Signed into law as a component of the Electronic Government Act of 2002, FISMA, which stands for the Federal Information Security Management Act, is a piece of legislation designed to protect the information and operations of the government. FISMA provides a basic framework that includes several security standards and guidelines to ensure protection.
It has been expanded and updated from its original scope, extending to certain state agencies that provide federal programs and government-contracted private businesses and service providers.
What is the Purpose of the Electronic Government Act of 2002 and FISMA?
When the Electronic Government Act of 2002 was passed, the intention was the improvement of electronic government and services process management and information security spending.
The act has many components and regulations. However, one of the most important ones is FISMA. The Federal Information Security Management Act is essential because it has effectively reduced federal data security risks. They accomplished this by establishing security policies that federal agencies needed to meet, along with non-compliance penalties.
Through FISMA, federal agencies and federal contractors must create and implement information security programs to protect sensitive data. These programs must be followed by their entire agency.
FISMA and Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a common concern in every sector, including the federal government. Cyber crimes are growing increasingly invasive and devastating, with data and sensitive information being stolen.
When it comes to the federal government, sensitive data must be secure. The potential for cyber criminals to access government information means that federal government cybersecurity must be strong and reliable.
The Federal Information Security Management Act adds an essential layer of cybersecurity. The original state of FISMA has long been the main component of cybersecurity for the federal government. Recent years have seen an attempt by congress to update FISMA to keep it strong, effective, and relevant as cyberattacks increase and technology progresses.
As is, FISMA is important for the cybersecurity measures of the federal government. Along with requiring the enactment of security policies and compliance, FISMA also provides DHS authorization to offer federal civilian agencies assistance with operational and technical cybersecurity measures.
FISMA for Federal Agencies and Contractors
Both federal agencies and private services contracting with the federal government must meet FISMA compliance and regulations. This is essential to reduce the security risks of anyone gaining access to information through disruption, modification, unauthorized access, and other ways.
Federal and civilian agencies must abide by the standards set forth in the Federal Information Security Management Act. These standards include:
- The design and implementation of a system security plan.
- An accurate inventory of IT systems.
- The categorizing and storing of data by risk level.
- Risk assessments.
- Usage of security controls.
- Constant monitoring.
As federal agencies and contractors follow these regulations, they are reaching compliance and ensuring the protection and security of important information.
While congress continues to seek to update FISMA to make it more effective and ensure greater security, the regulations continue to help keep data safe and secure. As is, FISMA provides essential security and protection to sensitive data from the federal government.
Whether revision occurs or not, it’s important for this data to remain safe as intended.