The United States of America could leave itself open to attack with more than 30,000 Department of Homeland Security employees set to stay at home due to the budget stalemate.
With the two sides of Congress failing to agree on a budget, the nation has gone into a partial shutdown which will leave 700,000 federal workers staying at home national parks, museums, federal buildings and services closed down.
Among the affected divisions are the departments of Homeland Security and Defence, with the latter’s 1.4 million active uniformed military personnel staying on duty while around 400,000 civilian employees will have to stop work, however there is a blanket exception for activities that “provide for the national security”.
However in the Department of Homeland Security, 31,295 of its 231,117 employees are staying at home as a result of the incident. Asked if he felt that this would impact national security,
Speaking to IT Security Guru, Dave Anderson, senior director at Voltage Security, said that as cyber security is part of the critical national infrastructure, he did not expect this to be affected. “It will be no more affected than it was yesterday as support is not affected, and I do not expect to see an increase or influx of attacks, I expect things to continue on,” he said.
“I am yet to see a specific list of what is shut down, but what I see in southern California is a more consumer-level impact, such as national parks and the Smithsonian museums, rather than cyber defence or the Department of Homeland Security or other areas being affected.
Mike Janke, CEO and co-founder of Silent Circle, told IT Security Guru that he believed the shutdown would not “affect critical work areas like cyber security” as “everyone continues to go to work”.
According to Reuters, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel warned that the shutdown will undermine American credibility abroad and lead allies to question the nation’s commitment to treaty obligations.