Audit: Queensland Audit Office Education 2021 Report finds “all need to strengthen their security”
Australian Audit Report 16 June 2022
Queensland Audit Office Education 2021 Report finds “all need to strengthen their security”
Deficiencies identified with user and privilege access management, audit log and user activity monitoring
Queensland Audit Office Report: Education 2021
Read more Audit Reports and Queensland Audit Office (QAO)
Queensland government’s education sector continues to struggle with the audit finding 55 control deficiencies in entities’ systems and processes (internal controls) relating to information systems. Some entities have taken steps in recent years to strengthen their information systems but more action is required.
According to the report “We continue to identify weaknesses in the entities’ information systems. While the entities are continually improving the security of their systems, the risk of cyber attacks continues to increase. The sensitive nature of information the entities hold about students and research makes them an attractive target. In response to this evolving risk, we have expanded our testing and identified more weaknesses. Given how much entities rely on their information systems, they all need to strengthen their security.”
The audit looked at more systems, databases, and networks for education entities than previously, to respond to the growing cyber security risk. This led to identifying additional weaknesses, including:
- ineffective management of user accounts and access to systems
- insufficient monitoring of the access and activities of privileged users
- audit logs and user activity not being regularly monitored and reviewed.
Figure 2A shows the nature of internal control deficiencies reported this year.
The report concludes by recommending that education entities address the security of their information systems. It noted that QAO made the same recommendation last year in Education 2020 (Report 18: 2020–21). All entities need strong security practices and must emphasise the importance of them – in their processes and to their staff – in protecting against fraud or error and significant reputational damage.