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GAO: DHS Must Develop Guidance for ‘Einstein’ Tool’s Intrusion Detection, Prevention Functions

cybersecurityThe Government Accountability Office has urged the Department of Homeland Security to develop network routing guidance for agencies and identify ways on how to build up the National Cybersecurity Protection System’s capability to detect and prevent intrusions in federal computer networks.

GAO made the recommendations after an analysis showed that NCPS, also known as the Einstein program, did not identify and prevent malicious content and network vulnerabilities in web traffic, the congressional audit agency said in a report released Thursday.

DHS does not have defined requirements for the detection of malware on agencies’ internal computer systems and network threats that go through cloud service providers, according to the report.

Only five of the 23 nondefense agencies have access to the Einstein system’s intrusion prevention function and that the firewall failed to detect advanced persistent threats.

“Until NCPS’ intended capabilities are more fully developed, DHS will be hampered in its abilities to provide effective cybersecurity-related support to federal agencies,” GAO officials Gregory Wilshusen and Nabajyoti Barkakati wrote in the report.

DHS officials said in response to a draft report that the department works to provide baseline security measures and that every agency should work to implement steps in order to secure their data and computer networks from potential threat actors.

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