As cybersecurity threats from terrorist groups have increased fivefold in the U.S. since 2009, cyber espionage may be synonymous with counterterrorism. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has recognized this and is looking to augment the agency’s cyber espionage capabilities in order to minimize the amount of threats and maximize cyber-security across government, public and business sectors.
CIA Director John Brennan proposed a shift in the CIA organization that accounts for the prominent use of smartphones, social media and mobile technology in cyber attacks. Brennan’s plans will allow the CIA to better recruit foreign officials as CIA informants, more accurately identify the targets of drone strikes and remain cognizant of the hacking operations of the Islamic State, the source of many cyber threats to the U.S.
This cyber espionage department will be modeled after the CIA’s counterterrorism department and there is still speculation on when the department will officially commence operations.
It’s not surprising that the CIA plans to make these changes, as, according to The Washington Post, “Cyber is now a part of every mission. It’s not a specialized, boutique thing.”
While government agencies may not need to identify foreign informants, it is still imperative that they follow CIA suit and boost their cybersecurity efforts.
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