U.S. cybersecurity: Preparing for the challenges of 2021

In 2020, cybersecurity became a business problem for every industry, as well as the U.S. government. According to a new report by the Aspen Cybersecurity Group, there are several opportunities for the new presidential administration to increase cybersecurity efforts and awareness to create a more resilient digital infrastructure.

US cybersecurity 2021

Organizations like the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), local and state governments, and the private sector have all taken significant steps to mitigate and respond to cyber incidents. Given the rise in bad actors targeting critical infrastructure, ongoing nation-state threats, and increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks, here are three cybersecurity priorities to keep in mind as we head into 2021 with a new administration.

Continue to bolster election security

We must continue to work to secure voting infrastructure, as future elections will inevitably be targets for cybercriminals and nation-state actors. In the recent VMware Carbon Black Global Incident Response Threat Report, incident response and cybersecurity professionals surveyed noted the biggest threats to election security remain disinformation on social media, ransomware attacks, voter manipulation, and voter disenfranchisement.

In order to secure the integrity of future elections and the voting process, securing our voting infrastructure must be a priority. If machines and voting software aren’t designed securely from the ground up, there will be vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.

Strengthen efforts against nation-state actors

As geopolitical tensions increase, we can expect destructive attacks and attempts to continue in the new year. The 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment compiled by former Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, listed cybersecurity as the top global threat, noting that every U.S. foreign adversary would likely seek to undermine American infrastructures through cyberattacks and influence operations.

There have been numerous attacks targeting the U.S. government in recent years, like the use of Trickbot for example, the world’s largest botnet believed to be controlled by Russian cybercriminals. Nation-state actors…