Risk
3/29/2012
03:00 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Congress Proposes FISMA Overhaul

Amendments would update the 2002 law for today's federal IT environment, transfer cybersecurity oversight from Homeland Security to OMB.

Lawmakers have proposed amendments to the 10-year-old law that sets federal cybersecurity standards to account for changes that have since occurred in the federal IT environment.

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, unveiled the Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012 to overhaul the Federal Information Security Act of 2002, or FISMA.

The act--which has been posted online--points out that the federal IT environment has become increasingly interconnected over the last 10 years, and the security industry itself also has matured.

In light of these changes, the act calls for continuous monitoring and regular assessments of federal IT systems to ensure their security; mandates the establishment of baseline security controls for agencies as a framework for gauging the effectiveness of those controls; and gives agencies more authority to make decisions about using off-the-shelf security products in their respective IT systems, among other changes.

It also would transfer much of the oversight of agency cybersecurity away from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and back to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a shift from the current dynamic.

[ The Obama administration also unveiled cybersecurity directives this week. See White House Sets Cybersecurity Priorities. ]

The OMB expanded the DHS's cybersecurity profile in 2010, and the agency has been at the forefront of much of federal cybersecurity activities since then. Indeed, the DHS and the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) currently have the lion's share of overseeing agencies' FISMA guidance and implementation.

Cybersecurity has been a chief concern for the Obama administration, but despite a number of proposed laws debated in Congress, lawmakers have yet to pass comprehensive legislation to protect U.S. critical infrastructure and federal networks against cyber threats.

Last May, President Obama sent a broad cybersecurity proposal to lawmakers to overhaul the nation's cybersecurity laws as a way to speed the process along, and earlier this year various officials--including Obama's cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt--also pushed lawmakers to act.

In the meantime, agencies depend on FISMA to guide them to protect federal networks. Officials already are working to integrate some of the concepts proposed by the amendment into the law. To facilitate continuous monitoring, for instance, in 2011 the DHS outlined new requirements for FISMA agencies reporting security information monthly via data feeds to CyberScope, an internal compliance tool.

The effort to achieve and maintain compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements remains one of the primary drivers behind many IT security initiatives. In our Security Via SOX Compliance report, we share 10 best practices to meet SOX security-related requirements and help ensure you'll pass your next compliance audit. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-0334
Published: 2014-10-31
Bundler before 1.7, when multiple top-level source lines are used, allows remote attackers to install arbitrary gems by creating a gem with the same name as another gem in a different source.

CVE-2014-2334
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the Web User Interface in Fortinet FortiAnalyzer before 5.0.7 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-2336.

CVE-2014-2335
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the Web User Interface in Fortinet FortiManager before 5.0.7 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-2336.

CVE-2014-2336
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the Web User Interface in Fortinet FortiManager before 5.0.7 and FortiAnalyzer before 5.0.7 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-2334 and CVE-2014-2335.

CVE-2014-3366
Published: 2014-10-31
SQL injection vulnerability in the administrative web interface in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via a crafted response, aka Bug ID CSCup88089.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.