Harry, C., Sivan-Sevilla, I., McDermott, M., Yadav, R., & Daley, A. (2023, July 7). Measuring the Integrated Cyber Attack Surface Across US County Government Networks. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/hf3sn
Limited methodologies to measure, enumerate and aggregate the cyber attack surface of local governments in the US prevent the full estimation of the importance of local government cybersecurity to national resilience. Our study aims to address this gap. We offer a novel empirical approach to collect and assess the size, complexity, and vulnerability of county government digital infrastructures. By collecting data on more than 26,000 Internet-facing devices across 3,108 county governments we show, for the first time, variations in size and severity of the local government attack surface in the United States. We aggregate results to the state and national levels to reveal the potential impact of local government insecurity on efforts to develop national cyber resilience. Previously studied as islands of cyber insecurity, our novel methodological approach holistically estimates potential vulnerability to common attack vectors, shedding light on the integrated attack surface created across US county governments.