Budget puts squeeze on computer security research

Some analysts see no evidence that tight budgets have constrained cybersecurity efforts at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. But others say that the agency's limited budget has undermined other security efforts, including the security product certification program known as the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP).

NIAP began as a joint program administered by officials from NIST's Computer Security Division and the National Security Agency's Information Assurance Directorate. As reported in a recent advisory committee's report, budget limitations have forced NIST officials to turn the NIAP program over to NSA. As a result, the program's value has been diminished for federal civilian agencies and the private sector, whose security needs differ from NSA's. "If NIST's funding were increased, what you might see is NIST working with other industry sectors to make protection profiles more relevant for those sectors," said David Wilson, vice president for product management and support at Xacta Corp., which makes security software.

Others familiar with a recent advisory board report on NIST's Computer Security Division agree that budget constraints are limiting the ability of NIST's computer security experts to provide practical security guidelines in many new areas.

"Those things are not happening -- research on incident exercises and how to respond to a cyber incident, sensor deployment, penetration testing, vulnerability management, convergence-related issues, [radio frequency identification] -- all of these are areas for which I know NIST would like to put together guidelines, and I just don't think the funding is there," said Paul Kurtz, executive director of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, a cybersecurity advocacy group.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group