DOD wants contractors to focus on data security

The Defense Department has been meeting with the 16 largest systems integrators for the past 18 months to discuss how they can assure the military that government data on their systems is secure, Federal News Radio reports. DOD recently added nine other large vendors for a total of 25.

Nine of the 25 vendors have voluntary agreements with DOD on how they will secure government information, said Trey Hodgkins, vice president of federal programs for the Information Technology Association of America.

"Each agreement is negotiated individually and each one has different criteria of what a company is willing to do," Hodgkins said. He added that he doesn't know the names of the nine companies or what they agreed to do.

DOD now is widening its interest in how vendors secure government information. The Army, at the request of the Defense Department, issued a
request for information in September.

The RFI asks vendors how they secure controlled unclassified information on their systems. Vendors have until Oct. 6 to submit responses to the Army's RFI.

"We are pleased they are engaging industry to find a solution," Hodgkins said. "One of our concerns with some of the other initiatives was industry was not engaged about what the problem is or what may be the best solution. This is going in the right direction and now industry has some time to think about it and provide thoughtful feedback."

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