’ During Major Cyber Attack

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The U.S. government and private sector must take action on cyber-enabled economic warfare to avoid being “flat-footed” during a major cyber incident, according to a Foundation for Defense of Democracies report released Tuesday.

The FDD report comes after a 2018 CEEW tabletop exercise with private sector and government representatives that involved a simulated cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure. The exercise was conducted to assess the efficiency of resilience capabilities, information-sharing procedures and leadership decisions.

According to the report, the federal government must take steps such as launching public awareness campaigns on the private sector’s role in safeguarding the nation from cyber attacks. The FDD also recommended the White House and Congress allocate funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Risk Management Center to properly address the need for major cyber protection. Other suggestions outlined in the report include ensuring that “conflicting loyalties” in the private sector don’t undermine crisis response and counseling the public on CEEW preparedness.

The report noted that obvious targets such as logistics firms, banks and goods manufacturers could be left vulnerable in the event of a major cyberattack.

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