strengthening cybersecurity

Federal CIO Highlights Efforts to Strengthen Federal Cybersecurity

On the heels of the completion of the recent 30-day governmentwide “cybersecurity sprint,” last week Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tony Scott outlined efforts the Obama Administration has been taking to strengthen and enhance federal cybersecurity.

“Malicious actors take advantage of relatively inexpensive and easily accessible tools to attack systems and infrastructure - targeting applications and computing environments that weren’t designed to withstand the diversity and severity of the cyber threats we face today.  Nowhere is this problem more acute than in government, where antiquated systems and processes are still pervasive,” Scott wrote in a blog post detailing the Administration’s efforts.

The Administration has established cybersecurity as one of its first cross-agency priority (CAP) goals, directed a comprehensive Cyberspace Policy Review, is promoting DHS’s EINSTEIN and Continuous Diagnostics & Mitigation (CDM) program, and is promoting legislation to facilitate information sharing between the government and private sector.

Agencies are also being pushed to secure access to their systems by employees by requiring the use of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card or an alternative form of strong authentication. Agencies have reported significant increases in the percentages of employees using strong authentication in recent months.

Scott also encourages Congress to assist agencies in cybersecurity efforts by providing funding for agency upgrades and governmentwide IT efforts.

“Let me be clear: there are no one-shot silver bullets. Cyber threats cannot be eliminated entirely, but they can be managed much more effectively,” Scott concludes.

Posted in General News

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