US Gov't Accountability Office IT Security Report: Weaknesses Continue Amid New Federal Efforts to Implement Requirements

Vendor: 
United States Government Accountability Office
Date of Publication: 
October 2011

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Description:

What GAO Found

Weaknesses in information security policies and practices at 24 major federal agencies continue to place the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information and information systems at risk. Consistent with this risk, reports of security incidents from federal agencies are on the rise, increasing over 650 percent over the past 5 years. Each of the 24 agencies reviewed had weaknesses in information security controls (see figure). An underlying reason for these weaknesses is that agencies have not fully implemented their information security programs. As a result, they have limited assurance that controls are in place and operating as intended to protect their information resources, thereby leaving them vulnerable to attack or compromise. In reports for fiscal years 2010 and 2011, GAO and agency inspectors general have made hundreds of recommendations to agencies for actions necessary to resolve control deficiencies and information security program shortfalls. Agencies generally agreed with most of GAO’s recommendations and indicated that they would implement them.