GAO’s workforce is organized largely by subject area, with most employees working in one of our 15 mission teams. Today we’ll be putting the spotlight on our Information Technology & Cybersecurity (ITC) team, which helps the government respond to the challenges of managing the more than $90 billion spent on federal information technology (IT) every year.
ITC recently changed its name from “Information Technology” to better reflect the significant body of work the team does on cybersecurity issues. Read on to learn more about those issues and others that ITC focuses on.
ITC’s mission is to provide insight into government IT purchases and operations, cybersecurity, and the collection and dissemination of quality information.
The team’s work examines federal efforts to:
- improve IT management practices, such as data center consolidation, cloud computing, and chief information officers’ responsibilities.
- ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of IT acquisitions and operations, such as the VA’s IT modernization efforts and DOD’s business systems management.
- adopt IT management best practices, including for the Secret Service’s IT workforce planning and management and TSA’s strategy for modernizing its technology.
- protect individual privacy and sensitive data, such as Medicare electronic health data and postsecondary student information, which Nick Marinos, a director in ITC, describes in the following podcast:
- strengthen cybersecurity and protect information systems, including efforts to adopt and implement cybersecurity best practices, protect our nation’s oil and gas pipeline infrastructure, and guard against cyber intrusions, which ITC director Greg Wilshusen, discusses in this podcast:
- develop and execute a comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy, which we have identified as an urgent need in several reports and testimonies, including our latest High-Risk report.
ITC’s recommendations saved taxpayers over $2.2 billion in fiscal year 2018. The team’s directors also testified at 17 congressional hearings and participated in 7 hearings with other GAO teams.
A Closer Look at an ITC Team report: Urgent Actions Are Needed to Address Cybersecurity Challenges Facing the Nation
Federal agencies and the nation’s critical infrastructures—such as energy, transportation systems, communications, and financial services—depend on information technology systems to carry out operations. So, it’s vital to public confidence and national security, prosperity, and well-being that these systems are secure.
In ITC’s recent report, the team identified 4 major cybersecurity challenges, as well as critical actions needed to address them.
Because of increasing cyber-based threats and ongoing security incursions, information security is one of GAO’s government-wide high-risk areas.