OMB moves to consolidate cybersecurity

The Office of Management and Budget is circulating a draft business case that would consolidate four areas of information technology security services across the federal government.

The result of a joint OMB and Homeland Security Department lines of business task force assembled in March, the business case suggests that agencies, starting in fiscal 2007, should migrate four of their security functions to cross-agency service centers. Consolidating security tasks common to most agencies would prevent wasteful duplication of efforts and establish uniform standards to evaluate security performance, proponents say.

The four functions targeted for consolidation are security training, Federal Information Security Management Act reporting, situational awareness and incident response, and agency selection of security products and life cycle management. Excluded from the business case proposal is IT security program management, a function that was included in the cybersecurity line of business request for information, which the task force issued earlier this year.

"It is not the intention that the centers of excellence are going to take over the operation of agency security operations," said George Bonina, chief information security officer at the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The intent is not one-size-fits-all," he added, speaking at an ArchitecturePlus seminar in July.

Agencies that are candidates to get service center status will not be able to provide all four functions, Bonina said. Each area of security management should have three service centers, which would be federal agencies "in partnership with the private sector," he said.

Each of the four areas would require different start dates for agency migration, which would be phased in, Bonina said.

For example, starting in fiscal 2008, agencies would begin using some situation awareness and incident response products such as forensics software. In the next fiscal year, agencies would begin using cross-agency vulnerability and configuration management services.

Under no circumstances should an agency's migration to a line of business entirely supplant in-house security operations, said Paul Proctor, vice president of Gartner's risk and privacy practice.

"Organizations are different, they have different types of threats," and successfully responding to cyberthreats requires specialized knowledge of the agency's IT architecture, he said.

"We need to make sure that people don't think, 'I can just pay somebody else to go do this for me,' " Proctor said.

It's likely that service centers will focus on different portions of the government, Bonina said. The intelligence community, with its heightened need for security, for example, would have its own service centers. The Defense Department would do the same, he added.

But in standardizing agency methodology for selecting security software, the task force proposal may be breaking down a divide that so far has existed only between national security and civilian agencies, said security expert Lynn McNulty, director of government affairs at the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium.

The Computer Security Act of 1987 allows civilian agencies to purchase commercial software that hasn't gone through an extensive government evaluation process. The result is that civilian agencies often are able to purchase the most recent solutions available, and it's an advantage worth preserving, he said.

McNulty said he was surprised that identity management is not one of the areas slated for consolidation. With all the ongoing identity initiatives, including an executive order requiring federal workers and contractors to have secure identity cards, McNulty said, there should be savings through consolidation.

Resting on the shoulders of DHS

If a proposal to create cross-agency service centers for four areas of federal information technology security become a requirement of the fiscal 2007 budget, the Homeland Security Department would be responsible for its successful implementation, said John Sindelar, the project executive and General Services Administration deputy associate administrator for governmentwide policy.

DHS and the Office of Management and Budget lead the cybersecurity task force. Included in the now-circulating draft proposal is a governance structure for the line of business. Sitting at the top would be a multiagency oversight body and steering committee supervising the entire endeavor. The next layer down would be a project office to facilitate the initial operations, according to a cybersecurity line of business presentation.

Finally, individual service centers would provide security products and services used by federal agencies. Sindelar said several agencies have already expressed interest in becoming a service center.

— David Perera

NEXT STORY: GSA proposes e-authentication plan

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.