F Is for Feds

Beleaguered public sector CSOs are grappling with tight budgets and red tape for what seems to be a no-win battle to secure their information systems. How do the government's security efforts stack up against the private sector's?

For a moment, imagine your company's security shortcomings splashed all over C-SPAN, CNN and the major networks. The broadcasters aren't exposing a genuine security breach; your customers' records remain uncompromised. Yet they're probing the details of even the smallest of your systems' potential risks. In the hands of TV journalists trained to play up those facts most likely to rouse viewers, and therefore inflate ratings, the risks are morphing into hypothetical but alarming worst-case scenarios right before your eyes. To make matters worse, this unwanted press has arrived after your corporation's potential pitfalls were magnified to many times their size in official security scorecards, prepared by outside auditors and delivered into the hands of savvy politicians

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