U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
March 24, 2020
Why We Did This Project
We performed this audit to
assess the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's compliance
with the fiscal year 2019
Inspector General reporting
instructions for the Federal
Information Security
Modernization Act of 2014.
The FY 2019 IG FISMA
Reporting Metrics outlines five
security function areas and eight
corresponding domains to help
federal agencies manage
cybersecurity risks. The
document also outlines five
maturity levels by which IGs
should rate agency information
security programs:
•	Level 1, Ad Hoc.
•	Level 2, Defined.
•	Level 3, Consistently
•	Level 4, Managed and
•	Level 5, Optimized.
This report addresses the
•	Compliance with the law.
•	Operating efficiently and
Address inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391 or
EPA Needs to Improve Its Risk Management and
Incident Response Information Security Functions
What We Found
We assessed the maturity of the EPA's information
security program at Level 3, Consistently
Implemented. A Level 3 designation means that the
EPA's policies, procedures, and strategies are
consistently implemented but quantitative and
qualitative effectiveness measures are lacking. To
determine the EPA's maturity level, we reviewed
the five security function areas outlined in the
FY 2019 IG FISMA Reporting Metrics: Identify,
Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. We also reviewed the eight
corresponding domains: Risk Management, Configuration Management, Identity
and Access Management, Data Protection and Privacy, Security Training,
Information Security Continuous Monitoring, Incident Response, and
Contingency Planning.
While the EPA consistently implemented policies, procedures, and strategies for
many of these function areas and domains, improvements are still needed:
•	Risk Management: The EPA did not implement standard data elements for
software and associated licenses used within the Agency's information
technology environment, and the plans of action and milestones were not
consistently used to mitigate security weaknesses.
•	Incident Response: The EPA did not implement prescribed technologies to
support its incident response program.
Appendix A contains the results of our FISMA assessment.
Recommendations and Planned Agency Corrective Actions
We recommend that the Assistant Administrator for Mission Support (1) develop
and maintain an up-to-date inventory of Agency software and associated
licenses, (2) establish a control to validate that Agency personnel are creating
the required plans of action and milestones associated with vulnerability testing,
and (3) implement prescribed technologies to support the EPA's incident
response program.
The Agency concurred with our recommendations and provided acceptable
corrective actions. All recommendations are considered resolved with planned
corrective actions pending.
Further implementation
of risk management
activities and incident
response tools are
needed to combat
cybersecurity threats
intended to steal and
destroy confidential and
sensitive information.
List of OIG reports.