Public and Private Cybersecurity

Between banks, electric companies, and other crucial pieces of the world’s infrastructure, cyber attacks are becoming increasingly commonplace.  While attacks like these are to be expected, what is disconcerting is the state of many of these systems.  A recent article from Veracode indicated that under a third of critical infrastructure applications pass generally agreed upon standards for security.

Public sector entities certainly must deal with a different set of constraints that the private sector might not, especially regarding budgeting and accountability.  Recode rather coarsely points out that government cybersecurity just can’t compare to that of the private sector.

While the government has consistently lagged, certain industries have improved their security practices, particularly those that have had a history of public attacks and those that hold onto individual consumer data.  Both the healthcare and retail markets have seen a 9% improvement in their pass rate related to accepted cybersecurity standards.

Given the heavily publicized news about Target, Equifax, and others who have had consumer data breached, it’s no surprise that there is a public demand for increased security regarding sensitive information.  While the government hasn’t had the same type of bad publicity that accompanies breaches including SSNs and credit card numbers, it hasn’t been without its breaches.

What the government can do to start to avoid these sorts of things is to put a larger focus on the issue, making cybersecurity a type of continual process improvement activity as opposed to something that might only be implemented in response to an attack or breach.  This involves hiring and retaining top talent, and conducting regular tests to always have an idea of the strengths and vulnerabilities within a given system.

While breaching private business can be potentially lucrative, breaches regarding our public infrastructure applications could have a much more universal and distributed negative effect on society, making it extremely important that any existing cybersecurity concerns are addressed.

Extract works with clients and leaves data behind their firewalls to allow fewer vulnerabilities.  After redacting over four billion pages we’ve had zero reported privacy breaches.  We believe that PHI should be protected whether a document is made available to the public online or not, so even if a data breach occurs, citizens’ data is still safe.

If you’d like to learn more about Extract’s security protocols or how we redact private information, please reach out to us today and we’d be happy to schedule a call or give you a demo of our software.


Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing.  Chris received his bachelor's degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.