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How the GSA Is Trying to Simplify Cybersecurity Purchases for Agencies

A proposed category would make it easier for federal agencies to obtain the goods and services needed to protect themselves.

The General Services Administration (GSA) wants to provide federal agencies with better access to cybersecurity. To accomplish this, the GSA is considering using its vendor-contracting platform, Schedule 70.

Earlier this month, FedScoop reported that the GSA was exploring the establishment of a subcategory, or special item number (SIN), for cybersecurity and information assurance under Schedule 70. The platform steps outside of the box to resolve federal, state and local governments’ technology demands. In addition to improving access, the agency believes that this SIN will enhance visibility and how the GSA offers products and services to agencies. This is in line with the agency’s cybersecurity-specific goals.

“Even in a resource-constrained environment, departments and agencies need to implement cost-effective and efficient cybersecurity controls for federal information systems,” the GSA states on its website. “We offer a customizable suite of products and services, including shared services, helping government enhance security while bringing systems into the 21st century. We continually improve how we deliver the best value in technology services to government.”

Referencing a request for information made by the agency, FedScoop also notes that the decision would aid the GSA in keeping up to speed with market trends, in terms of services and products. Still, the most important reveal of the RFI is the assortment of options the SIN would offer:

According to the RFI, the CyberIA SIN will likely include hardware, software and services associated with information assurance, virus detection, intrusion detection and prevention, network management, situational awareness and incident response, secure Web hosting, backup and security services, and communications security. The proposed cyber SIN would exclude offerings already under the "132-6X Series SINs" for identity, credentials and access management.

The GSA will solicit responses about this new alternative until Sept. 11.

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Aug 31 2015

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