Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Daily Archives: November 20, 2015

OMB – Federal Information Security Modernization Act Audit FY 2015

“In FY 2015 OPM was the victim of a massive data breach that involved the theft of sensitive personal information of millions of individuals. For many years we have reported critical weaknesses in OPM’s ability to manage its information technology (IT) environment, and warned that the agency was as an increased risk of a data breach. In the wake of this data breach, OPM is finally focusing its efforts on improving its IT security posture. Unfortunately, as indicated by the variety of findings in this audit report, OPM continues to struggle to meet many FISMA requirements. During this audit we did close a long-standing recommendation related to OPM’s information security management structure – [Report Number 4A-CI-00-15-011, November 10, 2015] However, this audit also determined that there has been a regression in OPM’s management of its system Authorization program, which we classified as a material weakness in the FY 2014 FISMA audit report. In April 2015, the Chief Information Officer issued a memorandum that granted an extension of the previous Authorizations for all systems whose Authorization had alrea dy expired, and for those scheduled to expire through September 2016. Should this moratorium on Authorizations continue, the agency will have up to 23 systems that have not been subject to a thorough security controls assessment. We continue to believe that OPM’s management of system Authorizations represents a material weakness in the internal control structure of the agency’s IT security program. The moratorium on Authorizations will result in the IT security controls of OPM’s systems being neglected. Combined with the inadequacy and non-compliance of OPM’s continuous monitoring program, we are very concerned that the agency’s systems will not be protected against another attack.”

New and Improved Charts and Data on Auto Loans

NY Fed – A Closer Look at Auto Loans: “Today, the New York Fed announced that household debt increased by a robust $212 billion in the third quarter of 2015. Both mortgage and auto loan originations increased, as auto originations reached a ten-year high and new mortgage lending appears to have finally recovered from the… Continue Reading

EPA Proposes to Reduce Smog-Forming Pollution Transported Across State Lines

News release: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing updates to the agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) to address interstate air quality impacts for the 2008 ozone air quality standards. The proposed updates would reduce summertime emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) from power plants that contribute to downwind ozone problems in the… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Medicare Part B, Government Cybersecurity, Federal Real Property, Climate Change, Bulk Fuel Pricing

Medicare Part B: Expenditures for New Drugs Concentrated among a Few Drugs, and Most Were Costly for Beneficiaries, GAO-16-12: Published: Oct 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 20, 2015. Critical Infrastructure Protection: Sector-Specific Agencies Need to Better Measure Cybersecurity Progress, GAO-16-79: Published: Nov 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2015. Federal Real Property: Additional Authorities and… Continue Reading

Financial Literacy Skills for the 21st Century

Annamaria Lusardi – Colston Warne Lecture | September 2015 “Foreward: I am delighted to be asked to give the Colston Warne Lecture at the American Council on Consumer Interests annual conference. What I want to cover in this lecture [see the article and the powerpoint] is what I consider to be one of the most… Continue Reading

Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses

Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses. Zeevi et al., 2015, Cell 163, 1079–1094/ November 19, 2015 “Highlights High interpersonal variability in post-meal glucose observed in an 800-person cohort Using personal and microbiome features enables accurate glucose response prediction Prediction is accurate and superior to common practice in an independent cohort Short-term personalized dietary… Continue Reading

PWC 2015 US CEO Survey

“For the first time in five years in PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, more business leaders rate the US as their most important market for overseas growth ahead of all others, including China’s. As the US recovery gains traction, it is gaining more adherents. Challenges remain, yet key measures of US economic health are improving.… Continue Reading