For systems integrators trying to get a handle on the latest opportunities and challenges in working with the federal government, the exercise can be akin to seeing the forest through the trees. The key is to not be overwhelmed by the regulatory maze and the enormity of the government sector. How, then, best to engage and begin identifying new business prospects in Uncle Sam’s realm?
It is important for security contractors to understand both regulatory and key policy changes impacting their business. Becoming informed is key. Among the current machinations in the federal realm, critical topics include Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), network security, identity management, procurement trends, federal grant programs, and state and local homeland security policy. The Security Industry Association’s (SIA) annual Government Summit, June 9-11 in Washington, D.C., will address these and other topics during a series of panel sessions.
Focus on IP-Based Infrastructure
The June 2008 deadline for federal agencies to move from IPv4 agency infrastructures to IPv6 network backbones will profoundly change the way our industry does business. Initially, the implementation of IPv6 will require agencies to rely on the services of integrators to help them meet government-wide mandates. Thereafter, it will affect the future development of products, applications and technologies. Assessing the government’s progress and examining the issues driving the IPv6 transition can better position integrators to do business in this space.
Protecting an IP-based physical security network involves addressing issues in areas such as physical infrastructure, information security, content management, edge devices and policy. It can be beneficial for integrators to understand the many components of network security and gain the knowledge to evaluate their IP-based system vulnerabilities.
Doing Business With The Feds
Procurement vehicles are often the gateway to doing business with the government. The latest contracting policy trends impact the way the government does business and the way you interact with it.
Transportation Worker Identity Credential (TWIC), First Responder Authentication Card (FRAC), Airport Credential Interoperability Solution (ACIS) and other identity management initiatives offer valuable opportunities to do business with the federal government. In addition, by building your awareness of HSPD-12 and FIPS-201 standards and mandates, you can more efficiently conduct business in these realms.
Homeland security concerns facing state, local and county governments can also influence policy that will affect your business. The Summit will include representatives from state, local and county governments explaining their legislative priorities and security initiatives. The session will provide insight to develop business strategy accommodating the needs of potential customers.
Stay On Top of Privacy Issues
The potential infringement of privacy rights is often a concern when employing state-of-the-art security technologies. This leads to the belief that a cost-benefit analysis needs to be undertaken when attempting to harden security, which can impact how integrators do their jobs. By understanding the root of these privacy issues your business will be able to mitigate such challenges before they adversely impact your bottom line.
Tom O’Connor is a government relations representative for the Security Industry Association (SIA). He can be contacted at (703) 647-8483 or [email protected]