Independent Evaluation of the FDICs Information Security Program-2008

September 2008
Report No. AUD-08-020

FDIC OIG, Office of Audits
Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation

Why We Did The Audit

The FDIC Office of Inspector General (OIG) contracted with KPMG, LLP (KPMG) to conduct an independent evaluation of the FDICs information security program and practices pursuant to the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). FISMA requires federal agencies, including the FDIC, to have an annual independent evaluation performed of their information security program and practices and to report the results of the evaluation to the Office of Management and Budget.

The objective of the evaluation was to determine the effectiveness of the FDICs information security program and practices, including the FDICs compliance with FISMA and related information security policies, procedures, standards and guidelines.

Background

Key to achieving the FDICs mission of maintaining stability and public confidence in the nations financial system is safeguarding the sensitive information it collects and manages in its roles as federal deposit insurer of banks and savings associations and as receiver for failed institutions. Ensuring the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of this information in an environment of increasingly sophisticated security threats requires a strong, enterprise-wide information security program.

Audit Results

In general, with respect to the information technology systems and common controls reviewed, KPMG found that the related program and operational controls demonstrated effectiveness while management and technical controls warranted management attention. The FDIC continues to build upon its past success in addressing the information security provisions of FISMA and standards and guidelines of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Importantly, the FDIC had established policies and procedures in substantially all of the security control areas KPMG evaluated. The FDIC had also implemented a number of important security control improvements in response to KPMGs 2007 evaluation, such as enhancing its encryption capabilities and strengthening its corporate privacy program. Additional control improvements were also underway at the close of the audit.

The above accomplishments were positive. However, KPMG identified a number of information security control deficiencies warranting management attention. Of particular note, KPMG identified access control deficiencies within the FDICs internal network that presented a high risk of unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information or compromise of IT resources. While the FDIC was taking prompt action to address these access control deficiencies, increased management attention in this area is warranted. The table below presents KPMGs security program assessment results. The report identifies eight steps that the Corporation can take to improve the effectiveness of its information security program controls in the areas of Risk Assessment; Planning; Certification, Accreditation, and Security Assessments; Media Protection; Awareness and Training; Identification and Authentication; Access Control; and Audit and Accountability. In many cases, the FDIC was already working to improve security controls in these areas during KPMGs audit.

Because this report addresses issues associated with information security, we do not intend to make public release of the specific contents of the report.

KPMGs Assessment of the FDICs Security Program Controls
Control Class Control Families Tested that Demonstrated Effectiveness Control Families Tested that Warrant Management Attention
Program
  • Information Security Governance
  • Enterprise Architecture
 
Management  
  • Risk Assessment
  • Planning
  • Certification, Accreditation, and Security Assessments
Operational
  • Maintenance
  • System and Information Integrity
  • Incident Response
  • Awareness and Training
 
Technical  
  • Identification and Authentication
  • Access Control
  • Audit and Accountability
Source: KPMGs 2008 audit of the FDICs information security program. KPMG did not evaluate the following control families: System & Services Acquisition, Contingency Planning, Configuration Management, System and Communication Protection, Personnel Security, and Physical and Environmental Protection.


Last updated 1/13/2009