GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Federal agencies are facing a set of emerging cybersecurity threats that are the result of increasingly sophisticated methods of attack and the blending of once distinct types of attack into more complex and damaging forms.
For many years, GAO has reported that poor information security is a widespread problem that has potentially devastating consequences. Accordingly, since 1997, GAO has identified information security as a governmentwide high-risk issue in reports to Congress--most recently in January 2005.
Federal agencies rely extensively on computerized information systems and electronic data to carry out their missions. The security of these systems and date is essential to preventing data tampering, disruptions in critical operations, fraud, and inappropriate disclosure of sensitive information.
Pursuant to a request from the Chairman, Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and the Census, House Committee on Government Reform, GAO responded to posthearing questions.
Federal computer systems are riddled with weaknesses that continue to put critical operations and assets at risk. New information security provisions introduced by Congress will be a major catalyst for federal agencies to improve their security program management.