ABSTRACT

Information Security: IRS Electronic Filing Systems, Report to the Chairman, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 424KB]

"Information security is an important consideration for any organization that depends on information systems and computer networks to carry out its mission or business. The dramatic expansion in computer interconnectivity and the rapid increase in the use of the Internet are changing the way our government, the nation, and much of the world communicate and conduct business. However, without proper safeguards, these developments pose enormous risks that make it easier for individuals and groups with malicious intent to intrude into inadequately protected systems and use such access to obtain sensitive information, commit fraud, disrupt operations, or launch attacks against other computer networks and systems. Further, the number of individuals with computer skills is increasing, and intrusion, or hacking, techniques are readily available and relatively easy to use. The rash of cyber attacks launched in February 2000 against major U.S. firms illustrates the risks associated with this new electronic age. Computer-supported federal operations are also at risk. Our previous reports, and those of agency inspectors general, describe persistent computer security weaknesses that place a variety of critical federal operations, including those at IRS [Internal Revenue Service], at risk of disruption, fraud, and inappropriate disclosure. This body of audit evidence led us, in 1997 and again in 1999 reports to the Congress, to designate computer security as a governmentwide high-risk area. It remains so today."

Report Number:
GAO-01-306
Publisher:
Date:
2001-02
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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