The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must improve network security controls at its eight operating divisions (OPDIVs) and fix a series of vulnerabilities discovered during an audit, according to a summary report issued earlier this month by the Office of Inspector General (OIS).
The audit, conducted back in 2016 and 2017 by a contracted third-party pentesting service, found flaws in configuration management, access control, data input controls and software patching, the OIS states in its brief report, which withholds details on the vulnerabilities.
OIS says it disclosed further specific about its findings with senior HHS management and each individual OPDIV, sharing the common root causes of the vulnerabilities, an assessment of HHS’ cybersecurity posture and recommendations for fixing the problems.
“Based on the findings of this audit, we have initiated a new series of audits looking for indicators of compromise on HHS and OPDIV systems to determine whether an active threat exists on HHS networks or whether there has been a past breach by threat actors,” the report states.
OIS says that HHS management agreed with the recommendations and the OPDIVs introduced measures to update their vulnerabilities.