CISA Breached

Critical cybersecurity agency compromised in targeted attack.


Ivanti Vulnerabilities Exploited

Attackers leverage known software flaws to gain access.


Sensitive Data at Risk

Potential compromise of critical infrastructure and chemical security information.

News > Cyber-Attacks > CA-General
By Kevin Wood

CISA Hit: Nation’s Top Cybersecurity Agency Compromised in Breach



security industry reeling

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the United States government’s frontline cyber defense agency, has itself been the victim of a cyberattack. While details are still emerging, the breach has rattled the cybersecurity community and raised concerns about the vulnerability of even the most critical infrastructure organizations.

What We Know

Initial reports indicate that attackers exploited vulnerabilities in Ivanti Connect Secure (formerly Pulse Connect Secure) and Ivanti Policy Secure gateways, software products used by CISA. In late February 2023, CISA issued a warning about these vulnerabilities and urged organizations to apply patches immediately.

According to sources, two CISA systems were compromised in the attack:

  • Infrastructure Protection (IP) Gateway: This system houses sensitive information regarding the interdependency of U.S. critical infrastructure.
  • Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT): This tool stores detailed security plans for facilities that use hazardous chemicals.

The potential impact of this data breach is significant. Adversaries could leverage the information gained to plan attacks on critical infrastructure or exploit weaknesses within the chemical sector.

The Investigation Unfolds

CISA has acknowledged the breach and confirmed that impacted systems have been taken offline. An investigation is underway, but the attackers’ identities and motives remain unclear. Given the sophistication of the attack and the targeted nature of CISA, experts suggest the involvement of a well-resourced hacking group, potentially supported by a nation-state.

Heightened Concern Across Sectors

The CISA attack highlights the fact that no organization, regardless of its cybersecurity expertise, is immune to cyber threats. The breach underscores the relentless nature of cyber adversaries and the importance of constant vigilance.

CISA’s role in guiding cybersecurity practices for both critical infrastructure and the private sector makes this attack particularly concerning. It could erode trust in the agency’s recommendations and potentially lead to a broader reluctance to share threat intelligence information.

Fallout and Response

The fallout from the CISA attack will likely reverberate throughout the cybersecurity landscape. Expect:

  • Intensified Scrutiny of Ivanti Products: Organizations using Ivanti software will need to reassess their risk and potentially implement additional security measures.
  • Increased Calls for Federal Intervention: The attack may bolster arguments for more stringent cybersecurity regulations and increased governmental support for cyber defense.
  • Re-evaluation of Trust Models: Businesses and federal agencies may need to re-examine their trust relationships with third-party software providers and supply chains.

Recommendations: Staying Safe in the Aftermath

While the investigation into the CISA breach continues, organizations should take immediate steps to protect themselves:

  • Urgent Patching: If you are using vulnerable Ivanti software, apply available security patches as a matter of absolute priority. CISA has released an emergency directive specifically addressing this issue.
  • Review Network Segmentation: Compartmentalize your network to limit the potential movement of attackers if they gain access to one system.
  • Heightened Alert: Monitor for unusual activity on your network, paying close attention to any attempts to exploit Ivanti products.
  • Revisit Vulnerability Management: This incident emphasizes the need for a robust vulnerability management program, including regular scanning, risk assessment, and timely patching across all software.

BBG: Your Cybersecurity Partner

The CISA breach is a stark reminder that cyber threats are constantly evolving. Balance Business Group (BBG) is committed to helping businesses stay ahead of these risks. BBG’s suite of cybersecurity solutions, including enterprise web browsing, cyber security training, ransomware detection/mitigation, data analytics, and disaster recovery solutions, can strengthen your defenses.

In the face of increasingly sophisticated attacks, BBG helps businesses fortify their systems and, importantly, plan for swift recovery should an attack succeed.

The Challenge Ahead

The cyberattack on CISA is a sobering development in the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. This attack demonstrates both the audacity and capability of adversaries’ intent on disrupting our critical infrastructure. Organizations cannot afford complacency. Proactive risk management, robust patching practices, and investment in layered security solutions are essential to safeguarding against future attacks.



  • Urgent Patching is Essential: The CISA breach highlights why applying software updates promptly is non-negotiable. BBG helps manage this process.
  • Defense-in-Depth is Vital: Layered security, including solutions like BBG’s web browsing controls and training, reduce attack vectors significantly.
  • Zero-Trust Architecture: BBG can help implement “never trust, always verify” models, making attacks like the one on CISA more difficult.
  • Disaster Recovery Planning: Assume attacks will succeed. BBG’s solutions ensure rapid recovery if the worst happens.
  • Email today to schedule a demo and find out how our solutions can help your organization!