Feeds

GAO gives US.gov D- for security

Holes inside the Beltway

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
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
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.