RFI released for cross-agency security

Information Systems Security RFI

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An intra-agency task force released a request for information asking the private sector for help in investigating possible governmentwide solutions to cybersecurity.

The cybersecurity line of business, jointly headed by the Homeland Security Department and the Office of Management and Budget, held its first meeting earlier this month. Federal officials hope that consolidation or standardization of common cybersecurity processes, services and technologies can improve government performance while lowering costs.

The RFI identifies five network security areas that could benefit from a governmentwide approach:

• Program management.

• Security considerations in the information systems life cycle.

• Situational awareness and incident response capability.

• Training, specialized training and knowledge sharing.

• Selection, evaluation and implementation of security solutions.

Whether the task force adopts the common service center approach recommended by earlier groups is an open question, said Tim Young, OMB associate administrator for e-government and IT.

"There's probably areas for consolidation, but where it'll take the form of common service centers, we don’t know, we don’t want to lead the witness," Young said today at a breakfast sponsored by the Association for Federal Information Resources Management at the annual FOSE trade show.

In general, adoption of cross-service agency centers for financial management, human resources and grants management is just a matter of time, Young said.

Agency officials "might not like it, it may cause a lot of pain, but as a government we’re going to save over $1 billion with payroll" systems consolidation, Young added. "That’s real money."

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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