Thursday, October 18, 2007

GAO Releases Report on Critical Infrastructure Protection

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on activities to secure the nation's critical infrastructure (e.g., electric power grid, oil and gas pipelines, chemical plants, water treatment facilities) and the risks to those assets and their control systems due to cyber threats, system vulnerabilities, and other attacks.

The report, CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION Multiple Efforts to Secure Control Systems Are Under Way, but Challenges Remain, describes the cyber threats and vulnerabilities and their potential impact on critical infrastructure control systems, the challenges to securing critical infrastructure systems, private sector initiatives to securing critical infrastructure systems, and the adequacy of public sector initiatives to strengthen the cybersecurity of control systems. A number of initiatives by federal agencies and private sector organizations are cited and the report includes recommendations to address the federal government's lack of an overall strategy for coordinating public and private sector efforts and an efficient process for sharing sensitive information on vulnerabilities with private sector critical infrastructure owners.