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GSA to Upgrade Cybersecurity Requirements

Recently, the General Services Administration (“GSA”) announced its plan to upgrade its cybersecurity requirements in an effort to build upon the Department of Defense’s new cybersecurity requirements, DFAR Section 252.204-7012, that became effective on December 31, 2017.The first proposed rule, GSAR Case 2016-G511 “Information and Information Systems Security,” will require that federal contractors “protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of unclassified GSA information and information systems from cybersecurity vulnerabilities and threats in accordance with the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 and associated Federal cybersecurity requirements.”

The proposed rule will apply to “internal contractor systems, external contractor systems, cloud systems and mobile systems.” It will mandate compliance with applicable controls and standards, such as those of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and will update existing GSAR clauses 552.239-70 and 552.239-71, which address data security issues. Contracting officers will be required to include these cybersecurity requirements into their statements of work. The proposed rule is scheduled to be released in April 2018. Thereafter, the public will have 60 days to offer comments.

The second proposed rule, GSAR Case 2016-G515 “Cyber Incident Reporting,” will “update requirements for GSA contractors to report cyber incidents that could potentially affect GSA or its customer agencies.” Specifically, contractors will be required to report any cyber incident “where the confidentiality, integrity or availability of GSA information or information systems are potentially compromised.”

The proposed rule will establish a timeframe for reporting cyber incidents, detail what the report must contain and provide points of contact for filing the report. The proposed rule is intended to update the existing cyber reporting policy within GSA Order CIO-9297.2 that did not previously undergo the rulemaking process. Additionally, the proposed rule will establish requirements for contractors to preserve images of affected systems and impose training requirements for contractor employees. The proposed rule is scheduled to be released in August 2018, and the public will have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule.

Although the proposed rules have not yet been published, it is anticipated that they will share similarities with the Department of Defense’s new cybersecurity requirements, DFAR Section 252.204-7012.

Blog courtesy of Hunton & Williams LLP, a U.S.-based law firm with a Global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice that’s known throughout the world for its deep experience, breadth of knowledge and outstanding client service. Read the company’s privacy blog here.

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