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    IT Security Problems Remain Serious in 24 US Federal Agencies - GAO Report

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    Persistent weaknesses at 24 US federal agencies illustrate the significant challenges they face in effectively applying information security policies and practices, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, released on Tuesday, said.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigate show the US federal government spends taxpayer money.

    "Most agencies continue to have weaknesses in limiting, preventing and detecting inappropriate access to computer resources [and in] managing the configuration of software and hardware."

    US federal agencies, the report added, also continue to show disquieting security weaknesses in the areas of planning for continuity of operations in the event of a disaster or disruption.

    "These deficiencies place critical information and information systems used to support the operations, assets and personnel of federal agencies at risk."

    Moreover, the report noted that agencies have displayed repeated failures to implement agency-wide security management programs that are critical to identifying control deficiencies, resolving problems and managing risks on an ongoing basis.

    "In prior reports, GAO and inspectors general have made hundreds of recommendations to agencies to address deficiencies in their information security controls and weaknesses in their programs, but many of these recommendations remain unimplemented."

    The GAO recommended that the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, enhance security program reporting guidance to inspectors general so that the ratings of agency security performance will be consistent and comparable.

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