IG: DHS networks riddled with security holes

According to the report, the majority of cyber-attacks these days occur through common applications such as Microsoft Word rather than operating systems. That makes keeping software applications up-to-date more crucial than ever, particularly with regards to the Einstein system used by US-CERT to monitor government networks for security breaches.

"The results of our vulnerability assessments revealed that [National Cyber Security Division] is not applying timely security and software patches on the [Mission Operating Environment]," the report states, adding that the vulnerabilities could compromise the data on security breaches collected by Einstein.

The IG recommends the Department of Homeland Security place more emphasis on patching its systems and making sure they are updated; in its response, DHS said it has already addressed the issue.