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computers and networks essentially run the operations of most business in the country. most computer systems, computer software and networks were not designed with security in mind. even most �secure systems� are riddled with vulnerabilities due to the underlying technology that could enable an attacker to disrupt operations or cause damage. many cybersecurity technologies that can be used to protect critical infrastructures from attack are currently available. in a few years there will be many more. security takes more than technology, cyber security is not only a firewall. we can help your company or organization develop a cost effective, threat effective, cyber security plan

abstract of technology assessment: cybersecurity for critical infrastructure protection  gao-04-321  may 28, 2004

"computers are crucial to the operations of government and business. computers and networks essentially run the critical infrastructures that are vital to our national defense, economic security, and public health and safety. unfortunately, many computer systems and networks were not designed with security in mind. as a result, the core of our critical infrastructure is riddled with vulnerabilities that could enable an attacker to disrupt operations or cause damage to these infrastructures. critical infrastructure protection (cip) involves activities that enhance the security of our nation's cyber and physical infrastructure. defending against attacks on our information technology infrastructure-- cybersecurity--is a major concern of both the government and the private sector. consistent with guidance provided by the senate's fiscal year 2003 legislative branch appropriations report (s. rpt. 107-209), gao conducted this technology assessment on the use of cybersecurity technologies for cip in response to a request from congressional committees. this assessment addresses the following questions: (1) what are the key cybersecurity requirements in each of the cip sectors? (2) what cybersecurity technologies can be applied to cip? (3) what are the implementation issues associated with using cybersecurity technologies for cip, including policy issues such as privacy and information sharing?

many cybersecurity technologies that can be used to protect critical infrastructures from cyber attack are currently available, while other technologies are still being researched and developed. these technologies, including access control technologies, system integrity technologies, cryptography, audit and monitoring tools, and configuration management and assurance technologies, can help to protect information that is being processed, stored, and transmitted in the networked computer systems that are prevalent in critical infrastructures. although many cybersecurity technologies are available, experts feel that these technologies are not being purchased or implemented to the fullest extent. an overall cybersecurity framework can assist in the selection of technologies for cip. such a framework can include (1) determining the business requirements for security; (2) performing risk assessments; (3) establishing a security policy; (4) implementing a cybersecurity solution that includes people, processes, and technologies to mitigate identified security risks; and (5) continuously monitoring and managing security. even with such a framework, other demands often compete with cybersecurity. for instance, investing in cybersecurity technologies often needs to make business sense. it is also important to understand the limitations of some cybersecurity technologies. cybersecurity technologies do not work in isolation; they must work within an overall security process and be used by trained personnel. despite the availability of current cybersecurity technologies, there is a demonstrated need for new technologies. long-term efforts are needed, such as the development of standards, research into cybersecurity vulnerabilities and technological solutions, and the transition of research results into commercially available products. there are three broad categories of actions that the federal government can undertake to increase the use of cybersecurity technologies. first, it can take steps to help critical infrastructures determine their cybersecurity needs, such as developing a national cip plan, assisting with risk assessments, and enhancing cybersecurity awareness. second, the federal government can take actions to protect its own systems, which could lead others to emulate it or could lead to the development and availability of more cybersecurity technology products. third, it can undertake long-term activities to increase the quality and availability of cybersecurity technologies in the marketplace. ultimately, the responsibility for protecting critical infrastructures falls on the critical infrastructure owners. however, the federal government has several options at its disposal to manage and encourage the increased use of cybersecurity technologies, research and develop new cybersecurity technologies, and generally improve the cybersecurity posture of critical infrastructure sectors.

subject terms
computer crimes
computer networks
computer security
computer software
crime prevention
information technology
strategic planning

technology assessment: cybersecurity for critical infrastructure protection  gao-04-321  may 28, 2004

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project management

project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. a project is a finite endeavor�having specific start and completion dates�undertaken to create a unique product or service which brings about beneficial change or added value. this finite characteristic of projects stands in sharp contrast to processes, or operations, which are permanent or semi-permanent functional work to repetitively produce the same product or service. in practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management philosophy, which is the subject of this article. the primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while adhering to classic project constraints�usually scope, quality, time and budget. the secondary�and more ambitious�challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives. a project is a carefully defined set of activities that use resources (money, people, materials, energy, space, provisions, communication, motivation, etc.) to achieve the project goals and objectives. hollywood group

project control systems

project control is that element of a project that keeps it on-track, on-time, and within budget. project control begins early in the project with planning and ends late in the project with post-implementation review, having a thorough involvement of each step in the process. each project should be assessed for the appropriate level of control needed: too much control is too time consuming, too little control is very risky. if project control is not implemented correctly, the cost to the business should be clarified in terms of errors, fixes, and additional audit fees. control systems are needed for cost, risk, quality, communication, time, change, procurement, and human resources. in addition, auditors should consider how important the projects are to the financial statements, how reliant the stakeholders are on controls, and how many controls exist. auditors should review the development process and procedures for how they are implemented. the process of development and the quality of the final product may also be assessed if needed or requested. a business may want the auditing firm to be involved throughout the process to catch problems earlier on so that they can be fixed more easily. an auditor can serve as a controls consultant as part of the development team or as an independent auditor as part of an audit. hollywood group

sox section 302: internal control certifications

under sarbanes-oxley, two separate certification sections came into effect�one civil and the other criminal. 15 u.s.c. � 7241 (section 302) (civil provision); 18 u.s.c. � 1350 (section 906) (criminal provision). section 302 of the act mandates a set of internal procedures designed to ensure accurate financial disclosure. the signing officers must certify that they are �responsible for establishing and maintaining internal controls� and �have designed such internal controls to ensure that material information relating to the company and its consolidated subsidiaries is made known to such officers by others within those entities, particularly during the period in which the periodic reports are being prepared.� 15 u.s.c. � 7241(a)(4). the officers must �have evaluated the effectiveness of the company�s internal controls as of a date within 90 days prior to the report� and �have presented in the report their conclusions about the effectiveness of their internal controls based on their evaluation as of that date.� id.. under both section 302 and section 404, congress directed the sec to promulgate regulations enforcing these provisions. (see final rule: management�s report on internal control over financial reporting and certification of disclosure in exchange act periodic reports, release no. 33-8238 (june 5,2003), available at external auditors are required to issue an opinion on whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects by management. this is in addition to the financial statement opinion regarding the accuracy of the financial statements. the requirement to issue a third opinion regarding management's assessment was removed in 2007. hollywood group


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