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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Cyber Security Audit: Washington Agencies Not In Full Compliance

Washington Consolidated Technology Services
File photo of one of the built-out data halls in Washington's data center.

The state of Washington has good cyber security standards, but state agencies don’t always adhere to those standards.

That’s the finding of a performance audit released Monday.

Cyber security has emerged as a leading threat to the U.S government and corporate America. Sony Pictures is the latest high-profile victim, but state and local governments are also potential targets.

A new performance audit by the Washington State Auditor’s Office found areas of “non-compliance” and “security weakness.” Five state agencies were assessed for their hacking vulnerability. Holes in the state’s cyber security blanket include inadequate use of encryption and a failure to store backup data at offsite locations.

Overall, the audit praises Washington’s cyber security standards, but also says there’s a need for better monitoring and oversight of compliance.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."