Continuous monitoring

DHS gets risk management system in place

cyberattack graphic

The Department of Homeland Security has transitioned to a new information assurance architecture manager that will allow it to more easily manage network risk across its multitude of operations.

The framework, Telos' Xacta IA Manager, allows enterprise-wide information assurance compliance, monitors and tracks access, creates plans of action and milestones, and controls assessments and ongoing authorizations.

"We have implemented common controls across the entire enterprise," said Richard Johnson, DHS's branch chief for technical implementation.

The deployment, which has been operational since September, includes all 22 department components.

The framework's continuous monitoring capabilities – the ability to identify and measure the security implications of planned and unscheduled changes to hardware and software, as well as the ability to weigh potential cyberthreats -- drew DHS to the solution, Johnson said. The system streamlines that process, allowing security scans to be ingested and linked to controls. Previously, scan information might have been sent back to a database and not acted on immediately.

Johnson said the Xacta tool will provide DHS with a portal for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which is intended to save time and money for agencies moving data to shared server farms by eliminating the security-testing step.

FedRAMP is the federal government's risk and security assessment program for cloud-based services and was designed to make the assessment process more efficient by providing a "do once, use many times" framework.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

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