Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The state's Inspector General has released an interim report assessing the data security of SC's state agencies.
The Inspector General's reportcalls for a new statewide information security program, citing the current one is not acceptable. It states that the state has not fixed "responsibility, accountability, and authority for statewide data security."
The report interviewed 18 agency chief information officers, finding many rate their own agency below average in their information security capabilities.
CIO's agency heads rated their own agencies' info security capabilities just marginally below adequate (averaging 2.9 out of five.) Their assessment of security across the state was clearly even lower. (averaging 1.7 out of 5).
The report cites cutting the IT departments of many state agencies in recent years as a possible downfall of state data security, often splitting duties among multiple staff members.
However, the report does publish recommendations for the state to fix security issues by creating a new Chief Information Security Officer position, a committee to provide oversight of the development, and identifying the use of a consultant to assist with the security process.
"Our standards need to be much higher," said Senator Kevin Bryant, appointed to the subcommittee to investigate the breach at the SCDOR. Bryant tells News19 South Carolina needs to become the most protected state when it comes to information security.
"Government typically does not prevent problems from happening. We wait until something happens and we try and fix it. We cannot afford to do that in this case," said Bryant.
Last week the subcommittee said answers given by SCDOR director Jim Etter and state security experts created more questions in their investigation. With the release of the Inspector General's report, Bryant expects more of the same.
"I need to know more information on what happened. Our next question is, what are we going to do to respond," said Bryant.
Tomorrow at ten a.m. a senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on the state house grounds as they further investigate the security breach at the SCDOR. Senator Bryant says they will meticulously review the the inspector general's report published Tuesday.