Administration, yet again, receives failing grades, this time on IT security

Published 16 December 2005

Cybersecurity industry organization joins other experts in faulting administration’s homeland security policies

In what is becoming a depressingly predictable pattern, yet another panel of experts assessing the Bush administration’s efforts to make the nation more secure yet again gave the administration failing grades. We reported yesterday that the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) called on the administration to show more vigor in initiating policies to protect the nation’s IT infrastructure. CSIA’s call is the result of a survey the organization conducted which shows significant business and consumer concerns about online safety. CSIA also graded the U.S. government on twelve cybersecurity priorities that the group released in December 2004. The group gave the U.S. government six “D” grades and one “F” on seven of the twelve priorities. Only one priority received a grade higher than a “C.”

The only grade higher than a “C” was a “B” CSIA gave the government for making progress toward ratifying the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime. Among those CSIA priorities earning “D’s”: direct a federal agency to track costs of cyberattacks; promote cybersecurity corporate governance in the private sector; and strengthen information sharing between the government and private sector. CSIA released thirteen cybersecurity recommendations for the U.S. government going forward. The list, with many items repeated from CSIA’s 2004 list, includes:

Pass a national data breach notification bill

Pass a national spyware protection bill

Increase research and development funding for cybersecurity

Promote telework options for government employees, thus creating a backup network of computers for government agencies

Include cybersecurity planning as the U.S. government moves toward Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), a more full-featured replacement for the current IPv4

-read more in the report; and see this CSIA survey (.pdf)