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OMB Report Finds Rise in Federally Targeted Cybercrime in Fiscal Year 2023

by David McGarry

Published earlier this month, a new report from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) outlines the state of cybersecurity of the federal government. Unsurprisingly, cyberattacks are on the rise.

The OMB report stated that “Over the course of [Fiscal Year] 2023, 32,211 incidents were reported by Federal agencies, which represents a 9.9 percent increase from the 29,319 incidents reported in FY 2022.”

The two most common means of attack were improper usage by a user (38 percent) and phishing (19 percent). However, only 31 attacks were classified as being of “medium” priority level, and none were classified as more serious.

“In Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, the Administration continued to make progress in both implementing key cybersecurity protections, such as endpoint detection and response (EDR) and multi-factor authentication (MFA), and measuring agencies’ maturity in achieving the goals” outlined by President Joe Biden, the report states. However, even as this effort continues, its goals will be undermined if Congress or administrative agencies regulate to make devices more susceptible to cyberattack.

The App Security Project has reported extensively on the importance of strong device-level protections to fend off increasingly aggressive and sophisticated criminals. This is as imperative for government employees as it is for private consumers – if not more so. European officials recognized this fact when they asked Apple to continue to ban sideloading – a policy disallowed by the Digital Markets Act – on government devices.

With provisions such as sideloading bans, anti-security bills harm Americans’ ability to stay safe online in the public and private sectors. As criminals continue to develop craftier and more technologically sophisticated attacks, the defensive efforts of software developers and cybersecurity efforts must not be hamstrung by foolish regulation.

Published on June 26, 2024