Critical Infrastructure Protection: Sector-Specific Plans' Coverage of Key Cyber Security Elements Varies: Statement of David A. Powner, Director, Information Technology Management Issues before Congressional Subcommittees, Committee on Homeland Security, U.S. House of Representatives, October 31, 2007   [open pdf - 238KB]

"The nation's critical infrastructure sectors-such as banking and finance, information technology, and public health-rely on computerized information and systems to provide services to the public. To fulfill the requirement for a comprehensive plan, including cyber aspects, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a national plan in June 2006 for the sectors to use as a road map to enhance the protection of critical infrastructure. Lead federal agencies, referred to as sector-specific agencies, are responsible for coordinating critical infrastructure protection efforts such as the development of plans that are specific to each sector. GAO was asked to summarize a report being released today that identifies the extent to which the sector plans addressed key aspects of cyber security, including cyber assets, key vulnerabilities, vulnerability reduction efforts, and recovery plans. In the report, GAO analyzed each sector-specific plan against criteria that were developed on the basis of DHS guidance. In its report, GAO recommends that the Secretary of Homeland Security request that, by September 2008, the sector-specific agencies develop plans that fully address all of the cyber-related criteria. In written comments on a draft of the report, DHS concurred with GAO's recommendation. The extent to which the sectors addressed aspects of cyber security in their sector-specific plans varied; none of the plans fully addressed all 30 cyber security-related criteria. Several sector plans-including the information technology and telecommunications sectors-fully addressed many of the criteria, while others-such as agriculture and food and commercial facilities-were less comprehensive."

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