The President of the United States signed an Executive Order this month, reaffirming cyber security within the government as a top priority.
Cybersecurity risk management comprises the full range of activities undertaken to protect information technology and data from unauthorized access and other cyber threats, to maintain awareness of cyber threats, to detect anomalies and incidents adversely affecting IT and data, and to mitigate the impact of, respond to, and recover from incidents. Information sharing facilitates and supports all of these activities.
The executive branch has for too long accepted antiquated and difficult–to-defend IT.
Effective risk management involves more than just protecting IT and data currently in place. It also requires planning so that maintenance, improvements, and modernization occur in a coordinated way and with appropriate regularity.
Known but unmitigated vulnerabilities are among the highest cybersecurity risks faced by executive departments and agencies. Known vulnerabilities include using operating systems or hardware beyond the vendor’s support lifecycle, declining to implement a vendor’s security patch, or failing to execute security-specific configuration guidance.
Effective risk management requires agency heads to lead integrated teams of senior executives with expertise in information technology, security, budgeting, acquisition, law, privacy, and human resources.