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IG says Transportation IT security, management lag

IT investment management and computer security are among the top challenges facing the Transportation Department in 2004, the department’s inspector general said in a report released today. Although the department made progress over the past year, Transportation still lags in securing individual systems and must do more to protect critical IT systems, especially air traffic control systems, Inspector General Kenneth Mead said in the report (PDF, 32 pages). “These management challenges are complicated by the current government and transportation environment: we have entered a period of deficit spending; trust fund revenues are down; program needs are up; and the department has pending reauthorizations in intercity passenger rail, highways, motor carriers, and transit,” Mead said. Only 33 percent of Transportation computer systems, and 20 percent of Federal Aviation Administration systems, had undergone security certification review as of Sept. 30. The department had established contingency plans for only 26 percent of systems in the event the systems are disrupted. “And these plans were often inadequate,” the report said. For example, management in many cases did not conduct business impact analyses, a key planning step, to determine how long business could continue without computer support. Full Story

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