Government agencies must step up security

Friday, 5 March 2004, 11:52 AM EST

The White House push to secure the U.S. digital infrastructure does not exclude IT systems of federal agencies, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which released its Federal Government Information Security Report to Congress this week.

The OMB is required to submit the yearly report to Congress as part of the Federal Information Security Management Act, which requires agencies to maintain adequate IT security in both new and existing IT systems.

According to the report, only half of the 24 federal government departments meet the minimum criteria for compliance with FISMA standards.
In its address to Congress this week, the OMB urged agencies to be proactive and spend budget money now to improve security of IT systems, rather than upgrading legacy systems and worrying about security later. The OMB said senior agency officials in government departments will be held accountable in the future if systems fail to comply with minimum security standards.

By Michael Kelleher at E-Commerce News.

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