The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was repeatedly warned in the years before the 2016 attack on its EDGAR corporate filing system, by the agency’s inspector general, that its defenses against cyber intrusions were lax. This information was discovered during a review of internal evaluations conducted by The Hill. The EDGAR system is used by all publicly traded companies and the hack may have been used to make illicit trades and some personal information was accessed.

          Cyber security expert, CyberScoop, detailed the following reasons as to why many U.S. government agencies have lax cyber defenses: they have legacy systems (technology that is 15-30 years old) to which new technology cannot be added and they do not have properly trained personnel in cybersecurity. Congress is investigating the breach and is determined to rectify the problem.

          The details of this article may be consequential for U.S. prestige in the international community, because it is yet another indicator that the U.S. is behind technologically in the cyber realm. It also reveals to other potential hackers that legacy systems are still active and vulnerable in U.S. governmental agencies. Finally, it highlights the necessity of an increased federal cyber budget for replacement systems that are less vulnerable to hacks.