A new report issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) says federal agencies reported eight percent fewer cybersecurity incidents in fiscal year 2019, compared to 2018 -- an improvement it attributes to the recent "maturation of agencies' information security programs."

High-value IT assets (HVAs) remain a work in progress, however: In FY 2019, the Department of Homeland Security conducted 71 HVA assessments, which collectively revealed that the federal government "continues to face challenges mitigating basic security vulnerabilities," the report states. OBM identified the five most common issuing facing HVA environments as spear pushing, patch management, admin password reuse, insecure default configurations and weak password policies.

The document, OMB's annual FISMA (Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014) report, says that federal agencies reported 28,581 cybersecurity incidents in FY 2019, compared to 31,107 incidents in FY 2018.

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