As a former Federal Facilities Security Officer (FSO), Program Security Manager (PSM), Counterintelligence agent, and executive responsible for Cyber Forensic programs, I have observed a recurring vulnerability to sensitive Federal data associated with legacy business software solutions. Despite increased budgets for Federal agency security Insider Threat and Counterintelligence (IT/CI) programs, exploitable vulnerabilities remain. That is why deploying a layered approach to protecting sensitive mission data is absolutely necessary.

Legacy Software Vulnerability

Managers don’t recognize the vulnerabilities inherent in legacy business Content/Data Management (CDM) software solutions, and they often rely on agency IT/CI initiatives to protect sensitive mission data. These vulnerabilities are exploitable by insider threats.  Effective IT/CI programs ensure that computer systems are properly configured and accredited, security patches are up to date, system administrative access rights are carefully managed and monitored, and the ability to download and remove sensitive data without authorization is countered. But despite these efforts, no program is without its vulnerabilities and legacy CDMs are vulnerable to insider threats. When all those security efforts fail or are non-existent, unauthorized users can access and remove sensitive data anonymously. Without a mechanism to identify and report the unauthorized access, the exploitation goes unnoticed. I’ve seen statistics that the U.S loses anywhere from $300 – $600 billion annually to intellectual property theft.  There is a simple way to reduce this risk.

Reducing Risks and Vulnerabilities

Legacy CDM software solutions do not monitor user actions. This includes unauthorized access to data and downloads. They are typically “coded” solutions and any changes to them are expensive, that is, if you can find someone knowledgeable and capable of updating them. In comparison, COTS CDM software solutions can be configured to monitor and report user activities and can serve as an integral part of a layered security strategy with many fringe benefits to Federal managers. They can serve as a last defense that passively, but vigilantly, augments IT/CI programs. Agency cyber firewalls, security monitoring and auditing efforts are not perfect and can create a false sense of security. Further, many agencies are in the process of upgrading hardware systems, but are leaving legacy software in place that are exploitable by a clear and present insider threat. Moving from a legacy coded solution to a COTS configurable solution that features monitoring and reporting is inexpensive, when considering the cost of losses due to exploitation.  COTS configurable CDM software solutions can bring many cost savings and mission efficiencies to Federal managers beyond security to protect data. They can migrate multiple sources of legacy data seamlessly into one user interface—this is a no-brainer!

Next Phase Solutions, LLC Offers a Tested Configurable CMS Solution

Next Phase Solution, LLC (NPS), a woman-owned small business (WOSB), offers software architecting, design and consulting, and deploys configurable content management solutions. We provide unclassified and classified Federal COTS CDM software solutions that are configured to help Federal managers protect sensitive mission data. NPS uses discovery methods and modeling that assist managers envision a more efficient way to automate data driven business processes and obtain demanding data analytic objectives. NPS can seamlessly integrate multiple legacy data systems into one interface, while securing all data at rest and in transit. Our solution is 100% developed in the USA and is cloud/or on-premises friendly. Proof-of-concept solutions are configured to evolve with changing project requirements and customer needs and at lower costs. On GSA’s Schedule 70 (IT), registered with the SBA and in SAM with appropriated NAICS Codes, Next Phase Solution, LLC, is ready to assist your mission. Call us at (407) 440-1411 for a demonstration, visit our website at www.npsols.com, or contact Christopher Sharpley, Managing Director of Federal Practice at Christopher.sharpley@npsols.com.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay