PMA’s IT Modernization Plan Meeting Goals With Few Delays

PMA

The June updates from the President’s Management Agenda’s (PMA) CAP Goal Action Plan to Modernize IT to Increase Productivity and Security, released June 20, see all key milestones either completed or on track to be completed by Q4 FY2019, but delays in implementing government-wide tools have impacted asset management security capabilities.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) set a milestone goal for FY2020 for agencies to have 95 percent of their unclassified networks implement a technology solution to detect and alert the connection of unauthorized hardware assets. Agencies were also to have 95 percent of their assets to be “covered by a capability that is able to detect unauthorized software and alert appropriate security personnel.” However, delays have led to “uneven implementation.” Despite the delays, agencies are still on track to complete this milestone by Q4 FY2020. Future updates on the PMA will determine if agencies remain on track for these milestones.

Elsewhere, OMB set a goal to have 100 percent of High and Moderate impact systems be covered by a valid security Authority to Operate (ATO). Its milestone due date for this task is Q4 FY2020, but two fewer agencies than projected have met OMB’s goal in Q2 FY2019. This is the only negative change from Q1 FY2019.

The report indicates that agencies have continued to improve on credential and access management capabilities, outperforming the milestones set in the PMA. Data and network protection milestones were also either met or exceeded expectations.

As part of the PMA’s IT modernization efforts, investing in recruiting and retaining a cyber workforce was an essential part of the action plan. Agencies are on track to establish a reskilling process to train Federal employees; code cybersecurity positions and declaring critical-need cyber work roles to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM); and developing “a market-informed pay and compensation strategy for cybersecurity and other mission critical IT positions to improve recruitment and retention.” These milestones are on pace to be completed by Q4 FY2019.

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