The Homeland Security Department awarded a huge contract for cybersecurity to Raytheon that is worth over $1 billion. Homeland Security hopes this will help to shore up the defenses of the federal government against the ongoing onslaught of cyber attacks.
The contract, one of the biggest civilian orders for cybersecurity in many years, would help over 100 federal civilian agencies protect networks against the malicious hackers. It comes following the most damaging attack in history on the Office of Personnel Management.
OPM recently announced that hackers were able to steal fingerprints of more than 5.6 million people, which was far more than was thought originally.
The attacks, said authorities, affected over 21 million current and former employees of the government, had their social security numbers and other types of personal information compromised.
The White House administration said it made cybersecurity one of its top priorities and the U.S. Congress has pushed to increase the defenses of the nation and make them stronger.
The Pentagon is currently taking additional steps in developing new ways to fight off the computer hackers, who often times only need one crack in the wall while defenders must guard the whole wall.
At a cybersecurity hearing Tuesday, Senator John McCain said that in the last year North Korea, Iran, Russia and china have all launched their own cyberattacks on the U.S.
He added that the rate of the cyberattacks has increased, crippling or disrupting severely the networks across both the private and public sector and compromising information that is sensitive for the national security.
In a prepared statement, announcing the new contract on Monday, Raytheon president Dave Wajsgras said that the cyber incidents have been on the increase an average of more than 66% per year from 2009 through 2014.
He added that much more must be done to develop necessary capabilities to deter the attacks and fight and win in today’s cyberspace.