A new agency is to be set up by government for background check processing on contractors and employees. This follows a substantial breach of government files exposing millions of individuals personal data last year. A National Background Investigations Bureau will be adopted and will replace the OPM. The FIS provides investigative services and products to more than 100 Federal agencies. Also carrying out over 2 million background check investigations for same. The initiative is a wake up call and snub to The OPM and FIS. When OPM was hacked 22 million federal (former and current) employees had sensitive information exposed and compromised. Together with federal job applicants and individual’s data within background check forms.
The new agency will have it’s information within the remit of the Defense Dept. This ensures a more central ring fence in Washington’s effort to protect and embolden it’s cyber defenses. The threat by foreign nationals and attack remains an ongoing risk to national security. No time line has been put forward form the transition of background check changes. However some work would commence this year and it is seeking $95 million in additional to it’s budget for 2017. This for IT development more in its upcoming fiscal 2017 budget. FIS will relinquish over a transition period but will continue to fulfil investigative services. This confirmed via the OPM blog.
China has been blamed for the data breach. However security officials have commented that there is little evidence to suggest The data has been maliciously exploited. The OPM director stood down last July. The investigation of congressional committees was to determine if the OPM acted negligently. OPM has been working through a backlog. OPM have therefore relied on outside contractors. One of those being Keypoint Government Solutions. This company took on background check processing after USIS (a competitor) was itself hacked. A veritas company (Keypoint) then further suffered a breach of it’s own infrastructure.
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