OMB issues detailed guidance on handling classified information

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OMB issues detailed guidance on handling classified information

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week provided agencies with specific guidance on how they should conduct and assessment of their procedures to handle classified national security information.  In late November, in the wake of a series of WikiLeaks disclosures, OMB directed agencies to set up teams to review their procedures to guard against improper release of classified information.  This follow-on guidance directs the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISSO) and the National Counterintelligence Executive in the Office of the Director for National Intelligence to oversee and evaluate these assessments.  An attached memorandum from these oversight offices details instructions on how agency teams should conduct their assessments.  It directs agencies to assess perceived vulnerabilities, weaknesses, or gaps in automated systems and all security counterintelligence, and information assurance policies and regulations.  In addition, agencies must assess plans to address these weaknesses and gaps in automated systems as well as plans to change and upgrade existing and planned classified networks, systems, databases, and websites.  The memorandum provides detailed guidance on how agencies should conduct their initial self-assessments by listing answers to pertinent questions for eight categories of security and information assurances disciplines covered in identified policy documents.  Agency s must complete their assessments by January 28, 2011.

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