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Cost of protecting U.S. classified data doubles over 10 years

Jaikumar Vijayan | July 4, 2012
The U.S. government -- minus key spy operations -- spent $11.36 billion to protect classified data in 2011, according to the Information Security Oversight Office.

There is also a tendency by government agencies to overestimate the cost of protecting classified data, Pescatore said.

Government agencies at times also underestimates the risks and costs associated with not classifying data properly, Pescatore said.

"When the Web first reached government use, many government agencies put unclassified floor plans, phone lists [and other data] on their websites," he said. "When it was pointed out that this made it much easier for terrorists to plan, they had to remove all that," resulting in some very real, but often, underestimated costs, he said.

"So, I think there is perennial overhype about over-classification and perennial denial about the real need for "need to know" controls," for accessing classified data, he said.


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