Talk about ironic, the Deparment of Homeland Security has apparently joined the growing list of other government agencies which overlooked cybersecurity. The Inspector General’s Office conducted a recent audit of ninety-four of the Department’s laptop computers and found:
“significant work remains to be done” by the inspector general’s office in the areas of configuration, patch and inventory management, the report said.
For instance, the inspector general’s office has so far failed to implement a standard laptop configuration that meets required DHS and federal guidelines, the report noted. Nearly 40% of tested laptops were discovered to have vulnerabilities because of a failure to meet standard configuration requirements.
Government cybersecurity problems first were exposed at the Veterans Administration. Now just this week, problems have expanded to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Energy. Now the Department of Homeland Security has been added to the mix. Will these problems continue? Will our identities be compromised everytime we interact with the government? Can the government realistically prioritize data security? Public outcry at the Veterans Administration has apparently made a difference at that agency and the Department has been making real inroads toward data security and protection. I hope that we see similar priorities at these other agencies. Only time will tell whether cybersecurity becomes a priority throughout our government.