Agencies ‘unprepared’ to protect Americans’ data, Senate investigation finds

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A handful of years removed from the devastating breach of the Office of Personnel Management that resulted in the theft of sensitive personal data on 22 million current and former federal employees, federal agencies are still “failing to implement basic cybersecurity standards” needed to protect Americans’ personal data and keep the nation’s secrets safe from hackers, a Senate investigation has concluded.

The report draws on 10 years’ worth of inspector general reports at eight agencies, painting a picture of persistent neglect of standard network defense measures.

“Despite major data breaches like OPM, the federal government remains unprepared to confront the dynamic cyberthreats of today,” laments the report, which covered the departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, State and Transportation, as well as the Social Security Administration. In addition to DHS, the Senate subcommittee chose to review the seven agencies that the Office of Management rated the poorest on cybersecurity.

“The federal government can, and must, do a better job of shoring up our defenses against the rising cybersecurity threats,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who chairs the subcommittee.

Read more about the Senate report on

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CyberScoop, Cybersecurity, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Rob Portman, Senate