Feds get a 'D' in computer security

Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 2:09 PM EST

The report, prepared for the House of Representatives' Committee on Government Reform, found that almost all agencies improved their computer-security grade since last year. However, several key federal departments continued to fail to adequately protect their networks and earned an "F."

"For too long now information security has taken a back seat in the collective conscience (sic) of our nation," said a statement from Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., the committee chairman. "We must come to the stark realization that a major Achilles heel is our computer networks."

Overall, the government earned a "D" on this year's report card. In 2002, it was given an "F."

Two agencies, the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, slipped in the rankings since 2002. The newest department in the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security, got off to a bad start with an overall "F" for its computer security, despite the fact that securing the nation's network is part of its mission.

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