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 senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

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.


Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

    SEC owns up to 2016 breach

    A key database of financial information was breached in 2016, possibly in support of insider trading, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption

    Defense leaders and Congress are looking to encourage more aggressive cloud policies and prod reluctant agencies to embrace experimentation and risk-taking.

  • Shutterstock / Pictofigo

    The next big thing in IT procurement

    Steve Kelman talks to the agencies that have embraced tech demos in their acquisition efforts -- and urges others in government to give it a try.

  • broken lock

    DHS bans Kaspersky from federal systems

    The Department of Homeland Security banned the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s products from federal agencies in a new binding operational directive.

  • man planning layoffs

    USDA looks to cut CIOs as part of reorg

    The Department of Agriculture is looking to cut down on the number of agency CIOs in the name of efficiency and better communication across mission areas.

  • What's next for agency cyber efforts?

    Ninety days after the Trump administration's executive order, FCW sat down with agency cyber leaders to discuss what’s changing.

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