GEIA: Info Security Needs More Funding

The federal government needs to take far more extensive steps to protect its technology infrastructure, particularly to safeguard civil agencies as they try to pursue e-government initiatives, according to an Aug. 1 report by the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association.

The GEIA white paper noted that the number and sophistication of attacks on the federal Internet infrastructure have been increasing exponentially in recent years, with more reported incidents of network attack in the final quarter of 2000 than in the entire previous year.

At the same time, the government is becoming increasingly dependent on the electronic environment, creating ever greater security challenges.

"Most federal network operators lack the resources and technical expertise to defend against attacks and minimize damage," said Dan Heinemeier, president of GEIA, a trade association of high-tech companies that do business with government agencies. "Information security practices need to be better developed and more consistently implemented."

Among the association's recommendations:

*Fund demonstration projects on several infrastructure domains, such as air traffic control, power grid, telecommunications, banking and medical and emergency services.

*Fund research and development programs to address key issues identified each year by government councils, such as the Chief Information Officers Council.

*Identify, support and reward internal and cross-agency initiatives to build a stronger federal security infrastructure, including providing adequate capitalization.

The full text of the report can be found at the association's Web site:

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