The U.S. government is worse at cybersecurity than just about everyone else

Cybersecurity Act of 2012 SECURE IT Act
Looking for another reason to mistrust the government? Its shoddy cybersecurity practices may be just the ammunition you need. New data from security risk benchmarking startup SecurityScorecard suggests that when it comes to safe practices online, U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies rank dead last in comparison to 17 major private industries, including transportation, retail, and healthcare. The report examined the “overall security hygiene and security reaction time” of government institutions, paying special attention to NASA, the FBI, and the IRS, all of which were hacked earlier this year.

Topics of interest included vulnerability to malware infections, exposure rates of passwords, and susceptibility to social engineering, among other criteria.

The results were none too complimentary for our government. “Across all industries surveyed by SecurityScorecard,” the report notes, “U.S. government organizations received the lowest security scores. SecurityScorecard tracked 35 data breaches among all U.S. government organizations between April 2015 and April 2016.”

The biggest deficiencies were found within three categories of security; Malware Infections, Network Security, and Software Patching Cadence. Shockingly, 90 percent of state organizations scored an “F” in Software Patching Cadence, and 80 percent received the same score in Network Security.

But the worst offender of all was NASA, who received the lowest score among all 600 U.S. government organizations surveyed. Joining the bottom feeders were the U.S. Department of State, and the IT systems of Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

The Obama administration has certainly made attempts to address the overarching insufficiency of cybersecurity practices currently in play across a range of agencies. President Obama has asked for $19 billion from Congress to improve tech defenses, including $3.1 billion to modernize the IT infrastructure at a number of federal agencies.

“With serious data breaches making headlines on what seems like a weekly basis, our team felt compelled to turn a spotlight on government agencies and determine which of them are demonstrating a commitment to securing their infrastructure and which are falling short,” said Dr. Luis Vargas, senior data scientist at SecurityScorecard. “The data we uncovered clearly indicates that while some are improving their security postures, too many are leaving themselves dangerously exposed to risks and vulnerabilities, especially at the larger federal level.”

Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (February 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Web

Rid yourself of website notification requests in just a few easy steps

Wish you knew how to block browser and website notifications? You can do it on a case by case basis, but that can become dull after the 10th site has asked for your approval. Here's how to block them outright.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Computing

Decades-old Apple IIe computer found in dad’s attic, and it still works

A New York law professor went viral last weekend after he discovered an old Apple IIe computer sitting in his dad's attic. In a series of tweets, he showed that the vintage machine still works perfectly fine after 30 years.
Computing

Logitech’s G MX518 gaming mouse pairs classic looks with all-new tech

Logitech is relaunching one of its most popular classic gaming mice, the MX518. Now called the G MX518, it sports upgraded internals that give it a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and new and improved memory.
Computing

Microsoft could be planning a laptop with foldable screen, hints patent filing

Filed in late 2017 and titled "Bendable device with Display in Movable Connection With Body," the patent filing explains a new mechanism for laptops which can eliminate a hinge and allow the screen to fold shut from the inside,
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for February 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

Is AMD's Navi back on track for 2019? Here's everything you need to know

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles, like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Deals

Here are the best Chromebook deals available in February 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Computing

RTX might be expensive, but the 16 series could have the best Nvidia Turing GPUs

Set to debut at a step below the RTX 2060 on the price and performance spectrums, the GTX 1660 Ti and its other 16-series brethren could be Nvidia's killer mid-range cards of 2019 — especially with Tensor Core-powered DLSS.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 chips will be powerful, and they might be launched as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far, based on both leaks and the recent…