IG: IPv6 deadline challenges DHS

The Homeland Security Department is falling behind in meeting the Office of Management and Budget’s deadline of the end of this month to demonstrate it can support IPv6, according to a new report from DHS Inspector General Richard Skinner.

Although the department is in the early stages of implementing the IPv6 requirements, it needs more preparations, the report said.“DHS faces additional challenges in transitioning to IPv6,” the IG wrote.

“DHS should be further along in implementing its transition effort and completing the OMB interim milestones. DHS must ensure that several key activities are completed before it can fully transition to IPv6 functionality,” the report said.

In 2005, OMB established a goal of transitioning federal agencies’ network backbones to the new protocol. The backbones include wide-area networks to the local-area network point of demarcation.

In July 2005, DHS assigned Customs and Border Protection as the network steward to maintain and operate the department’s network backbone, known as OneNet. DHS’ goal is to make OneNet IPv6 capable by June 30.

The inspector general recommended that the department complete a
comprehensive inventory of all IPv6 applications and devices, including hardware firewalls; finalize its IPv6 transition strategy; engage its components in IPv6 transition planning and activities; and better coordinate with CBP officials on the IPv6 transition effort.

Department officials agreed with the assessment and recommendations, the report said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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