Federal Agencies Fail to Protect Public Data Across the Board

The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee released a scorecard grading federal agencies, and many have disappointed with lack of protections.

(TNS) -- In the aftermath of this year's breach of federal government computer systems, which jeopardized the personal information of 21.5 million people, it comes as no surprise that most agencies flunked an oversight panel's cybersecurity “scorecard.”

The recently released report by the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee found federal agencies “for decades” operated with badly managed and outdated information-technology infrastructure. The “scorecard” rates agencies on implementing provisions of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act of 2014, The Hill newspaper reports.

Among the more pathetic performers — the departments of Education and Energy, along with NASA — all received failing grades. The Department of Homeland Security managed a “C” and the State Department, where former Secretary Hillary Clinton used a private email server, received a “D.”

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which this year “left the barn door open” to hackers, who stole addresses, health and financial information from millions of Americans, got a “D.” Now that the damage has been done, OPM has announced months later that it has hired a cybersecurity expert to modernize its aged computer systems.

This inexcusable failure to provide basic cybersecurity demands a systemwide house cleaning, starting with those who have failed miserably in their responsibility to safeguard the public's data.

©2015 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.