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OMB: Growth In Federal Cyberattacks Slows OMB: Growth In Federal Cyberattacks Slows

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Congress

OMB: Growth In Federal Cyberattacks Slows

March 15, 2012

Cyberattacks on the federal government continue to increase, but most were "phishing" attempts and reports of threats largely leveled out in the past year, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

OMB reported a 5 percent increase in cyberattacks on federal networks in 2011, based on reports to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, OMB reported. That's compared to a 39 percent spike in such attacks in the previous fiscal year.

"Threats to this IT infrastructure - whether from insider threat, criminal elements, or nation-states - continue to grow in number and sophistication, creating risks to the reliable functioning of our government," the report concluded.

The private sector, meanwhile, reported only a 1 percent increase during FY2011. In FY2010 companies reported a 1 decrease in cyberattacks.

Of the total 107,655 attacks reported last year, 43,889 were aimed at federal departments and agencies.

Overall, federal agencies complied with an average of 73 percent of cybersecurity policies, the report found. That's up from 62 percent the year before. Some departments like NASA and the Department of Labor showed significant increases in their cybersecurity efforts. Others, however, remain relatively unprepared. Despite their efforts, the Departments of Transportation, Interior, and Agriculture, for example, comply with fewer than half of cybersecurity policies, OMB reported.

In general, federal departments have made strides in cybersecurity planning; responding to and reporting attacks; and controlling remote access to their systems. Efforts to continuously monitor networks, and managing access to networks, among other issues, continue to be a problem, according to the report.

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