How Good Cybersecurity Practices Are Patriotic

Imagine waking up to a news alert that a massive cyber attack has taken down the power grid of an entire state. Sounds like a scene out of a sci-fi movie, right?

Unfortunately, in today's interconnected world, this isn't just a work of fiction - it's a very real possibility. Cybersecurity is no longer just about protecting individuals or companies. It's about protecting our nation's most critical infrastructure, economic stability - and even its national security.

Following stringent cybersecurity practices in your organization, therefore, isn't just about keeping yourself or your business' assets safe, but instead, a proud act of patriotism.

Let's explore how avoiding bad cybersecurity practices and focusing on bolstering your security can help you showcase your pride as an American.

Why Cybersecurity Matters Now More Than Ever

Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, and they're becoming increasingly sophisticated. 

According to one estimate, the global cost of cybercrime is expected to grow dramatically over the next few years, likely topping $15.63 trillion (a 69% increase) by 2029.

Therefore, understanding the broader implications of cybersecurity has never been more of a pressing issue than it is today. By implementing robust cybersecurity measures, you can protect not just yourself or your own company - but you can also contribute to national security. 

Cybersecurity tools can help both government and industry with dual-use technology, creating a robust system that makes sure each element of our most critical systems are protected.

How Cybersecurity Best Practices Make You a Patriot

Ready to safeguard your organization against cybercrime - and show your pride as an American? Here's how following the best cybersecurity practices can help you protect the country you love:

1. Protecting Critical Infrastructure

The United States' critical infrastructure, including energy, transportation, and even financial services, relies heavily on private companies. This interconnectedness is convenient and mutually beneficial, but also means that any disruption in these sectors, no matter how small or large, can have far-reaching implications for our national security. From power grids to banks, the private sector's role in maintaining stability can't be ignored.

Going deeper, cyberattacks on critical infrastructure can result in catastrophic damage. Just look at what happened in 2015, when the Ukrainian power grid attack by hackers led to a significant blackout. 

Another example was in 2021, when the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack resulted in severe fuel shortages across the eastern United states, again highlighting the vulnerabilities in our critical infrastructure. 

These examples both show why it's important for businesses to focus on cybersecurity practices like network segmentation, regular updates, and intrusion detection systems to mitigate these risks. 

2. Safeguarding Economic Stability

Our financial systems are at the heart of everything we do - and cyberattacks on banks and financial institutions can lead to crippling financial instability. For instance, the 2017 Equifax breach exposed the sensitive information of more than 147 million Americans, showcasing the dire consequences of even momentary lapses in cybersecurity. 

A breach in a major bank's system could result in financial fraud, the loss of customer trust, and even long lasting economic downturns. 

Intellectual property is another significant threat. Cybersecurity measures can protect sensitive corporate data from espionage and preserve the country's economic competitiveness. 

A 2020 report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property found that IP theft costs taxpayers between $225 billion and $600 billion annually - not just a drop in the bucket.

3. Personal Data Protection

The vast majority of companies now hold equally vast amounts of personal data. Implementing cybersecurity practices like encryption, access controls, and continuous monitoring can prevent data breaches that lead to identity theft and financial fraud. The Marriott data breach in 2018, affecting more than 500 million guests, is a prime example of the importance of robust data protection measures.

Similarly, companies working with government contracts often handle the most sensitive information. Again, robust cybersecurity practices make sure this information is protected from foreign adversaries and bad actors. The infamous OPM data breach in 2015, where the personal information of 22.1 million individuals was stolen, again highlights the high stakes involved.

4. Mitigating Cyber Espionage

Many cyberattacks aim to steal trade secrets and proprietary information, but implementing best practices can thwart this kind of cyber espionage (which tends to benefit foreign competitors or hostile nations). 

Companies involved in defense manufacturing and research are prime targets for cyber espionage, but ensuring cybersecurity best practice helps to protect critical defense-related technologies and innovations. 

The 2011 RSA Security breach, which targeted defense contractors, is a stark reminder of these vulnerabilities and the need to protect our critical systems from prying eyes. And let's not forget the theft of trade secrets from American companies by Chinese hackers, which has been a growing concern for years. 

5. Reducing the Attack Surface

We need to remember that cybersecurity best practices should extend to securing the supply chain as well - all suppliers and partners need to adhere to similar standards to reduce potential entry points for attacks. 

It may not always be obvious where the threat is coming from - but the threat tends to always be there. For example, the 2013 Target data breach first originated from a third-party HVAC vendor - not something we would have predicted.

Along those lines, developing incident response plans and strong disaster recovery protocols  - particularly when implemented along the entire supply chain - can guarantee that companies are able to quickly recover from attacks, minimizing their impact and avoiding a nasty trickle-down effect.

Ultimately, the faster a company can bounce back, the less damage it will inflict on the broader national security framework. 

6. Enhancing Public-Private Collaboration

Adopting cybersecurity best practices facilitates better collaboration between private companies and government agencies. Sharing threat intelligence helps both sectors stay ahead of emerging threats. The Department of Homeland Security's Cyber Information Sharing and Collaboration Program (CISCP) is a prime example of such collaboration.

And standardized cybersecurity frameworks, like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, make it easier for government agencies to coordinate responses to cyber incidents. These frameworks provide a common language and set of expectations for organizations to defend against cyber threats.

7. Supporting National Cyber Defense

Every company that strengthens its cybersecurity posture reduces the overall number of vulnerabilities within the national cyber landscape. This collective effort makes it harder for adversaries to find and exploit weaknesses. 

So what can we do? One of the best moves you can make as an organization is to invest in cybersecurity training and development to contribute to a more skilled workforce - this benefits national security by producing a pool of experts who are capable of defending against sophisticated cyber threats. 

The Takeaway

There are lots of things we can do to show pride for our country, from raising a flag to saluting our veterans and so much more.

But as an IT professional, cybersecurity expert, or business owner of any kind, adopting robust cybersecurity measures is not just a business imperative - it's a patriotic duty. 

If you're ready to start taking steps to show your pride as an American and improving your organization's cybersecurity practices, reach out to Sicura. 

With Sicura, you'll enjoy the convenience that comes with automated, standardized cybersecurity solutions - while also knowing you're doing your patriotic duty by protecting your most critical infrastructure. 

Try Sicura FreePlus today - and take the first step toward a more secure and efficient tomorrow.