The Justice Department has launched a new initiative targeting government contractors and federal grant recipients who fail to report cybersecurity breaches, said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. announced Wednesday.
why it matters: Cyber security has become an increasingly urgent concern amid the growth of cybercrime groups, the cyber-espionage capabilities of foreign adversaries, and the numerous US government hacks.
description: Monaco said the new civil cyber-fraud initiative “will use civil enforcement tools to advance companies, which are government contractors, that receive federal funding when they fail to comply with recommended cybersecurity standards.” “
- It aims to hold accountable anyone who “willfully undermines cyber security products or services, intentionally misrepresents their cyber security practices or protocols, or willfully to monitor and report cyber security incidents and breaches.” Puts US information or systems at risk in breach of its obligations. .
- The initiative is the result of the DOJ’s ongoing comprehensive cyber review, which Monaco ordered in May.
What are they saying: “For too long, companies have chosen to silence under the mistaken belief that the breach is less risky than hiding and reporting it,” Monaco said in a statement. “Okay, that’s changed today.”
- “It’s a tool we have to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used fairly and protect public finances and public trust.”
big picture: A widespread cyberattack last year by Russia compromised a wide range of high-profile agencies and companies, including the Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security departments.
- The Chinese government was linked to new hack attacks on the US government earlier this year.
- Ransomware has become an epidemic of its own, write Nerdshala Felix Salmon and Ina Fried.
- The White House is working with a number of tech leaders to address the growing wave of cyberattacks.