Treasury Needs Better Cybersecurity Tracking

 In Cyber/ICT, Financial Services

Cybersecurity

Treasury needs better cybersecurity tracking

system protection (wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com) 

The Treasury Department isn’t keep­ing up with track­ing how well the finan­cial ser­vices sector is mit­i­gat­ing cyber­se­cu­ri­ty risk, accord­ing to a new report.

The Government Accountability Office said Sept. 17 that Treasury needs to put data behind its efforts to gauge how the sector is pro­gress­ing in its fight against grow­ing cyber threats.

The Treasury Department says it faces lim­i­ta­tions when it comes to demand­ing data from com­mer­cial firms.

GAO rec­om­mend­ed in 2015 that Treasury, the fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s sector spe­cif­ic agency that sup­ports the finan­cial ser­vices sec­tor’s cyber­se­cu­ri­ty, devel­op met­rics to mea­sure and report on the effec­tive­ness of all of its cyber risk mit­i­ga­tion activ­i­ties. The agency still hasn’t devel­oped those met­rics.

The Treasury Department said the same prob­lem that pre­vent­ed it from devel­op­ing met­rics five years ago remains – the reluc­tance of finan­cial ser­vices firms to share their mit­i­ga­tion data.

The GAO rec­om­mend­ed the depart­ment track and pri­or­i­tize indus­try risk and mit­i­ga­tion efforts and update the sector-spe­cif­ic plan to include spe­cif­ic met­rics to mea­sure the progress of indus­try mit­i­ga­tion efforts.

“Although Treasury gen­er­al­ly agrees with GAO’s rec­om­men­da­tions, we cau­tion that, in its [sector-spe­cif­ic agency] capac­i­ty, Treasury does not have the author­i­ty to imple­ment them,” said David Lacquement, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty and crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture pro­tec­tion at the Treasury Department in reply com­ments to GAO.

The Treasury Department, Lacquement said, could issue a vol­un­tary survey to the indus­try asking for the data, assur­ing the com­pa­nies the results would­n’t be pub­licly released.

About the Author


Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focus­es on acqui­si­tion, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before join­ing FCW, Rockwell was Washington cor­re­spon­dent for Government Security News, where he cov­ered all aspects of home­land secu­ri­ty from IT to detec­tion dogs and border secu­ri­ty. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and cor­re­spon­dent, he has cov­ered an increas­ing­ly wide array of high-tech issues for pub­li­ca­tions like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com mag­a­zine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work cov­er­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions issues, and is a grad­u­ate of James Madison University.

Click here for pre­vi­ous arti­cles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

FCW source|articles

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