US Study Cites Worries on Readiness for Cyberattacks

Coverage Type: reporting
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Hyattsville, MD, 20782-7055, United States

A study commissioned by President Obama to assess the nation’s ability to respond to terrorist attacks and man-made and natural disasters has found that state and local officials have the most confidence in their public health and medical services but are the most concerned about whether agencies can respond to cyberattacks.

Called the National Preparedness Report, the assessment is the first of its kind released by the federal agency and was intended to serve as a baseline for preparedness. The report’s findings about cybersecurity that appeared to be the most troubling, and they continued a drumbeat from the Obama administration about the need for Congress to pass legislation giving the Department of Homeland Security the authority to regulate computer security for the country’s infrastructure. The report said that cybersecurity “was the single core capability where states had made the least amount of overall progress” and that only 42 percent of state and local officials believed that theirs was adequate.

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