News in Brief

GAO examines air traffic control and Medicaid, NASA named a top 50 brand

Can air traffic control be hacked?

Security weaknesses in the National Airspace System render it vulnerable to attack from cyber adversaries, according to a recent Government Accountability Office report.

While the Federal Aviation Administration has taken some steps to improve security, there are potential weak spots in access controls, patch management and other areas that increase the risk of unauthorized access.

The GAO report notes that "a key reason for both the technical control weaknesses and the security management weaknesses is that FAA had not fully established an integrated, organization-wide approach to managing information security risk that is aligned with its mission."

GAO is recommending that the FAA define the information security responsibilities of the organizations charged with securing the National Airspace System, and making sure that agency cyber monitors have full access to all data and event logs for traffic moving on air traffic control systems.

GAO: More info needed on Medicaid program integrity systems

States and other U.S. jurisdictions that provide access to Medicaid are required to monitor the integrity of these programs for improper payments and fraud.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services play a role in this process, by providing guidance on legal requirements and technical assistance. A recent Government Accountability Office survey of the Medicaid program integrity systems in 10 jurisdictions, however, found that there was no system in place for measuring savings realized through improper payment and fraud detection.

The GAO is recommending that CMS put a requirement in place, to measure cost reduction or cost avoidance associated with the use of integrity systems.

NASA the only agency in top 50 brands

NASA was the only governmental organization to make the list of the world's most popular brands, as determined by Infegy, which analyzed billions of online conversations about more than 800 brands.

The top 50 were ranked based on volume of conversations as well as overall sentiment toward the brand.

NASA ranked 25th, up three spots from last year. The top five brands were Google, Twitter, Facebook, Apple and Tumblr.

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