Inspectors general across the government have found that IT security is the number one management challenge in their agencies “by a wide margin” with personnel issues a part of that and also a separate challenge of its own, according to an annual report by the central council of IGs.
The Council of Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency noted that many of the themes common in reports from its member offices mirror the GAO’s list of high-risk federal programs.
IT security challenges include “resource constraints and a shortage of cybersecurity professionals. Key areas of concern are safeguarding sensitive data and information systems, networks, and assets against cyber-attacks and insider threats; modernizing and managing federal IT systems; ensuring continuity of operations; and recruiting and retaining a highly skilled cybersecurity workforce,” it says.
Key areas of concern regarding personnel include “inadequate funding and staffing; recruiting, training, and retaining qualified staff; agency cultures that negatively impact the agency’s mission; and the impact of the lack of succession planning and high employee turnover,” it said.
Other areas include “both the need for agencies to improve their financial reporting and systems, and the significant amount of dollars Federal agencies lose through improper payments”; ensuring that disaster funds “are used as intended and according to requirements”; “weaknesses with procurement planning, managing and overseeing contractor performance, and the training of personnel involved in the procurement function”; “ensuring grant investments achieve intended results, overseeing the use of grant funds, and obtaining timely and accurate financial and performance information from grantees”; and “managing agency programs and operations efficiently.”