Security officials play nice

Wednesday, 16 June 2004, 12:13 PM EST

Federal agencies are deploying more sophisticated network scanning tools than ever before. But even high-level information security officials often have little power other than persuasion for getting network users to plug the security holes identified through scans.

The situation that information security officials described today at an event in Washington, D.C., was no surprise to anyone familiar with the way large bureaucracies such as the Veterans Affairs Administration or the Federal Aviation Administration operate.

Pedro Cadenas Jr., the VA's chief security officer, said his office and the VA's Inspector General's Office are the only two groups within the VA who are authorized to run scans of the entire wide-area network. But Cardenas must get any security breaches he finds corrected using a technique he described as friendly reminders.

By Florence Olsen at FCW.

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