DHS OIG Says CISA Should Validate Priority Comms Data
Thursday, January 13, 2022 | Comments

In a report, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) said the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) should validate the performance data for its priority telecommunications services (PTS).

The review was launched in April 2020 in response to a complaint received on the OIG’s general hotline about a failure in “telecommunication connectivity and largely untested telecommunications services.”

The goal of the review was to determine whether the DHS effectively supported operable and interoperable emergency communications for federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government officials and critical infrastructure operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the review, the OIG confirmed that the disconnection noted in the complaint was an isolated event, the telecommunications provider involved developed a technical solution to prevent the problem from occurring again and that CISA conducted periodic tests and coordinated simulated tests of priority telecommunications services.

However, the OIG determined that while CISA measures the performance of two of its priority telecommunications services, it does not have an adequate process in place to validate its performance data. Because of this, OIG said CISA could report inaccurate information or misrepresent the effectiveness of its PTS program in its quarterly report to the DHS chief financial officer.

CISA concurred with the recommendation by OIG that it establish a process to validate data reliability.

Find the full report here.

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