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DHS failing to secure data despite $322m security spend

The US Department of Homeland Security, which sets the benchmark for IT security practice in America, suffered more than 840 IT security lapses in 2005 and 2006, despite spending $332m on IT security this year.

The US Department of Homeland Security, which sets the benchmark for IT security practice in America, suffered...

more than 840 IT security lapses in 2005 and 2006, despite spending $332m on IT security this year.

This emerged during Congressional hearings on the DHS’s lapses. These included Trojan infections, sending classified e-mails over unprotected networks, hard copies of user IDs and passwords for a local network administrator, and unauthorised attachment of personal digital devices to DHS networks.

At the hearing, Government Accountability Office (GAO) auditors damned the DHS’s US-Visit programme, which is meant to keep out undesirable visitors by using biometric identity measures. The GAO said sensitive personal information was at risk unless DHS fixed “pervasive” IT-security flaws.

GAO auditor Keith Rhodes told the hearing he did not find anti-hacking controls, defensive perimeters, or intrusion or change detection measures.

US Homeland Security condemned as insecure >>

Zitz put in charge of cybersecurity at DHS >>

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

 

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