Feeds

US agencies cybersecurity defences are outstandingly mediocre

From Dunce's cap to C- in one bound

High performance access to file storage

Information security procedures in federal government have improved, albeit modestly. An annual computer security report card on 24 federal agencies released Thursday rated average security at "C-minus for 2006 compared to D+ in 2005.

So instead of been sent to bed without their pork supper, Federal IT managers have earned a pat on the head, if not a generous end of term present. The scores are based on reports submitted in response to the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA).

Perennial security underachievers the US Department of Homeland Security received its first-ever non-failing grade, managing to pull its performance up from an F to a D, the first time since the scheme began in 2003 that it didn't flunk.

Although overall security procedures improved the Department of Defense (DoD) recorded a failing F grade. Meanwhile the Department of Veterans Affairs - whose loss of laptops containing veterans' confidential data triggered a huge security breach - failed to submit a report. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, another agency that has trouble keeping track of its PCs, flunked. On a brighter note, the DoJ picked up an A- while the Social Security Administration rated an A.

The reports are overseen by the House Government Reform Committee, the well-spring of the FISMA laws. Although supporters of the law say it provides an incentive for improving security controls critics (including government IT managers) say the audit is more about fulfilling compliance requirements than reducing exposure to information security risks. Security industry observers also criticise the lack of remedial action, or indeed consequences of any type, that result from agencies receiving a failing grade. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
Reprieve for Weev: Court disowns AT&T hacker's conviction
Appeals court strikes down landmark sentence
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.