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Q1 2021 has been a tumultuous period in our era of cyber espionage. The Center For Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), which has been tracking “significant cyber incidents” since 2006, lists 30 major attacks from January to March 2021. Over this same period in 2020, the CSIS noted “just” 21 incidents.
What’s behind this almost 30% increase in the number of cyber attacks? COVID-19 has certainly been one factor, with cyber espionage surrounding vaccine information making headlines across the globe. As vaccine diplomacy takes off, the pace of government-sponsored malfeasance has risen as well.
But while vaccine information is one target of espionage, it represents merely a part of the ever-expanding picture of global cyber defense. At a time when fighter jets are at greater risk of being taken down by a cyber attack than a ballistic missile, governments are investing more than ever in their cyber defense strategy, with new, more rigorous compliance standards emerging across the globe.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) is no exception. Its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), first unveiled in November 2020, standardizes cybersecurity best practices for the hundreds of thousands of vendors and contractors working with the DoD.