By Tim Wilson
May 06, 2010
The chief security officers at major federal agencies are worried about
the threats currently faced by their organizations, and many of them
don't think have the resources they need to defend against them,
according to a study published today.
In a report compiled by Cisco and (ISC)2, only half of federal CSOs
think they have a significant ability to affect the security posture of
their agencies. Half of the CSOs say their postures have improved since
2009; 28 percent feel that things are worse, and approximately 20
percent feel that no change has occurred.
Twenty-seven percent of federal CSOs say software vulnerabilities are
the most severe threat to their agencies; 24 percent cited insider
threats. Only 21 percent cited threats from foreign nation-states as the
most severe threat to their agencies.
Yet federal CSOs are feeling the pressure to do more on the political
side than on the technical side, the study says. More than half (54
percent) say their jobs are becoming more political/policy-oriented,
while 51 percent say their jobs are becoming more managerial in nature.
Only 26 percent said their duties are becoming more technical.
"The nature of their jobs is changing," says Lynn McNulty, (ISC)2's
director of government affairs. "What they do is becoming much more
policy-oriented, and their duties are becoming less technical and more
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