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Federal agencies failed at cybersecurity measures, government watchdog finds | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Federal agencies are not implementing
cybersecurity
measures to protect government
technology
from heightened risks posed by “malicious actors,” according to a government
watchdog
office.

While the Government Accountability Office has made 335 public cybersecurity recommendations to federal agencies since 2010, only about 60% of them have been put in place, said a
report
published Thursday. The lack of security protocols will continue to open the government up to
national security
threats that pose “serious harm,” according to the report.


INTELLIGENCE WEBSITE USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT WEBSITE DEFACED IN APPARENT HACK

“Federal agencies and our nation’s critical infrastructures — such as energy, transportation systems, communications, and financial services — are dependent on technology systems to carry out fundamental operations and to process, maintain, and report vital information,” said the report, noting that system security is “vital” and that risks are surging as individuals “are becoming more willing and capable of carrying out cyberattacks.”

“Such attacks could result in serious harm to human safety, national security, the environment, and the economy,” the report continued. “Agencies and critical infrastructure owners and operators must protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their systems and effectively respond to cyberattacks.”

In 2021, federal agencies reported more than 32,500 security incidents to the
Department of Homeland Security
, according to the watchdog. This included incidents involving email phishing attacks, employees improperly using equipment, and attacks through websites. The vast majority of incidents, however, came from unknown causes, the watchdog says.

The GOA released a
report
in December 2020 that found 23 agencies failed to implement its recommendations in connection to risk management. This led to agencies being susceptible to intellectual property theft and the disruption of operations.

However, the latest report sheds light on GOA’s evident lack of influence over the 23 federal agencies, who have not addressed its cybersecurity concerns. Some of those agencies include the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, State, and Small Business Administration.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Agencies need to better secure devices connected to the internet by updating systems and evolving equipment as artificial intelligence usage ramps up, said the watchdog. AI enables malware to “mutate” and attack government technology in a more systematic, broad, way, the report said.

The latest cybersecurity report comes after a government intelligence website
used by law enforcement
was hacked on Sunday. Government defense officials are mulling usage of a new technology that would allegedly resist quantum computing-based attacks,
which foreign powers use to access
classified materials.

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