13 Oct 2011

Federal data breaches see huge increase in last five years

In the past five years, federal network security breaches have seen a jump of 650 percent, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office released earlier this month. Improved internet security should be implemented to help quell the amount of security breaches.

"Of the 24 major agencies, none had fully or effectively implemented an agency-wide information security program," Gregory C. Wilshusen, GAO director for information security issues, wrote in the report. The number has grown from 5,503 in 2006 to 41,776 in 2010, according to the report.

About 30 percent of the incidents reported were malware infections, making that the most common security event. Other violations that commonly occurred were intrusions into networks and violations of acceptable use policies, the report said.

EWeek said from time to time, the GAO updates congress on how departments are complying with the Federal Information Security Act of 2002. This act is designed to help departments design security policies, training and other things designed to help improve internet security on the federal level. It mandates that every part of the federal government has to have security programs and plans for managing risks, the news source said.