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Critical Infrastructure Protection: Challenges and Efforts to Secure Control Systems

GAO-04-628T Published: Mar 30, 2004. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 2004.
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Computerized control systems perform vital functions across many of our nation's critical infrastructures. For example, in natural gas distribution, they can monitor and control the pressure and flow of gas through pipelines. In October 1997, the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection emphasized the increasing vulnerability of control systems to cyber attacks. At the request of the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census, this testimony will discuss GAO's March 2004 report on potential cyber vulnerabilities, focusing on (1) significant cybersecurity risks associated with control systems (2) potential and reported cyber attacks against these systems (3) key challenges to securing control systems, and (4) efforts to strengthen the cybersecurity of control systems.

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