DHS earns kudos for tightening security on intelligence systems

Report says DHS minimized security risks to IT systems with top-secret data

The Homeland Security Department has significantly minimized the security risks with its intelligence systems, according to a report from the department’s inspector general.

The department made the improvements by dealing with security vulnerabilities that the IG identified in an evaluation of fiscal 2007, according to the summary report released on the IG’s Web site July 8. The IG said a more recent evaluation showed that DHS had dealt with 10 of the 14 recommendations the office had previously made that related to the department’s security program for top secret/sensitive compartmented information systems.

“Overall, the information security procedures have been documents and controls have been implemented, providing an effective level of security for the department’s intelligence systems,” the report states.

However, the IG also said the department hadn’t yet implemented all of the department’s recommendations and suggested that the head of intelligence and analysis at DHS take those actions. The IG also recommended the department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer deal with “system-control issues” identified during the IG’s review.

The report said DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis concurred with the IG’s recommendations and provided proposed plans of action to fix the problems. The report was based on fieldwork conducted between May and October of 2008.

The IG’s evaluation focused on security program management, implementation and system administration of the department’s intelligence systems. The report said the IG primarily assessed the plan of action and milestones, system certification and accreditation, incident-reporting processes, and its security-awareness training program. The evaluation was done according to annual requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act.

The report said over the past year, DHS had finalized its guidance for personnel handling its intelligence systems, and had certified and accredited its classified network extension. The IG also said the Coast Guard’s intelligence systems were put under DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis.


About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group