Geological Survey:

Computer Security

IMTEC-93-10R: Published: Dec 14, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 1992.

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GAO provided information on the effectiveness of the National Earthquake Information Service's Seismic Data Analysis System (SEDAS) software, focusing on the system's technical and operational security controls. GAO noted that: (1) SEDAS is a mission-critical system that provides earthquake location information to the academic community, the private sector, and government agencies; (2) the information produced by SEDAS triggers rapid deployment of rescue teams; (3) SEDAS has adequate management and technical security safeguards, including knowledgeable system managers, passwords, backups, access controls, and physical security controls; (4) SEDAS security weaknesses include a lack of data privacy, inadequate training, and a lack of access control and password management; (5) although SEDAS contingency plans correctly identify an alternate operational site, they do not address alternate site data transmission or processing questions and have never been tested; and (6) the U.S. Geological Survey lacks adequate contingency plan information and effective reporting mechanisms to properly determine system funding requirements.

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