The Department of Homeland Security leaves many of its facilities and networks vulnerable to outside threats.
in one December reportthe department’s office of inspector general sounded the alarm about ID cards still in the hands of former DHS employees.
Tens of thousands of PIV cards have left without deactivation after their holders left DHS, according to DHS The interception. The cards “enable employees to enter sensitive, secure facilities and access internal data networks,” according to the publication.
This problem is not new. Internal audits at the department have raised alarms about access cards in the hands of former employees four times since 2007, according to The Intercept.
Of the 137,375 cardholders who left DHS between 2018 and 2021, the inspector general concluded that only 49 percent of cards were deactivated per department protocol.
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Some PIV cards have been canceled after the 18-hour window that DHS regulations allow for cancellation.
According to the report, as many as 36,774 cards may not have been deactivated at all.
DHS officials acknowledged the issue, according to the report, but estimated the number of cards not deactivated at 22,878.
Regardless of the number, the report makes the seriousness of the problem clear.
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“The Department considers PIV cards, which can remain active for up to 6 years, to be sensitive and high-value items with ‘significant potential for misuse if lost, stolen or compromised,'” the report reads.
According to the OIG, department administrators have so far deliberately refused to cancel cards in a federal program.
“Some DHS officials also told us they intentionally did not enter a revocation date after PIV cards were revoked because it caused the reports to become overly large, which led to it [Identity Management System] slow it down.”
The same report also noted that DHS did not revoke the security clearances of former employees and contractors who had left the department.
Failure to maintain the security of DHS networks and facilities could potentially jeopardize national security.
Rogue actors with access to federal buildings and networks could gain access to sensitive information.
“Without effective PIV card and security clearance management and monitoring, DHS cannot ensure that only authorized individuals have access to its controlled systems and facilities,” the report said. “As a result, there is a risk that individuals who no longer need access to systems and facilities could bypass controls and enter DHS buildings and controlled areas.”
The problems extend across all DHS agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to the OIG report.
The cards aren’t the first thing DHS has lost sight of under its embattled secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement — an agency of DHS — reportedly lost track of 150,000 illegal aliens in the summer of 2021 alone FoxNews.
Some DHS agencies have struggled with hiring and retention, especially since President Joe Biden took office.
Declining morale has prompted veteran Border Patrol agents to leave federal service, and DHS is unable to recruit new agents quickly enough to replace them.
https://www.westernjournal.com/damning-report-homeland-security-dept-cant-even-secure-buildings/ Homeland Security? Dept. cannot even secure its own buildings