Executive Order 13694 will be around for another year, as the current administration has elected to extend it. This document provides the government with the power necessary to retaliate against cyber-attacks of various kinds through the use of sanctions. Let’s take a look at what this means.
First set forth by former U.S. President Barack Obama on April 1, 2015, the original order gave the government the authority to strike back against those who engaged in significant hacking attacks. This included attacks on pieces of critical infrastructure, economic hacking, or widespread denial-of-service (DoS) attacks – cyber-attacks where machines or network resources are rendered unavailable by a temporary or indefinite disruption of services connected to the Internet. In December of 2016, the order was expanded to include polling machines and other systems used in electoral processes after Russia interfered with the presidential election.
Executive Order 13694 was days from its expiration before the current administration sent a letter to Congress. That letter stated that the order would be renew “the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13694 with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities.”
Unfortunately, this order does not mean that the average small- to medium-sized business (SMB) will have the full force of the government supporting them if they fall victim to a cybercriminal. Short of being the target of an attack that poses “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” the SMB is on its own. This is cause for some concern, as 43 percent of cyber-attacks target small businesses.
With the right IT provider’s help, you can take action to protect your business against the various security threats you may encounter. Proactive tools that offer Remote Monitoring and Management and layered security plans are solutions that will make your network more resistant to threats. These services keep an eye on your network for incoming issues, resolving them much quicker than a reactionary approach would. Adding security education into your best practices will help your employees prevent and prepare for potential intrusions.
To learn how our suite of managed services and security solutions can help your business, turn to The Walker Group.