OMB wants report on agencies' security practices

The Office of Management and Budget last week asked agencies to review their security practices and policies and report back to OMB within 90 days.

OMB's director, Jacob Lew, issued a memo in response to the number of federal World Wide Web sites that have been affected recently by hacker attacks, reminding agencies that they are required by OMB Circular A-130 to "continually assess the risk to their computer systems and maintain adequate security commensurate with that risk."

The memo focuses on ensuring that processes are in place to use patches available from vendors for the security holes in software that many of the hackers exploit to deface Web sites. "Installing such patches is a proven way of avoiding disruptions to systems," the memo states.

Lew also recommended agencies use the security resources available within government, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Computer Security Resources Clearinghouse and the General Services Administration's Federal Incident Response Capability.

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