Homeland watch

Big cybergroup coming

The National Cyber Security Partnership, formed by four trade associations in 2003, is expected to announce soon that it has expanded to include many more trade associations.

The Business Software Alliance, Information Technology Association of America, TechNet and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with government and academic partners initially formed the group.

In April 2004, it developed recommendations for cybersecurity; however, then-Homeland Security Department cybersecurity chief Amit Yoran left DHS several months later, and department cyber units are being restructured under Secretary Michael Chertoff.

In September 2004, the partnership put out an invitation to join to all cybersecurity stakeholders -- a much broader group -- and those efforts appear close to fruition.

"In early 2006, we will present what we have been working on together," said Greg Garcia, ITAA's information security director.

Wanted: IT help for hiring

In 2004, DHS filled more than 28,000 positions -- more than 100 jobs each workday. The department is soon to be looking for some IT help to create an enterprise e-recruitment and hiring solution, according to Input Inc., a market research firm in Reston, Va.

The solutions must be capable of high volumes and create a single portal for all job applicants. Input expects a solicitation in December.

More poor FISMA grades?

Early indications are that DHS may not be doing much better in its compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act this year.

Industry sources said the audits are showing some improvements at the department, but not enough to raise the grades substantially. In February, DHS was one of seven agencies to receive an "F" for cybersecurity practices under FISMA from the House Government Reform Committee. The average grade governmentwide was a D.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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