Senate Report: Government Suffers from Major Cyber-Insecurity

WASHINGTON — A new Senate report finds that government agencies have not been sufficiently protecting their data against cyber attacks. 

That is according to Federal Cybersecurity: America's Data at Risk, a staff report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released by the panel's chairman, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and ranking member Tom Carper (D-Del.) 

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio)

The report points out that no agency has been immune from attack, including the White House. The report noted an Office of Management and Budget report that "made clear that agencies 'do not understand and do not have the resources to combat the current threat environment.'" 

The Senate staff report makes a case for "the extent to which the federal government is the target of cybersecurity attacks, how key federal agencies have failed to address vulnerabilities in their IT infrastructure, and how these failures have left America’s sensitive personal information unsafe and vulnerable to theft." 

The Trump administration recognizes the need for better cyber-hygiene. In May, the president issued an executive order to boost the government cybersecurity workforce, standardize and incentivize cybersecurity education, and get everyone on the same cyber page with a common cybersecurity "language." 

The White House will also look to the infrastructure community outside the government to identify cybersecurity workforce gaps and will continue to partner with industry on cybersecurity. 

The report suggests there is much work to be done, concluding: "Despite major data breaches like OPM, the federal government remains unprepared to confront the dynamic cyber threats of today." 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.