Federal agencies have demonstrated marked progress in their capacity to confront and manage cyber threats, with substantial improvements in detecting, analyzing, and mitigating incidents such as ransomware attacks and data breaches. Despite these advancements, a notable number of agencies have fallen short in meeting federal requirements concerning event logging, a critical element in effectively tracking cybersecurity incidents. The failure to ensure comprehensive event logging jeopardizes the capability to effectively identify and respond to potential cyber threats.
The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report emphasizes the pivotal role of event logging in leveraging information from federal IT logs. This data serves as a cornerstone in the detection, investigation, and remediation of cyber threats. While federal agencies have enhanced their incident response capabilities by leveraging tools like endpoint detection and response solutions, services such as threat hunting, and resources like skilled personnel and funding, the insufficient adherence to event logging standards remains a concerning shortfall.
The GAO recommended that federal agencies prioritize the complete implementation of requirements related to logging cybersecurity events. By doing so, agencies can significantly bolster their ability to track and respond to cyber threats effectively, ensuring a more robust defense against potential cybersecurity breaches. This emphasizes the urgency for agencies to address these gaps and fortify their incident response capabilities to safeguard against evolving cyber threats.