GAO Reports 650% Increase in Security Incidents

  • Security

As part of the Government Accountability Office, the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA) established an information security program, which evaluates and provides annual reporting for federal agencies. The most recent study was released, Weaknesses Continue Amid New Federal Efforts to Implement Requirements, and reports that security incidents from federal agencies have increased 650% in the past five years.

Twenty-four agencies were reviewed, and each agency had weaknesses in information security controls. The report states that one of the reasons for these fraud prevention weaknesses have occurred is because the agencies have not fully implemented their information security programs and fraud prevention tools.

It is suspected that the increase of information security weaknesses coincides with many agencies transferring data online for easier access, especially between agencies. This action has created an opportunity to potentially expose sensitive information.

Agencies have not fully implemented their information security programs, Gregory Wilshusen, GAO director of information security issues. 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.