Davis, GAO flag contractor IT security issue

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said IT systems provided by contractors are 'potential Trojan horses for cyberattacks' and called for additional measures to supplement and strengthen existing security policies for contractor-provided IT systems.

'The federal government is dependent on information technology services and systems provided by outside contractors,' Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said in a statement issued late last month in response to an April 22 Government Accountability Office report.

The GAO report said that in relying on IT services and systems provided by contractors, federal agencies were not doing enough to secure their information and face a range of operational, strategic and legal risks.

Although most federal agencies have information security policies in place for contractors, only a small number of them address oversight, Davis said. A few agencies use a self-assessment tool established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to measure the status of contractors that provide IT systems, he said.

To read the GAO report, go to www.gcn.com and enter 425 in the GCN.com/box.

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