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FCW : September 30, 2015
IN THE IT PIPELINE WHAT: A request for informa- tion for a new personal iden- tity verification system at the Department of Veterans Affairs. WHY: Government agencies raced to implement two-factor authentication in the recent cybersecurity sprint after the devastating hacks at the Office of Personnel Management. VA finished the sprint within the bounds of success set by U.S. CIO Tony Scott, with 100 percent of privileged users and 80 per- cent of unprivileged users rely- ing on two-factor authentication to access agency networks. However, technology has changed in the roughly eight years since VA launched its PIV program. Now officials are interested in the next generation of the cards. VA’s tech team said it wants to hear from vendors about what is and isn’t possible with PIV cards. Officials are interested in sys- tems that allow for the remote revocation and reassignment of encryption keys and the abil- ity to add biometric features to the mix. They also want to hear about solutions that can inter- face with databases containing information on cardholders, including criminal records and the results of background checks. VERBATIM: ”The VA PIV pro- gram now requires a technol- ogy redesign, development and integration to enable a seam- less incremental transition of VA’s user population from the current legacy system to a new ‘next generation’ PIV system [that] supports the evolution of smart card technologies.” READ THE RFI: is.gd/FCW_PIV. Trending is spent annually on DOD cybersecurity and IT $44 billion As many as 307,000 veterans might have died while awaiting care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, accord- ing to a report from the agency’s Office of Inspector General. However, faulty data makes it difficult for the OIG to fully assess the scope of VA’s enroll- ment backlog. The report substantiates allega- tions by whistleblowers that 867,000 records were marked as pending and that 47,000 veterans died while await- ing care. But because of deficiencies in the records, the OIG can’t know when applications were made or whether pending records are associated with applications to enroll in VA’s benefits system. VA auditors arrived at the 307,000 figure by comparing applications marked as pending with people who were reported as deceased in the Social Security Administration’s Death Mas- ter File. The report criticizes the lack of con- trols in VA’s enrollment system. There are no limits on how long applications can be marked as pending before a rul- ing is made, for example. Additionally, related systems at VA allowed claims processors to delete or improperly mark incomplete applications. Some deletions were required to eliminate duplicate applications, but the report notes that the lack of a built-in audit trail makes it difficult to rule out manipulation of data as a motivation for expunging records. The report recommends an overhaul of data management, including controls to guarantee data integrity and rules to govern how long an application may be marked as pending. According to the OIG, VA has an institutional problem with reporting deaths of individuals. Of the 307,000 deceased vets the auditor identified, more than 80 percent have been dead for four years. The auditors recommend that VA CIO LaVerne Council ensure the collec- tion and retention of audit logs on the system and make sure they are backed up on a monthly basis. Council said controls would be in place by Aug. 15, a backup system would be active by mid-October, and representatives of VA’s OI&T and Office of Accountability Review would meet to discuss whether to take administra- tive action against any senior IT offi- cials responsible for the lack of controls built into the system. A VA spokesper- son did not confirm whether the pro- posed changes had been implemented or whether the meeting had taken place. — Adam Mazmanian Did 307,000 vets die while awaiting care? 8 September 30, 2015 FCW.COM Join the conversation FCW uses Twitter to break news, field questions and ask our own. Learn more at Twitter.com/FCWnow. 2:46 AM - 26 Aug 2015 Mary Davie @marydavie Reply Retweet Favorite Readying up the EIS RFP! http://fcw.com/ articles/2015/08/26/gsa-quiet-telecom.aspx ... via @FCWnow 0915fcw_003-008.indd 8 9/8/15 4:23 PM
September 15, 2015