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The GAO provided information on the effectiveness of the National Earthquake Information Service's Seismic Data Analysis System (SEDAS) software, focusing on the system's technical and operational security controls.
The GAO noted that: (1) SEDAS is a mission-critical system that provides earthquake location information to the academic community, the private sector, and government agencies; (2) the information produced by SEDAS triggers rapid deployment of rescue teams; (3) SEDAS has adequate management and technical security safeguards, including knowledgeable system managers, passwords, backups, access controls, and physical security controls; (4) SEDAS security weaknesses include a lack of data privacy, inadequate training, and a lack of access control and password management; (5) although SEDAS contingency plans correctly identify an alternate operational site, they do not address alternate site data transmission or processing questions and have never been tested; and (6) the U.S. Geological Survey lacks adequate contingency plan information and effective reporting mechanisms to properly determine system funding requirements.