GAO: Federal Network Security Breaches Spike 650 Percent

NextGov, October 3, 2011

Reports of network security incidents at federal agencies have soared 650 percent during the past half-decade, jeopardizing the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive government information, federal auditors charged in a congressionally mandated report. The most prevalent types of cyber events included infections from malicious code — 30 percent of incidents; violations of acceptable use policies; and intrusions into networks, applications and other data resources, states a Government Accountability Office report released on Monday. GAO auditors are required by law to periodically update Congress on departments’ compliance with a computer security measure called the 2002 Federal Information Security Act, or FISMA. During the past five years, the number of reported events has grown from 5,503 in 2006 to 41,776 in 2010. The main reason agency computers are vulnerable to contamination is departments have failed to implement security controls, according to the audit. Agencies do not always adequately train personnel responsible for system security, regularly monitor safeguards, successfully fix vulnerabilities or resolve incidents in a timely fashion. http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20111003_6771.php?oref=topnews

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