How Much Would a Government Shutdown Give Hackers a Leg Up?

According to some security experts, it’s very likely.

A shutdown would cause delays of critical work by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and some projects would come to a halt, testified Brian Gumbel, president of security firm Armis, in a Tuesday hearing before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection.

The longer the funding delay, “the more time adversaries will have to get in front of us,” Gumbel said. “The delays are just terrible for this nation and this is going to cause some major impact.”

Granted, any time funding is threatened there will be someone to make the worst-case scenario argument to a Congressional hearing. So it might not wind up being as bad as Mr. Gumbel claims. On the other hand, having reduced functionality when it comes to cybersecurity in the Federal Government isn’t going to be a good thing. It seems like they’ll be able to do monitoring of the federal network but anyone currently working with CISA might find that work delayed or put on the shelf and that could pose a significant risk across the industry.

As he points out, if nothing else, it simply slows down the work CISA is doing in comparison to the work bad actors can, and will, be doing. If we consider how much of a race it is to keep up with the opposition in this fight, being slowed down by politics sucks.


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