Cyberattacks on Washington Are Up 50 to 100 Percent

Cyberattacks on Washington Are Up 50 to 100 Percent

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By Brianna Ehley, The Fiscal Times

As the government struggles to hire skilled workers to fend off hackers, cyberattacks on federal agencies are up between 50 and 100 percent in the past year.

A new survey by the Professional Services Council found that at least 28 percent of chief information officers at federal agencies reported an increase in cyberattacks of 51 to 100 percent over the past year.

Related: Cyber Security Office Deemed Dysfunctional

The increasing threat of cyber hacks against the government isn’t surprising. Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office listed federal IT operations as one of the most serious weaknesses in the federal government and in its annual “High Risk” report, the GAO labeled this vulnerability a major threat to national security.

Just last week, the Obama administration announced that Chinese cyber thieves hacked into the Office of Personnel Management’s massive government data system and accessed more than 4 million federal workers’ personal data. ABC News reported that the hackers potentially gained access to some Cabinet member data as well.

In the aftermath of the breach, President Obama called on agencies to ramp up cyber security efforts. However, the problem, according to the PSC survey, is that the government is having trouble recruiting skilled cyber experts.

Related: Federal Government Hacked: Chinese Cyber Thieves Target Fed’s Personal Info

Some 63 percent of CIOs reported that their agencies were not sufficiently prepared to develop necessary talent. Most cited limited resources and government salaries as obstacles to competing with employers in the private sector.

Commerce Department CIO Steve Cooper said hiring young people is a major challenge. The average age of Commerce employees is about 50 years old, NextGov noted.

The CIOs’ responses are in line with a separate GAO report from earlier this year that found there is a major skills gap within the federal workforce when it comes to IT and cybersecurity.

Chart of the Day: Public Spending on Job Programs

Martin Rangel, a worker at Bremen Castings, pours motel metal into forms on the foundry’s production line in Bremen
STAFF
By The Fiscal Times Staff

President Trump announced on Thursday the creation of a National Council for the American Worker, charged with developing “a national strategy for training and retraining workers for high-demand industries,” his daughter Ivanka wrote in The Wall Street Journal. A report from the president’s National Council on Economic Advisers earlier this week made it clear that the U.S. currently spends less public money on job programs than many other developed countries. 

Economists See More Growth Ahead

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By The Fiscal Times Staff

Most business economists in the U.S. expect the economy to keep chugging along over the next three months, with rising corporate sales driving additional hiring and wage increases for workers.

The tax cuts, however, don’t seem to be playing a role in hiring and investment plans. And the trade conflicts stirred up by the Trump administration are having a negative influence, with the majority of economists at goods-producing firms who replied to the most recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics saying that their companies were putting investments on hold as they wait to see how things play out. 

New Tax on Non-Profits Hits Public Universities

		<p>This complex offers upperclassmen fully furnished single rooms with private bathrooms. Rooms are wired for TV cable, with dozens of popular channels and Internet access; there are also refrigerators and microwaves. All of the buildings have mail pick
Turner Construction Company
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Republican tax bill signed into law late last year imposed a 21 percent tax on employees at non-profits who earn more than $1 million a year. According to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education cited by Bloomberg, there were 12 presidents of public universities who received compensation of at least $1 million in 2017, with James Ramsey of the University of Louisville topping the list at $4.3 million.  Endowment managers could also get hit with the tax, as could football coaches, some of whom earn substantially more than the presidents of their institutions.

Deficit Jumps in Trump’s First Fiscal Year

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By Michael Rainey

The federal budget deficit rose by 16 percent in the first nine months of the 2018 fiscal year, which began last October. The shortfall came to $607 billion, compared to $523 billion in the same period the year before, according to a U.S. Treasury report released Thursday and reported by Bloomberg. Both revenue and spending rose, but spending rose faster. Revenues came to $2.54 trillion, up 1.3 percent from the same nine-month period in 2017, while spending came to $3.15 trillion, up 3.9 percent.