IG sees disaster lurking in FEMA data security

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is not adequately protecting its core databases containing sensitive disaster relief information, according to a new report from Homeland Security Department inspector general Richard L. Skinner.

FEMA has made some im- provements in IT security, including a contingency plan, the report said.
However, FEMA has not implemented effective access controls and continuity-of-operations safeguards, nor has it conducted contingency plan training or testing.

The inadequacies were found in information security controls for the National Emergency Management Information System (NEMIS), FEMA's core database system for managing disaster relief funding and resources.

FEMA officials agreed with most of the audit findings and were taking corrective action, according to the report. However, 56 deficiencies remained unaddressed, Skinner wrote in a summary.

To see a redacted report, go to www.gcn.com and enter 517 in the GCN.com/box.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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