Contractors struggle with FISMA

Government IT administrators sweat over FISMA compliance, but pity the poor private-sector security officers who find they must meet the same systems security requirements.

As the requirement for compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act is pushed out to government contractors, standards for compliance remain a mystery to many, said Todd Fitzgerald, systems security officer for United Government Services LLC of Milwaukee.

"The thing to do is focus on policy," he said, speaking this month at Computer Security Institute's annual conference in Washington. Fitzgerald emphasized the value of using audit results as a guide for improving compliance, and the need to document practices and procedures.

"If it's not written down, you're not doing it," he said.


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