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Progress Is Slow on Cybersecurity Goals, Gao Reports

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The White House's failure to designate roles and responsibilities to federal agencies has impeded efforts to carry out President Obama's strategy for securing computer networks, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report. Of the 24 recommendations in the president's May 2009 cyber policy audit, only two have been fully carried out, GAO says. Those are the appointments of a cyber security policy and activities coordinator and an official to regulate privacy and civil liberties. The other 22 recommendations have been implemented only in part.

For instance, the plan for managing cyber identities, which would help verify the identities of people, organizations, and computers commuting over the Web, remains in draft form, though the Obama administration plans to finalize it before November. Also, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is creating a framework that defines areas with further research and development potential, but it is not expected to be finished until next year.

Officials told GAO some recommendations, such as enhanced information sharing about cyber attacks and vulnerabilities, would take several years to completely roll out.

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