9 Predictions for Cybersecurity’s Role in Government and Politics in 2017

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Hackers will target the 2020 presidential campaign

You know the 2020 campaign will begin the day after the inauguration. That’s why Oren Falkowitz, an ex-NSA analyst and ex-government-sponsored hacker, and the current CEO and co-founder of Area 1 Security, predicts that in 2017, attackers will be working on their attack plans for the next presidential election. “It takes many years to plan and execute an effective hack, especially if they’re aiming for a big target like presidential elections,” says Falkowitz. “Malicious actors have a keen interest in the political process (as we’ve witnessed with the national election this year). Leaders will be too late to stop the attacks in 2019 or 2020; they need to set up their defenses now.”

The 2016 presidential election ushered in new era. As Grant Shirk, senior director of Product Marketing at Vera, pointed out, it was our first true cyber election. Not only did much of it play out in social media, particularly on Twitter and Facebook, but the election brought attention to how stolen data can be used to manipulate opinions, and it may have presented us with the our first taste of cyber espionage.

“As we enter 2017,” says ThetaRay CEO Mark Gazit, “we will see more and more occasions where cybersecurity is not about computer geeks and IT departments, but about threats to financial institutions and critical infrastructure, including very well-protected mail servers. History has taught us that the warfare arena, including espionage and intelligence gathering, follows technological progress -- and in some cases leads the progress. As such, we will almost certainly see new and more advanced technological solutions being used by governments to conduct cyber warfare, even before they fall into the hands of civilian cyber criminals.”

Here are expert predictions about how cybersecurity will affect and involve our government, policies and politics in 2017.

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