Feeds

GAO gives US.gov D- for security

Holes inside the Beltway

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

US federal agencies are poorly prepared in withstanding spyware, spam or phishing attack, a government audit has concluded. A survey by the Government Accountability Office published this week reveals a lack of coherent security planning among as many as 20 federal agencies.

"Many agencies have not fully addressed the risks of emerging cybersecurity threats as part of their required agency-wide information security programs," the GAO's Emerging Cybersecurity Issues Threaten Federal Information Systems study (PDF summary) states. It called on agencies to implement recommendations in the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002.

The report also criticised the Department of Homeland Security for a lack of leadership on information security reporting issues. US government agencies are supposed to report information security threats to US CERT but this is a custom more honoured in the breach than by its observance, the study concludes.

The issues addressed in the report are far from theoretical. Staff at several agencies - including the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service - have been taken in by phishing attacks, the GAO's study notes. Gartner security guru John Pescatore told Computerworld that private sector firms were little or no better than government organisations in defending against emerging security threats. "If there was a GAO that looked at private companies, you would find the same thing," he said. ®

Related stories

UK under cyber blitz
US gov wants to refang Patriot Act
Homeland Security blows $16m prepping for apocalypse
DHS comes clean on CAPPS, lets self off hook

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.