FEDweek IT

Agencies have made significant progress instituting hardware-based personal identity verification cards or alternative forms of strong authentication for access to cyber systems, OMB has said.

It said progress was made as a result of a 30-day cybersecurity sprint launched in June and that civilian agencies increased their use of strong authentication for privileged and unprivileged users from 42 percent to 72 percent.

Civilian agencies increased their use of strong authentication for privileged users from 33 percent to nearly 75 percent, and 13 agencies, or more than half of the largest agencies – including the Departments of Transportation, Veterans Affairs, and the Interior – have implemented the same level of strong authentication for nearly 95 percent of their privileged users.

As part of the sprint agencies were told to patch critical vulnerabilities, reduce the number of privileged users with access to authorized systems, and speed the adoption of strong authentication.

OMB said that work continues as a team of over 100 experts from across the government and private industry are leading a review of the government’s cybersecurity policies, procedures, and practices.

That assessment will “inform and operationalize a set of action plans and strategies to further address critical cybersecurity priorities and recommend a Cybersecurity Sprint Strategy and Implementation Plan to be released in the coming months,” according to OMB.