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OMB Issues New Rules on Cybersecurity

cyberFederal agencies will this summer start sending real-time automated data feeds on cyber threats to the Homeland Security Department’s national cybersecurity division, which then will analyze the information and offers advice to agencies on ways to address vulnerabilities and defend against cyber attacks, according to federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.

To allow agencies to share information and fight cyber attacks quicker, the Office of Management and Budget last month issued orders to federal civilian agencies to adopt a near-real-time approach to cyber threats. Kundra said in an interview in Federal Times that agencies have spent “too much time, money and energy on generating paperwork that they end up filing away in these secure cabinets and they don’t end up protecting systems.”

In October last year, Kundra unveiled CyberScope, an online reporting tool that replaces paper or email based reporting. The new system aims to streamline the process by providing a standard format for reporting, which provides a better view into the data and making obsolete the need to combine reports submitted in different formats.

Kundra said OMB will summon cybersecurity officials from federal agencies May 7 to talk about the plan. Agencies should be feeding data to DHS on their cybersecurity threats by July, he said. Funds for the new approach should be available within current cybersecurity budgets, he said, and eliminating the cumbersome annual reports will free up resources.

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