Feeds

Watchdog: US Computer Emergency Readiness Team isn't ready

Nation not secure

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A government watchdog agency has taken the US Department of Homeland Security to task for failing to adequately protect the nation's critical computer networks in a report that singles out the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team.

In a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, a member of the Government Accountability Office said US-CERT should do a better job of monitoring network activity "for anomalies to determine whether they are threats, warning appropriate officials with timely and actionable threat and mitigation information, and responding to the threat," according to Nextgov. He also criticized US-CERT for weaknesses identified during a 2006 cybersecurity drill.

A draft report issued by the GAO, and reported here by BusinessWeek, is considerably harsher. It claims US-CERT "lacks a comprehensive baseline understanding of the nation's critical information infrastructure operations, does not monitor all critical infrastructure information systems, does not consistently provide actionable and timely warnings, and lacks the capacity to assist in mitigation and recovery in the event of multiple, simultaneous incidents of national significance."

It also says US-CERT "still does not exhibit aspects of the attributes essential to having a truly national capability."

DHS officials defend their capabilities but also say they are the first to admit they need to do more to safeguard the nation's infrastructure. "We are undertaking something not unlike the Manhattan Project," a DHS representative told BusinessWeek. "We have set a strong cyber strategy, recently created the National Cyber Security Center, and are in the process of aggressively hiring several hundred analysts to further our mission of security critical infrastructure."

Among the planned enhancements is a system known as Einstein, which collects, correlates, analyzes and shares computer security information with US-CERT members.

US-CERT was established in 2003 and shoulders primary responsibility for protecting private and government-run computer networks in the US. It is partnership between the DHS and the public and private sectors. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.