GAO

January 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
When the GAO performs cybersecurity-related audits and reports its findings, the watchdog provides key recommendations to agencies to improve their networks and information technology from risks. The GAO also follows up to see how an agency implemented those recommendations. Credit: Illustration by Chris D’Elia based on images from GAO Reports and lurri Motov/Shutterstock

It is no secret that the U.S. government is grappling with cybersecurity issues across its organizations and agencies. The good news is that the government has an auditing agency that investigates possible weaknesses or cybersecurity gaps and makes key recommendations to rectify problems: the U.S. Government Accountability Office, known as GAO.

December 30, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
When the GAO performs cybersecurity-related audits and reports its findings, it provides key recommendations to agencies to improve their networks and information technology from risks. Illustration by Chris D’Elia based on images from GAO Reports and lurri Motov/Shutterstock

December’s news of yet another highly sophisticated break into U.S. government agencies’ cyber systems didn’t come as a surprise to the Government Accountability Office. The government’s auditing agency investigates possible weaknesses or cybersecurity gaps and makes key recommendations to rectify problems. In some ways, it saw this coming.

September 4, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is exploring the ramifications of a number of emerging disruptive technologies. Credit: GAO file photo

The future of U.S. technology likely will be cyber-heavy with innovative breakthroughs erupting from several areas such as telecommunications and digital ledger capabilities. Many of these disruptive technologies have policy ramifications either in their development or their implementation. The federal government must consider aspects such as regulatory issues, privacy, economic competitiveness and security requirements.

July 31, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Military and government leaders share their insights about cybersecurity challenges in the age of pandemics.

Although the world is still in the midst of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, technology experts agree lessons the infection teaches about cybersecurity and resilience are emerging. As people don masks to decrease the likelihood of germs entering their bodies, they also must put barriers in place to protect their networks. And, just as they prepare for how they will rebound from the illness or economic downturns, they must examine their options for life after the pandemic.

August 16, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A Louisiana Army National Guard chief communications plans officer trains members of the Cyber Defense Incident Response Team to defend the state’s cyber assets in November 2015. Photo courtesy DOD

Information technology modernization has reached a precipice within the federal government as agencies struggle to manage many moving parts and jockey for the same pot of money and talent. Add to the fray the results of a new survey showing an alarming reliance by federal agencies on outdated information technology systems.

October 1, 2019
By Katherine Gronberg
This generator produces power for all of the facilities on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. It enables the depot to continue operations while completely disconnected from the normal commercial utility grid. Credit: Lance Cpl. Ryan Hageali, USMC

The U.S. arsenal boasts diverse weapons that share a common cybersecurity challenge: They depend on power generated by U.S. Defense Department or civilian-owned infrastructures that are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attack. Disrupting the availability of these power systems could impact not only the United States’ ability to project U.S. military power globally but also to respond to a domestic attack.

October 9, 2018
By George I. Seffers
With stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35 can collect, analyze and share data. A U.S. Government Accountability Office report—which did not specify any particular weapon system—says a number of cybersecurity tests prove U.S. military weapon systems to be vulnerable to cyber attacks. Photo: Lockheed Martin

U.S. military aircraft, ships, combat vehicles, radios and satellites remain vulnerable to relatively common cyber attacks, according to a report published Tuesday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report does not specify which weapon systems were tested.

In one case, a two-person test team took just one hour to gain initial access to a weapon system and one day to gain full control of the system, the report says. Another assessment demonstrated that the weapon system “satisfactorily prevented unauthorized access by remote users, but not insiders and near-siders.”

September 24, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A recent report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds federal government actions related to cybersecurity lagging, posing a threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure and federal agencies. Photo credit: Shutterstock/Mark Van Scyoc

The U.S. government has not established a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, nor has it performed effective oversight of cybersecurity as called for by federal law and policy, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in a stark report on the state of the nation’s cybersecurity.

Because of the cybersecurity policy lag and related action, federal agencies and U.S. critical infrastructure—including energy, transportation systems, communications and financial services—are vulnerable. And these cybersecurity risks are increasing as security threats evolve and become more sophisticated, GAO, the government’s watchdog agency, reported.

June 28, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Officials from eight Army organizations told the GAO that the numerous organizational changes that have taken place have disrupted contracting operations and caused confusion.

U.S. Army leaders have not consistently evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of the department’s contracting operations, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has concluded. To amend the situation, the office recommends developing metrics to assess contracting operations for timeliness, cost savings and contract quality; documenting rationales for key decisions; and establishing measurable objectives to assess the effects of organizational changes on contracting operations.

October 15, 2015
By Maria C. Horton

Small businesses doing work for the U.S. Defense Department pose serious cybersecurity concerns, in part because of their limited resources to invest in technical and practiced security measures, according to a congressional oversight agency’s assessment.

October 6, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Government Accountability Office

The tally is in and the news is mostly good: The federal government saved about $3.6 billion over a three-year period by implementing information technology reforms set in motion by the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB.

Between fiscal 2011 and 2014, agencies netted about $2 billion of the total from data center consolidation and optimization efforts alone, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress.

“Notably, of the $3.6 billion total, the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Treasury and the Social Security Administration accounted for about $2.5 billion,” reads a portion of the report.

September 30, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) has explored some options, such as online training videos, to integrate cybersecurity into its existing efforts, but as of July had not yet identified and disseminated cybersecurity resources in its outreach and education efforts to defense small businesses, according to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

May 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The Small Business Administration (SBA) could not fully determine federal agencies’ compliance with spending requirements on programs established to stimulate small business grow and development because most federal agencies surveyed submitted incorrect data, according to a Congressional investigative report.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, found the SBA cannot fully determine if all 11 agencies analyzed met spending requirements for fiscal 2013, citing that nine of the 11 participating agencies failed to follow SBA’s guidance on submitting data on total extramural research and development obligations, the office reported.

March 13, 2012
 

If your job depends on staying up-to-date on the latest from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), there's a mobile app for your iPhone or iPad. The free app, available through the iTunes store, provides access to new reports, testimony, video and podcasts. GAO representatives say the agency plans to release a similar app for Android smartphones and tablets in the next several months.

August 1, 2011
By Rachel Eisenhower

In the midst of a global cyberspace crisis, the U.S. Defense Department faces many hurdles in its effort to protect and defend government computer networks. According to an unclassified version of a previously issued classified report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), several cyberspace capability gaps exist. The U.S. Cyber Command is decentralized and spread across various offices, commands, and military services and agencies, which makes the supporting relationships necessary to achieve command and control of cyberspace operations unclear. In response to a major computer infection, the U.S.