Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

4/28/2016
04:20 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
0%
100%

Government Cybersecurity Performance, Confidence Bottoms Out

In the wake of OPM and other big gov breaches, government cybersecurity performance scores and employee confidence ratings sink through the floor.

Government agencies at all levels are falling far behind the private sector in cybersecurity measures, according to a pair of recent studies. If the damage left behind by massive breaches at the Office of Professional Management (OPM) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) weren't enough anecdotal evidence, now there's more data to back up government's lackluster performance.

Most recently, a new study out by SecurityScorecard's research team found that local, state, and federal government agencies have the worst performance indicators among 18 industry verticals, including education, healthcare, and legal organizations--all known laggards on the cybersecurity front. The scoring was based on SecurityScorecard's benchmarking platform, which aggregates from more than 30 million daily security-risk signals and sensors across the Web to form a picture of specific organizations and industries.

Among the areas benchmarked, SecurityScorecard found that low-performing government agencies fared the worst compared to other organizations when it came to malware infection rates, network security indicators, and software patching cadence. Among the 600 agencies included in this study, NASA fared dead last in performance scoring.                                                                                  

"NASA’s primary threat indicators include a large number of detected malware signatures over the past 30 days, tracked P2P activity, various SSL certificate issues, and insecure open ports, varying from IMAP to Telnet to DB ports among others," the report stated.

Leaders at federal agencies at least have a hunch that they aren't doing well: Another study out this month shows that cybersecurity confidence among the senior executive leadership at these agencies is at a low point. Conducted by the Government Business Council and sponsored by Dell, this study is a follow-up to a similar one done in 2014. Since that time, there's been a 30-point drop in the respondents who indicate they are confident or very confident in agency information security. Similarly, there's been a 28-point drop in respondents indicating their confidence in their agency's ability to keep up with evolving cyber threats.

"The federal government appears to still be in the beginning stages of constructing more robust cybersecurity strategies, and respondents cite budget constraints, slow technology acquisition processes, and bureaucratic inertia as the chief barriers to a more holistic agency cybersecurity posture," the report says. "Moving forward, agencies need to focus on tackling institutional obstacles in order to move forward with bolstering organizational cybersecurity."

 

 

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Where Businesses Waste Endpoint Security Budgets
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/15/2019
How Attackers Infiltrate the Supply Chain & What to Do About It
Shay Nahari, Head of Red-Team Services at CyberArk,  7/16/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-7843
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-18
Adobe Campaign Classic version 18.10.5-8984 and earlier versions have an Insufficient input validation vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to Information Disclosure in the context of the current user.
CVE-2019-7846
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-18
Adobe Campaign Classic version 18.10.5-8984 and earlier versions have an Improper error handling vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to Information Disclosure in the context of the current user.
CVE-2019-7847
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-18
Adobe Campaign Classic version 18.10.5-8984 and earlier versions have an Improper Restriction of XML External Entity Reference ('XXE') vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to Arbitrary read access to the file system in the context of the current user.
CVE-2019-7848
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-18
Adobe Campaign Classic version 18.10.5-8984 and earlier versions have an Inadequate access control vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to Information Disclosure in the context of the current user.
CVE-2019-7850
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-18
Adobe Campaign Classic version 18.10.5-8984 and earlier versions have a Command injection vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to Arbitrary Code Execution in the context of the current user.