Tech Roundup

 

Ramping Up Security

Federal cloud providers have until June to comply with new uniform security controls so that multiple agencies can piggyback off the certifications for faster installation.

To more quickly slice $5 billion from the government’s annual $80 billion information technology tab, the Obama administration in December 2011 released requirements for expediting cloud security approvals. Protecting remotely managed data in the cloud has been a stumbling block for some federal managers. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, known as FedRAMP, aims to guarantee a vendor’s goods adhere to baseline controls so that any agency can immediately deploy the services without reassessing a product’s safety.

Recycling accreditations is expected to save the government 30 percent to 40 percent in testing and procurement costs, says federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel. “Cloud computing has become an integral part of the government’s DNA,” he says. “One of the main challenges that people have identified is around security and using security as a barrier to entry around cloud computing.”

If FedRAMP can’t meet an agency’s cloud security needs, then the agency must report to the White House the reasons why for each service and offer alternative approaches. The Obama administration will create a secure online repository for agencies to share boilerplate contract language on products that already have gone through the FedRAMP process.

Most national security systems, some of which are classified, are exempt from the program.

- Aliya Sternstein

Time to Share

Agencies must create plans to move at least two agency-specific information technology services to shared interagency platforms by the end of 2012, according to a draft strategy from federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel. 

The draft strategy also requires agency IT leaders to assess what’s working and what isn’t in their shared services by March and shift “the ‘default setting’ for IT investment decisions from the development of new components to the utilization of existing resources.”

That means new IT projects should be built with standardized architectures so that they can be easily converted to process work across different agencies. The government has more than 200 planning and budgeting IT systems, plus more than 275 human resources systems and more than 300 financial management systems.

According to the strategy, “as it stands, agency IT investments are so highly specialized and difficult to integrate with one another that it is often less expensive to acquire a new proprietary system than to share existing systems.” 

- Joseph Marks

Foreign Affairs

Investigations into potential security risks posed by foreign takeovers of U.S. companies, including many information technology firms, have increased 23 percent in recent years.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States evaluates security implications of planned transactions that would result in foreign powers gaining significant influence over domestic firms. American companies voluntarily report their dealings, so the findings may not reflect all transfers.      

- Aliya Sternstein

 

Made in China

In November 2011, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he would add an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would require Customs and Border Protection inspectors to examine all Chinese electronic components before they enter the country, based on reports that the Defense supply chain is infested with bum parts from China.

The law signed by President Obama in December does contain language on counterfeit parts, but not exactly the bold steps that Levin promised. The law calls for the Homeland Security Department to develop a “risk-based methodology” to target suspicious electronic parts—a process that seems several steps removed from Customs agents stopping them at the border.

And how long will it take to develop the risk-based methodology, a buzz phrase that I imagine will take at least one contract to develop?

- Bob Brewin

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.