FTS 2001 to add security

The General Services Administration and Sprint Government Systems are working

on a deal to offer outsourced network security services to federal agencies

through the FTS 2001 telecommunications contract.

Under the new offering, known as managed security services, Sprint would

take responsibility for maintaining and monitoring network security products

for government agencies.

The concept of managed security services has taken off in the commercial

market in the past six months but not in the federal market. Agencies have

had concerns about turning over security to an outside party.

Until now. The Justice Department has asked Sprint to add managed security

services to its FTS 2001 contract, according to a Justice official. The

agency needs the new services so it can move the Justice Consolidated Network,

its primary telecom network, to the FTS 2001 contract, said the official,

who asked to remain anonymous.

Justice plans to conduct two managed security services pilots, one of

which is about to start and another that is still under development, according

to a Sprint spokesman.

Based on that interest, Sprint is negotiating with GSA to add the Global

Security solutions to the company's entire FTS 2001 contract so that the

services will be available to all agencies, according to the spokesman.

Sprint offers a number of security services via Global One, a company

jointly set up by Sprint, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom. Either the

customer or Global One can manage the Global Security solutions, which include

firewalls and token-based authentication.

Placing information security in the FTS 2001 contract will only strengthen

the contract and the agencies that use it, said Sandy Bates, deputy commissioner

of FTS. And it is fitting that the services are being negotiated just as

new pressure is coming from the White House, Congress and the Office of

Management and Budget for agencies to make security part of their overall

information architectures.

"I think that from the information security/assurance perspective, you need

to buy that and incorporate that in the entire design. That's not something

that you add later, or buy separately, or even think about separately,"

said Bates, who will become FTS commissioner April 3.

Security "has got to be something that we think about all the time and

is incorporated in anything we do as an integral part," she said. "Hopefully,

in the near future, it's not going to be something you buy extra, it just

comes with it."

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