FedCIRC maps cyber battle plan
- By Diane Frank
- Nov 08, 2000
FedCIRC home page
The Federal Computer Incident Response Capability is planning programs for
the coming year to help agencies face the growing number of cyberattacks
and to coordinate warnings and responses across government.
The initiatives will be funded with the $8 million FedCIRC is due to
receive when the final appropriations bills are signed. FedCIRC is based
at the General Services Administration.
The changes will strengthen FedCIRC's abilities and will also include
new offerings that are intended to enhance the entire government's security
posture, said FedCIRC director Dave Jarrell, speaking at the Information
Technology Security Innovations conference in College Park, Md. Tuesday.
"There are no silver bullets, but what our initiatives do is shorten
the time it takes to respond," he said.
FedCIRC already has developed a solicitation to bring in a new private-sector
partner to focus on the day-to-day responses and advisories that the organization
provides to agencies. The Carnegie Mellon University Computer Emergency
Response Team (CERT), which currently serves in that capacity, will change
its efforts to analysis of incidents and attacks.
Another priority is the automated patch distribution system. FedCIRC
has been working on ideas for the system while waiting for funding to put
a contract and the system in place, Jarrell said.
FedCIRC will be building on the CIO Council's memo this month asking
agencies to develop formal methods to coordinate with FedCIRC, including
the development of a secure network that will enable federal security managers
to discuss incidents without worrying that information will leak out to
the public or the attackers, Jarrell said.
The organization also is moving forward with plans for a high-volume
phone and fax system that will help notify agencies when e-mail systems
are down and an AM radio advisory station that will notify federal employees
of potential cyber dangers during off-hours.
FedCIRC also is developing a new managed security services multiple-award
contract. The contract will enable agencies to find vendors that can provide
monitoring and alert skills that many agencies lack. It will also include
a way for agencies to feed information to FedCIRC via vendors, giving the
organization a complete snapshot of security problems across government.
"Agencies are going to have complete control over the depth and type
of monitoring and what information goes to FedCIRC," Jarrell said.