State pushing for IT contractors to monitor security

Rule Proposal

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The State Department has proposed a new rule that would make information technology contractors take more responsibility for the security of unclassified information.

Under the new requirement, IT contractors would be responsible for the security of systems that access the department's mission-related information. The proposed rule also mandates that all winning contractors develop an IT security plan and submit it within 30 days of a contract award.

The new provisions are meant to ensure that the Department of State Acquisition Regulation meets the standards outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which was amended in 2005 to meet the requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002.

Under State’s proposal, contractors would also need to receive the IT certification and accreditation required by National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines and the relevant executive branch directives and congressional acts.

Vendors would also be responsible for monitoring the security of their projects, beyond State’s monitoring programs. Furthermore, they would need to provide yearly proof that their IT security plans remain valid.

State will be accepting comments on the proposal for 60 days beginning today.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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