OMB says IT security is improving

Federal agencies progressively are improving their IT security measures, according to a new report released last week by the Office of Manage- ment and Budget.
OMB's report brings together IT security assessments under the Federal Information Security Management Act for fiscal 2005. In key measures of federal IT security, OMB said:


The amount of certified and accredited systems has in- creased from 77 percent to 85 percent.


In fiscal 2005, for the first time, agencies assigned a risk impact level to their systems. Agencies reported 88 percent of their high-risk systems had been certified and accredited.


Inspectors general reported that the quality of certification and accreditation processes at agencies had improved, with 17 of 25 agencies having processes rated 'satisfactory' or better, compared with 15 agencies in 2004.


The IGs also reported that 19 of 25 agencies have effective corrective plans of action and milestones, up from 18 agencies last year. See the report at GCN.com/549.


Dan Matthews, former CIO of the Transportation Department and now vice president for Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., said federal agencies are putting more resources into IT security and building security measures into systems as they are designed.


'I do believe that the effort to thwart viruses has led to a heightened awareness of security in federal organizations and the central nature [of] the need of virus mitigation,' Matthews said. He also cited the role of the federal CIO Council in promoting knowledge about best practices in the security arena.

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