Federal officials push for greater info protection

A Barack Obama administration proposed rule lays out for contractors the basic factors in safeguarding information systems that contain unclassified government data.

The administration’s proposal would require a contract clause that would oblige the contractor to provide protective measures to information provided by or generated for the government. A system includes a public computer or website, or a system that transmits electronic information, as well as voice and fax data.

As a result, the rule would not allow companies to process government information on public computers. Instead, they have to opt for the best technology and processes with the greatest security to transmit information. The rule requires one physical lock and one electronic barrier to information as well as a cleansing of a media device's information before the device is released externally or disposed of.

The rule was published in the Federal Register on Aug. 24. The proposal would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

This proposed rule applies to all federal contractors and appropriate subcontractors regardless of size or business ownership.

Officials say the cost will not be significant, since the first-level protective measures, such as updated virus protection, are typically part of the routine course of doing business.

Regulators also recognize that without the rule, the government would suffer reduced system performance and potential loss of valuable information.

“The cost of not using basic information technology system protection measures would be a significant detriment to contractor and government business,” according to the proposal.

Officials are accepting comments on the proposal through Oct. 23.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Mon, Aug 27, 2012 Jack

No need for a rule. FISMA has always mandated contractors who process, store, transmit or disseminate information on behalf of the government must be FISMA compliant. What this will do is confuse program managers and contract officials. Vendors will cry foul and state they only need a locked door and media sanitation when FISMA compliance is specified in a contract.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group