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Looking at OMB's Proposed FISMA Performance Metrics

While 2010 turns the page to a new decade, many threats from the past 10 years persist. In the cyber security world, nations such as China continue building cyber capabilities from an offensive and defensive perspective, resulting in what has become a new arms race.

In response to these threats, the Federal government hopes to shore up its defensive capabilities by mandating new FISMA performance metrics that incorporate "real-time" countermeasuresówith real-time being the keyword. Real-time denotes the ability to identify, act, and respond to minimize the impact of attacks. This leads to our movement of increasing situational awareness and our ability to detect threats as they occur instead of reacting after the damage has been done. While real-time measures provide many benefits, they also carry a hefty price tag for agencies looking to implement these capabilities. Real-time capabilities can only be implemented through automated technologies and solutions. These technologies carry significant costs further straining the department or agency's already thin cyber security resources.

Government agencies currently possess varying levels of maturity to implement and maintain these capabilities and, in some cases, do not possess these capabilities at all. Although they are absolutely necessary in any "defense-in-depth" strategy, the key question becomes "How much?" and "How fast?" can we implement them. With shrinking budgets and tougher times, it becomes a difficult exercise in prioritizing investments, especially when FISMA may formally capture progress and impact an agency's grades and ultimately, their budget.

It would be impossible to implement these capabilities within a 6-12 month period, at least not effectively. Organizations need to take a risk-based approach to prioritizing initiatives and developing a strategy that allows agencies to prioritize their investments to obtain the greatest return and most importantly the biggest risk reduction to support their missions.

Tags: technology , Trusted Advisor Blog , OMB , FISMA , cyber security

Wednesday - 01/27/2010, 12:44pm EST

Air Force cyber unit reaches milestones

The Air Force's new cyber organization received the "ready" sign to move to initial operating capability.

Tags: technology , Richard Webber , Air Force , DoD , cybersecurity

Tuesday - 01/26/2010, 05:04pm EST

Snow days could help gov't telework

One expert says Feds need to treat "snow days" as informal tests to assess how effective teleworking plans are and how to improve upon them.

Tags: technology , Collaboration Center , Telework Exchange , telework , Steve O'Keefe

Tuesday - 01/26/2010, 06:00am EST

In Depth Conversation: Howard Schmidt's to-do list - cyber priorities for 2010

Howard Schmidt is moving into his new job "at Mach Four with his hair on fire," according to one of today's panelists.

Tags: In Depth Conversation , technology , management , cybersecurity , homeland security , DHS , Greg Garcia , Hugo Teufel , Dan Chenok

Monday - 01/25/2010, 08:37pm EST
Listen

Don't waste your teleworking dollars

When considering how to save money and "what not to buy in 2010", remember that teleworkers have some special considerations.

Tags: technology , TANDBERG Telework Center , telework , Energy

Sunday - 01/24/2010, 11:30pm EST
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