California's state auditor is calling for additional oversight and regular assessments after finding weaknesses in the information security of some California state offices.
State auditor Elaine Howle recently released a report Gaps in Oversight Contribute to Weaknesses in the State's Information Security and found that the personal information of California residents may not be secure due to flaws in the government's IT systems.
Thirty-three non-reporting entities from across the state were surveyed and 10 were reviewed in detail. Twenty-nine of the 33 received information security assessments in order to prove compliance with the security standards they selected - 24 were only partially compliant, and 21 identified high-risk deficiencies. Three of the entities admitted that the review was the only security assessment they had ever received, meaning there could be additional security weaknesses the entities are unaware of. None of the entities were identified in the survey, could they could include constitutional offices or sectors of the judicial branch.
Some of the problems detailed in the report include lack of basic security controls. One entity reportedly did not change the default password on certain IT systems, another failed to apply security updates on its devices, and some entities were found to be not acting quickly enough to resolve known security issues.
Howle's called on agencies to do more when it comes to safeguarding the information that government agencies collect, maintain, and store. The report recommended that all entities adopt information security and privacy standards similar to those prescribed by the Department of Technology. The report also recommended entities report to an Assembly committee regarding its state of compliance and also undergo a comprehensive security assessment every three years.
This report comes at a time when governments and companies alike are grappling with the constant threat of cyber attacks. But with the data of nearly 40 million people on the line, it's absolutely critical these agencies become consistent with their information security practices, especially when handling, storing, and safeguard personal information.
NNT provides our suite of services to several government agencies to secure large and complex infrastructures against ongoing cyber threats, ensuring systems and technologies can prove compliance with CIS, NIST, DFARS, SCAP, and others. Our technology is equipped with out-of-the-box policies and templates designed to provide real-time and continuous compliance regardless of size and location across a multitude of the described frameworks.
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