Cybersecurity was a popular topic in 2017 and the new year shows no signs of that changing. The American Enterprise Institute brought this information to our attention in their article, “Cybersecurity and digital trade in 2018: Preliminary predictions.”

Ransomware was a big topic over the last few years. With abundance of the Internet of Things (IoT) and industrial control systems for transportation moving closer to reality, we will likely see successful cyber-hijacking attacks continue as 2018 progresses. In these attacks hackers are able to take full control of a system, cutting a legitimate owner out with no possibility of regaining control. Hackers will then demand ransom payments to relinquish control of the system.

When it comes to legislation around cybersecurity issues, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has introduced the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 (S. 139, as amended) to renew Section 702 authorities for six years while making key reforms to the program to strengthen privacy protections for Americans. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authorizes the Intelligence Community to target the communications of non-U.S. persons located outside the United States for foreign intelligence purposes. This is considered a key anti-terror tool.

In Congress and the House, Republican and Democratic allies have stymied progress, but this should be resolved in the next month – however, it is unclear what the final compromise will be.

Melody K. Smith

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