Security

Cyber threats warrant a government reorganization, former CISA head says

Inaugural CISA director Chris Krebs said the federal government should do more to respond to cybersecurity and data concerns.

Successor to congressional cyber commission wants WH to lead on related workforce strategy

One recommendation: establish cyber excepted service authorities, like the DHS's newly launched cyber hiring initiative, government-wide.

Despite polarizing politics, civil service protections endure—for now

With hearings on the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection looming, political scientist Kenneth Warren discusses the danger extreme polarization poses to American politics—and, over time, the civil service.

Clearance polygraphs to seek out leakers

Federal employees seeking security clearances or “sensitive” jobs now will have to undergo tougher scrutiny during lie detector tests.

Retired officer passed classified info to Chinese student

A Hawaii man was sentenced this month to more than seven years in prison for communicating classified national defense information to an unauthorized person, and for unlawfully retaining classified information at his home.

OPM will not renew contracts with background investigations firm

US Investigations Services, a major contractor that performs background checks for federal agencies—announced Sept. 9 that the Office of Personnel Management will not exercise its options to extend the company's background investigation fieldwork and background investigation support services contracts that expire September 30.

Hackers broke into OPM databases

Chinese hackers gained access to some Office of Personnel Management databases, apparently seeking files of those who have applied for top secret security clearances.

Auditors find gaps in TSP security

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is clamping down on security at its data centers.

Fewer security clearances being issued

The number of new and renewed security clearances granted by the federal government has declined since 2011.

Senators seek more frequent clearance reviews

A bipartisan group of senators is asking the leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to approve a bill to strengthen security clearance background checks.

DOD unveils new security plans in wake of Navy Yard shooting

The Defense Department this week revealed steps it will take to improve physical security at DOD facilities.

Legislation targets clearance review process

Three senators late last month introduced a bill aimed at preventing security clearance contractors from reviewing and approving their own background investigations.

DOD to enforce CAC card policy

DOD said it will begin to strictly enforce policies regarding the reissuance of lost or stolen common access cards (CACs).

Informed Investor: Protect your tax Identity

Recent data breaches at Target stores and an increase in the number of tax identity thefts should alert all individuals about the problem of identity theft. This week’s column discusses what to do to prevent identity theft, and the steps one should take if one has become a victim of tax identity theft.

Security clearance process needs fixing, but solution is elusive

Democratic and Republican lawmakers agree that the federal government's security clearance process needs to be fixed, but they are far apart on just how to do it.

Group: Don't target contractors

A trade group that represents professional and technical services industries that serve the federal government warned against vilifying contractors amid recent allegations that one firm took shortcuts in conducting thousands of federal security clearances

DOD to require documentation to replace lost or stolen cards

The Defense Department later this year will start to enforce a previously optional policy regarding the reissuance of lost or stolen common access cards (CACs).