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Fed Agencies Failing On Desktop Security
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 13 April 2010 18:22

From Information week

No agency has fully met the requirements of the Federal Desktop Core Configuration, established as baseline security for government workstations three years ago.

Federal agencies have not fully adopted secure desktop configuration standards mandated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) three years ago, leaving desktops less secure than they ought to be, a recent General Accountability Office (GAO) report found.

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Federal agencies have taken some steps to implement the goals of the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC), which are to improve overall security and reduce IT operating costs across the federal government.

None, however, have fully implemented all the configuration settings on applicable PCs, citing a number of challenges to doing so, according to the report, published last month.

The FDCC was established by the OMB in 2007 to provide a baseline for security across federal workstations. The OMB based the FDCC on settings developed by the Air Force in partnership with the National Security Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and representatives from the Army, Navy, and Marines.

To become compliant with FDCC, agencies were supposed to first submit an implementation plan, and then configure Windows XP and Vista PCs according to the common security settings required by the initiative by February 2008.

They also were required to document any changes from the OMB's recommended settings and have them approved by an accrediting authority; acquire a specified NIST-validated tool for monitoring implementation of the settings; ensure that future IT acquisitions comply with the configuration settings; and submit a status report to NIST.


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