What is The Federal Information Security Management Act?

Instructor: Marcia Wert

Marcia has taught Information technology and Mathematics with a master's degree in IT

Security breaches do not occur only at a personal level but at a national level as well. In this lesson, you'll learn about the Federal Information Security Management Act, which determines what each federal agency must do to reduce the risk of a security breach.

Background Information on the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)

This act was enacted in 2002 as part of the Electronic Government Act. The government had found that the Internet was a disruptive technology; a technology that uses a new way of doing business. The average person was no longer tied to doing paperwork and sending in forms. Instead, electronic submission was a wave of the future. In order to enhance communications and adapt to this new technology, the government enacted the Federal Information Security Management Act to provide regulations on who would be in control of sensitive data and how it would be regulated.

A designated Federal Chief Information Officer or CIO was first designated in the Office of Management and Budget. Tony Scott is currently the third CIO appointed by President Obama. His main responsibility is to oversee and promote Internet usage. He also provides a checklist or framework for all Internet-based activities used by each federal agency. Additionally, he focuses on regulations between federal agencies to share data when appropriate.

Chief Information Officers Council

A council in the executive branch was established to inform the president and CIO of any issues and problems that arise.

It consists of:

1. The Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget, who shall act as chairperson of the Council.

2. The Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government.

3. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Activities of the Act

1. Promote and Sponsor- The government would market or promote the use of federal agency websites rather than brick and mortar offices.

2. Categorize Information- Certain information needs to be protected more. Information about troop deployment is one such category. It would be a national breach of security to allow this information to leak out. Whereas, how to apply for social security would be more informative for everyone.

3. Development of Framework- A framework of regulations for each agency had to be developed to ensure that security was implemented.

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