Thursday, November 19, 2015

DOE - Mostly a Failing Grade on Data Security

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From the Washington Post's Answer Sheet:

 A congressional scorecard issued this month on how well federal agencies were implementing four key areas of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, or FITARA, gave the Education Department three Fs and one D. Harris, asked about the failing grades, said he thinks the department should have received a C — but both Democratic and Republican lawmakers made clear they didn’t agree.


The U.S. Education Department came under withering criticism — from Republicans and Democrats — at a House oversight hearing about just how vulnerable its information systems are to security threats.

Lawmakers at the hearing, held on Tuesday by the full House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, took Danny Harris, the chief information officer of the Education Department, to task for the way data is handled for more than 40 million federal student loan borrowers as well as other aid programs that serve millions more students.

But under questioning from Hice, Harris denied that the systems were insecure, saying:
“I would say that we are reasonably secure now. I’m not suggesting that we’re not secure, but we do need to strengthen. That’s very important. I’m not going to suggest that we don’t have a tremendous amount of work to do but I don’t want the general public to think we are not secure.”
Hice responded: “There again, reasonably is not a very secure answer.”

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