GAO: U.S. Not Ready to Face Cyber Threats

By Kara Reeder | Nov 20, 2009 | Print this Page
http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsecur/gao-us-not-ready-face-cyber-threats
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office says that while cyber-threats against federal networks and the country's critical infrastructure are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the country is not ready to protect itself from such attacks.

GAO has identified weaknesses in all major categories of information security controls at federal agencies ... Specifically, agencies did not consistently authenticate users to prevent unauthorized access to systems; apply encryption to protect sensitive data; and log, audit, and monitor security-relevant events, among other actions.

Experts agree that the most at risk are the nation's power grids, transportation systems, telecommunications, financial institutions and health network. The report recommends that agencies regularly test and evaluate the effectiveness of their cyber security controls to make sure they are designed and operating properly, reports FederalNewsRadio.

The need to protect the nation's infrastructure is imminent. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission just reported that the Chinese government seems increasingly to be hacking U.S. government and defense industry computer networks to get useful data for its military.