The Democratic leaders of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and its subcommittees have asked the IGs of 10 major agencies to assess whether increased use of telework due to the pandemic has created or worsened cyber vulnerabilities and whether actions have been taken to lesson those risks.
“The widespread use of virtual private networks and other remote-access technologies to facilitate continuity of operations across the federal government allowed federal agencies to continue to serve the nation throughout a deadly pandemic but also created additional cybersecurity vulnerabilities that could jeopardize the integrity of federal information technology networks,” they wrote in similar letters.
They noted that the government and the systems it uses have been the subject of numerous cyber attacks including a recent one involving remote-access software used widely by federal agencies.
“The proliferation and growing sophistication of malicious state and non-state cyber actors requires federal departments and agencies to be able to maintain and protect the integrity of their information technology systems—particularly if they adopt more flexible telework policies after the coronavirus pandemic subsides,” they wrote.
The letters ask for information on acquisition, deployment, management, and security of virtual networks and collaborative platforms; policies on access management control such as multi-factor authentication; management of devices used to access agency networks, and more.