GAO Warns of Infrastructure Risk

GAO Warns of Infrastructure Risk

U.S. critical computer-dependent infrastructures continue to be vulnerable to attack, according to a General Accounting Office report.

The GAO report, "Critical Infrastructure Protection: Significant Challenges in Developing National Capabilities," noted the National Infrastructure Protection Center, formed in February 1998, is the government's focal point for gathering information on threats and facilitating federal responses to computer-based incidents. But the NIPC has "developed only limited capabilities for strategic analysis of threat and vulnerability data," the report warned. "Accordingly, the NIPC often is not able to provide timely information on changes in threat conditions or warnings of imminent attacks."

The center also lacks adequate staff and technical expertise to carry out its responsibilities, the GAO stated. The report recommended the NIPC strengthen its staffing, particularly from the defense and intelligence communities, in order to address its shortcomings.

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