GSA Teams up with Pentagon on Cybersecurity
The head of the General Services Administration (GSA), Dan Tangherlini, has teamed up with Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, to improve cybersecurity acquisitions. The two government leaders released a report containing six recommendations for improving security for the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). This report comes in the wake of an executive order from February 2013 requiring increased cybersecurity across all sectors of the government. The recommendations are intended to build upon existing policies stemming from the 2002 Federal Information Security Management Act. The report’s recommendations are as follows:
- Institute baseline cybersecurity requirements as a condition of contract award for appropriate acquisitions.
- Include cybersecurity in acquisition trainings.
- Develop common cybersecurity definitions for Federal acquisitions.
- Institute a Federal acquisition cyber risk management strategy.
- Include a requirement to purchase from original equipment manufacturers, their authorized resellers, or other trusted sources.
- Increase government accountability for cyber risk management.
In addition to these recommendations, the report also notes that, “purchasing products and services that have appropriate cybersecurity designed and built in may have a higher up-front cost in some cases, but doing so reduces the total cost of ownership by providing risk mitigation and reducing the need to fix vulnerabilities in fielded solutions.” Industry experts are likely not surprised by this revelation, as there have been multiple, highly-visible cybercrimes in recent news, negatively impacting both the public and private sector. These new guidelines will affect companies and agencies across the FAS as contract officers will be implementing these new guidelines immediately. Organizations already struggling to meet these guidelines, or that have questions regarding these new recommendations should consider advising with GSA Schedule consultants for further information.