Lawmakers seek out IG probes of telework cybersecurity — FCW

Congress Lawmakers seek out IG probes of telework cybersecurity &#13 By Justin Katz Jun 02,


Lawmakers seek out IG probes of telework cybersecurity


A team of 6 Household Democrats heading up the committee and subcommittees for Oversight and Reform are inquiring nearly a dozen inspectors general to perform audits of their companies and departments to evaluate what vulnerabilities might have arisen from the mass rise in telework for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The common use of virtual private networks and other distant-obtain technologies to facilitate continuity of operations throughout the federal govt allowed federal organizations to go on to serve the nation throughout a deadly pandemic but also established further cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could jeopardize the integrity of federal facts technologies networks,” the lawmakers wrote in letter sent on Wednesday.

The letters have been signed by Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), Gerald Connolly (D-Va.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Sick.) Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). Maloney is chairwoman of the Dwelling Committee on Oversight and Reform. The other signers chair Oversight subcommittees.

The Democrats asked for audits by the inspectors typical of the departments of State, Protection, Homeland Protection, Justice, Power, Treasury, Well being and Human Companies, Veteran Affairs and Training, as nicely as the intelligence community.

“The proliferation and growing sophistication of malicious state and non-point out cyber actors calls for federal departments and organizations to be able to preserve and protect the integrity of their details technology systems—particularly if they undertake far more adaptable telework procedures immediately after the coronavirus pandemic subsides,” the lawmakers wrote.

The ask for comes throughout a calendar year the place federal and point out governments have confronted a barrage of cybersecurity threats. Most pertinent to the Democrats’ ask for may possibly be the February intrusion into a Florida-primarily based h2o facility in which hackers took edge of the facility’s distant function applications and almost poisoned a towns’ drinking water provide.

The audit, the lawmakers wrote, should really be involved in each agency’s yearly FISMA analysis and ought to study the use of distant connections or digital network controllers platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Slack and no matter if organizations have implemented ideal security for managed data.

The inspectors basic should really also take a look at agency adherence to Reliable Internet Link assistance and identification, credential, and access management guidelines for people accessing networks remotely as well as the distribution and administration of virtual and physical things such as laptops.

About the Author

Justin Katz covers cybersecurity for FCW. Beforehand he protected the Navy and Maritime Corps for Inside Protection, focusing on weapons, vehicle acquisition and congressional oversight of the Pentagon. Prior to reporting for Inside Defense, Katz included community information in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. spots. Connect with him on Twitter at @JustinSKatz.