CIOs see security 'nightmare'

Three federal chief information officers said Wednesday that their top priority

in government is protecting the security of their computer systems.

Last week's Love Bug attacks underscored how unprepared systems are

to counter cyberattacks, the CIOs said at Federal Sources Inc.'s Outlook

2001 conference in Falls Church, Va.

Speaking at the conference were Agriculture Department CIO Joseph Leo,

Energy Department CIO John Gilligan and Paul Brubaker, acting deputy CIO

at the Defense Department.

"Computer security is at the top of my heap on priorities," Gilligan

said.

"There are lots of back doors to the Internet, which makes security

a nightmare to manage," Brubaker added.

Asked to list their top priorities for 2001, the officials said they

included better management and new blood to replace workers who are retiring

or going to the private sector for more money.

"We're losing staff. We have a tremendous skill gap with regard to the

Internet Age," said Leo.

Among their other concerns:

* The next president and what priorities he will bring.

* More money to keep pace with modernization.

* Making the culture of government attuned to the culture of cyberspace.

* Better management and one-stop shopping.

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