HSPD-12 AWARENESS LAGGING
Although the initial deadline for compliance with the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) standard has passed, research suggests that half of federal government information technology professionals have not heard of HSPD-12, and a majority cannot state its objectives.
HSPD-12 calls for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the Federal government to its employees and contractors. The Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in conjunction with other organizations, has developed a biometric smart card standard known as Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 201. Deadline for FIPS 201 Part I compliance was Oct. 27, 2005.
The Federal information technology community places a high priority on HSPD-12 goals and objectives and sees plenty of room for improvement related to access control and physical and logical security, although awareness levels are low. Just 22 percent of a recent Hewlett-Packard survey’s respondents believed their agency would meet the Oct. 27 deadline. The rest answered no or were unsure. Just 16 percent of agencies say they have a plan in place to achieve HSPD-12 compliance, although 60 percent report having an individual responsible for HSPD-12 compliance.
In addition to awareness, challenges include lack of budget (32 percent), technical issues (18) and shortage of staff (17).
While HSPD-12 represents an opportunity for progress, additional focus is required to ensure the opportunity to improve security is realized, the research suggests.
The study concludes that federal agencies have not identified a path forward to achieve HSPD-12 compliance to realize improved access control and identity management. To meet the priority, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will need to work more closely with agencies and the vendor community to increase awareness, establish plans, resolve technical issues and address budget and resource challenges.
The research, conducted by O’Keefe & Co. on behalf of Hewlett-Packard in September of 2005, involved 101 survey participants and has about an 8 percent margin of error.