: Information technology is widely recognized as the engine that drives any growing economy, giving industries a competitive advantage in global markets, enabling the federal government to provide better services to its citizens, and facilitating greater productivity as a nation. Organizationsin the public and private sectors are beginning to depend on technology-intensive information systemsto successfully carry out their missions and business functions. Information systems can include diverse entities ranging from high-end supercomputers, workstations, personal computers, cellular telephones, and personal digital assistants to very specialized systems (e.g., weapons systems, telecommunications systems, industrial/process control systems, and environmental control systems). Information systems are subject to serious threats that can have adverse effects on organizational operations (i.e., missions, functions, image, or reputation), organizational assets, individuals, other organizations, and the nation at large by exploiting both known and unknown vulnerabilities to compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the information being processed, stored, or transmitted by those systems. Threats to information and information systems can include purposeful attacks, environmental disruptions, and human/machine errors and result in great harm to the national and economic security interests of the nation. Therefore, it is imperative that leaders and managers at all levels understand their responsibilities and are held accountable for managing information security risk—that is, the risk associated with the operation and use of information systems that support the missions and business functions of their organizations.
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