Energy Department Watchdog Finds Research Labs Fail to Secure ‘Peripheral’ Devices Like USBs

Multiple Department of Energy research labs lack adequate security controls to safeguard devices like printers and USB drives, leaving the facilities susceptible to data theft, according to an inspector general investigation.

“[T]he confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems and data could be directly impacted by the vulnerabilities discovered by our test work,” the DOE inspector general said in a memo released last week.

The watchdog did not name the four DOE field sites it reviewed, but said they were part of DOE’s Office of Science. That office spans at least 10 research labs that are doing sensitive research on everything from supercomputing to the supply chain of health equipment to combat the coronavirus.

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