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US GAO reports on ‘Cybersecurity: Threats Impacting the Nation’

The United States Government Accountability Office has issued a new report, ‘Cybersecurity: Threats Impacting the Nation’.

The report outlines the nature of the various cybersecurity threats; highlights the vulnerabilities present in federal information systems and systems supporting critical infrastructure; and discusses reported cyber incidents and their impacts.

Highlights include:

  • Sources of threats include criminal groups, hackers, terrorists, organization insiders, and foreign nations engaged in crime, political activism, or espionage and information warfare.
  • The magnitude of the threat is compounded by the ever-increasing sophistication of cyber attack techniques, such as attacks that may combine multiple techniques. Using these techniques, threat actors may target individuals, businesses, critical infrastructures, or government organizations.
  • The threat posed by cyber attacks is heightened by vulnerabilities in federal systems and systems supporting critical infrastructure. Specifically, significant weaknesses in information security controls continue to threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical information and information systems supporting the operations, assets, and personnel of federal government agencies.
  • The number of cybersecurity incidents reported by federal agencies continues to rise, and recent incidents illustrate that these pose serious risk. Over the past six years, the number of incidents reported by federal agencies to the Federal Information Security Incident Center has increased by nearly 680 percent.
  • Pervasive and sustained cyber attacks against the United States could have a potentially devastating impact on federal and nonfederal systems, disrupting the operations of governments and businesses and the lives of private individuals.

Read the full report (PDF)

•Date: 26th April 2012 • US •Type: Article • Topic: ISM

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