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GAO Gives DHS Mixed Reviews In Post-9/11 Security Initiatives

Report provides seven examples that show DHS is making progress on some fronts
The Government Accountability Office this week released a 226-page report giving the Department of Homeland Security mixed reviews in carrying out its mission since 9/11. Information technology plays a significant role in DHS' efforts, and these seven examples cited in the report demonstrate that while DHS is making progress on some fronts, many challenges remain.

Homeland Security Information Network: HSIN may get less publicity these days than some DHS efforts, but it is at the core of DHS' mission as a locus for homeland security information sharing. HSIN is a secure portal for security alerts, advisories, and information on homeland security technologies, and is used by a large network of federal, state, local, and private sector organizations, from emergency management to law enforcement to critical infrastructure providers. The portal includes document libraries, instant messaging, incident reporting, discussion boards, and numerous other features.

U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team: When DHS created US-CERT in 2003, it stood up what's since become a key government player in terms of responding to cyberattacks. Federal agencies now regularly report cyber incidents to the organization, which responds by sharing information with both the public and private sectors and investigating attacks. While US-CERT has become a cornerstone of DHS' cyber efforts, it's undergoing some turmoil right now, as former director Randy Vickers resigned abruptly in July.

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