Cyber experts envision updates for OMB’s cyber rules

The prospects for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation have dimmed as the clock on the congressional lame duck runs out. But that doesn’t mean the computer-security guidelines — the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), largely unamended since 2000 — must remain out-of-date.

A group of former federal cybersecurity experts and professionals came together under the auspices of the Center for Strategic and International Studies more than year ago to make recommendations on how internal federal guidance — namely the Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-130, could be updated using existing authorities.

Members of the group include:

  • Frank Reeder, co-founder and director of the Center for Internet Security and the National Board of Information Security Examiners
  • Karen Evans, national director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge
  • Dan Chenok, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government
  • Jim Lewis, director of CSIS’ Technology and Public Policy Program
  • Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute

The group, which published its findings last month in a report, said the most important recommendation is to improve the continuous monitoring of federal networks.

“Government security experts have told us that the current regime of periodic reports and certifications requires them to spend tens of millions of dollars on reports and processes that do little to enhance security,” the authors wrote in the report’s introduction.

The authors also envisioned a beefed-up role for agency chief information officers and chief information security officers.

Reeder, Evans and Chenok — all former OMB officials — join In Depth with Francis Rose to discuss the report.


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