With vigilance and supporting expertise, agencies can safeguard federal data effectively against cyber threats.
In our digital world, data privacy and security are of paramount concern. As we navigate an increasingly interconnected cyber landscape, federal agencies are managing unprecedented amounts of sensitive data. This data, if left unprotected, can become a target for cyber threats, jeopardizing national security and individual privacy. In the United States, laws and regulations have been put in place to bolster the privacy and security of data. In addition, several cybersecurity frameworks have been adopted to promote stringent protection against such threats.
Federal Data Privacy & Cybersecurity Regulations
At the federal level, data privacy in the US is protected under several laws and regulations. The Privacy Act of 1974 provides individual’s the right of access and redress to certain of their records, while limiting the use and disclosure of such information to only that described within corresponding System of Records Notices (SORNs). The Act promotes these regulations by requiring transparency, through privacy impact assessments, for certain processing of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about members of the public.
The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) mandates federal agencies to develop, document, and implement information security programs to protect their data and systems. Moreover, to strengthen cybersecurity, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 encourages information sharing about cybersecurity threats within the private sector and between the private sector and government. It also authorizes companies to monitor and operate defensive measures on their own information systems.
Frameworks like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) have been instrumental in guiding federal agencies in managing cybersecurity risks. These frameworks provide a structure for identifying, assessing, and managing cybersecurity risks, thus ensuring the protection of sensitive data.
NIST offers standards and best practices to manage cybersecurity risks. Its core functions include identifying, protecting, detecting, responding to, and recovering from cyber threats, ensuring a robust security structure.
On the other hand, FedRAMP is a government-wide program that standardizes security assessment, authorization, and monitoring for cloud products and services. This program ensures that cloud services used by federal agencies meet stringent security requirements, further reinforcing federal data security.
Contrasting State Data Privacy Laws
Unlike the federal laws that focus on specific sectors or types of information, several states have enacted comprehensive privacy laws. For instance, gives residents the right to know what personal data businesses collect about them, as well as the right to data deletion, providing more control over their personal information.
The contrast here lies in the scope. While federal laws and regulations create a baseline for the entire nation, state laws can provide additional layers of protection tailored to their constituents’ specific needs and concerns.
It’s important to note that organizations operating in multiple states need to comply with the regulations of each jurisdiction, adding to the comoplexity of data privacy compliance.
Data Privacy Trends
Data privacy is evolving, and fueled by growing concerns over one significant challenge: The adoption of Zero Trust architecture, which does not inherently trust any entity inside or outside the network. Instead, it requires verification for every person or device trying to access resources on the network. This can further tighten the security of federal data.
Another is the focus on privacy by design. This approach integrates privacy considerations into the design and implementation of technologies, business practices, and physical infrastructures. With this, privacy becomes a core function rather than an afterthought.
Federal data security is an ongoing battle, with cyber threats continually evolving and becoming more sophisticated. However, the existing data privacy laws, regulations, and cybersecurity frameworks provide a robust structure to protect sensitive data at both the federal and state levels. Trends like Zero Trust architecture and privacy by design further enhance these protections, demonstrating that, with a vigilant approach, federal data can be effectively safeguarded against cyber threats.
As we look ahead, it’s clear that balancing accessibility, privacy, and security will continue to be a challenge. Nonetheless, with continued investment and innovation in cybersecurity, federal data can remain secure, ensuring the protection of individual privacy and the safety of our nation.
With vigilance, sensitive data can be effectively safeguarded against cyber threats.
About the Author
Eric Johnson is the Senior Vice President of Engineering for Business Integra. He is a paradigm-busting visionary who challenges traditional thinking and trailblazes modern practices. Over 25 years of progressive experience in IT, including 15+ years in leadership and architecture positions for multiple Fortune 500 industry-leading companies. Expertise in advising executive leadership, leading enterprise key initiatives, and providing technical guidance across entire organizations. A breadth and depth of knowledge with proven learning agility and ability to transform conceptual ideas into business results; drive corporate goals and objectives; and lead the delivery of strategies, architectures, and solutions to resolve complex business challenges in global organizations.
Business Integra is an award-winning, global provider of information technology, cybersecurity, aeronautic engineering, scientific and mission support services. We are committed to producing efficient and ethical results that cut costs, reduce risks, secure data, and advance human progress via cybersecurity, IT, engineering and mission support services.
HOME | NEWSJULY 20, 2023 | THOUGHT LEADERSHIPNever trust. Aways verify.The Zero Trust model, a strategic initiative that helps prevent data breaches by eliminating the concept of trust-based access from an organization's network architecture, has become highly...