Home Business What Message Is The Government Sending With Serious Cyber-Vulnerabilities At Homeland Security?

What Message Is The Government Sending With Serious Cyber-Vulnerabilities At Homeland Security?

0

Joseph Steinberg, Forbes
Special to In Homeland Security

A new report from its own Inspector General notes that the US Department of Homeland Security –  the government division ostensibly responsible for ensuring cybersecurity throughout the nation – itself suffers from serious cyber-vulnerabilities.

The report notes that problems exist even on Top Secret systems, and that among other problems, the Department of Homeland Security commonly utilizes inadequate authentication, fails to properly track data and hence is unable to adequately monitor who is accessing what information, and runs seriously outdated software. Windows XP – an operating system that was released over twelve years ago and for which Microsoft plans to stop issuing security patches in the near future – continues to run on computers at DHS headquarters.

While these findings are alarming, they are not shocking. Earlier analysis had found other serious issues — including that DHS practices poor patch management, often failing to install fixes that correct known security vulnerabilities.

While the report claims that DHS “continues to improve and strengthen its information security program” some of the vulnerabilities that remain are glaring, and, would be, in the words of Senator Tom Coburn, the ranking member on the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, “obvious to any 13-year-old with a laptop.”

It is time for the government to lead by example; rapid, dramatic, and active change is needed. The current “Do as I say, not as I do” situation is not only putting our national security at risk, but also encouraging people not to take cybersecurity seriously. How can we possibly expect 13-year-olds with laptops to regularly install patches when the government body tasked with encouraging people to be vigilant does not?

I share great articles from a variety of authors via Twitter.

Follow me at @JosephSteinberg

Comments

comments

Roots In The Military. Relevant To All.

American Military University (AMU) is proud to be the #1 provider of higher education to the U.S. military, based on FY 2018 DoD tuition assistance data, as reported by Military Times, 2019. At AMU, you’ll find instructors who are former leaders in the military, national security, and the public sector who bring their field-tested skills and strategies into the online classroom. And we work to keep our curriculum and content relevant to help you stay ahead of industry trends. Join the 64,000 U.S. military men and women earning degrees at American Military University.

Request Information

Please complete this form and we’ll contact you with more information about AMU. All fields except phone are required.

Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Ready to apply? Start your application today.

We value your privacy.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails, texts, and phone calls and messages from American Public University System, Inc. which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), its affiliates, and representatives. I understand that this consent is not a condition of enrollment or purchase.

You may withdraw your consent at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy, terms, or contact us for more details.