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Security may be lacking
A report from Owl Cybersecurity reveals the truth behind what we’ve known for a while: Cybersecurity is a bit weak in the US government. So weak, in fact, that the average government agency has five times greater exposure on the dark web than corporate agencies.
That’s a lot of potentially dangerous data floating around in a space dominated by hackers, cybercriminals, and other unsavory types.
The report lists a total of 59 government agencies, ranked by the size of their darknet footprint, and it’s topped by these 10.
1. United States Navy
The US Navy leads the pack, needing only 300,000 sailors to nearly double the footprint of Walmart, which employs over 2.2 million. The two scored 16.59 and 9.7, respectively.
About the scoring structure: Owl said “the numerical score is mathematically logarithmic, so think of it as a Richter scale. … you can compare scores directly between companies, with the higher numbers representing more attractive targets than lower numbers. For each increase in one point in the math, it represents essentially triple the target risk as compared with a point lower.”
2. United States Army
The US Army scored 16.02, roughly half a point lower than the Navy.
3. Department of Defense
The DoD is the third highest at 15.12 and is also the third defense agency on the list. Defense sector agencies make up half the total in the top 10, mainly because they are such attractive targets for cybercriminals–they contain both operational and personnel records ripe for exploiting.
4. Department of Justice
At 15.09, the DoJ sits 1.5 points lower than the US Navy.
5. Department of Homeland Security
DHS has a score of 14.93. It’s the fourth defense agency on the list.
6. United States Marine Corps
The Marines round out the five defense agencies in the top 10 at 14.47. It’s the lowest of the four major military branches in the top 10, though the Air Force came in far lower, ranking 17th.
7. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
It’s not hard to see why hackers may target it deals with plenty of top-secret projects related to advanced technology. NASA scores a 13.60.
8. Internal Revenue Service
Where are nearly everyone’s financial records kept? At the IRS. Do you want mystery hackers having access to your tax returns, social security number, place of employment, and who knows what else? Well, they very well may already have it.
The IRS has a score of 13.31.
9. Department of Veterans Affairs
The VA, scoring at 13.09, serves over five and a half million veterans, giving it access to a fathomless amount of data about those people. Cybercriminals who could gain access to that information have identifying info on all those veterans and could use it for very disruptive purposes.
10. Department of State
Apparently, private email servers don’t really matter that much if the State Department made it into the top 10 all on its own. The State Department scores a 12.66.