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DHS Aims to Address Supply Chain Risks in Federal Acquisition via New Task Force; Chris Krebs Quoted

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The Department of Homeland Security’s national risk management center will create a new information and communications technology task force to help address risks to the supply chain, Federal News Network reported Monday.

The report said the task force is expected to work on efforts to reduce such risks in the federal acquisition process in 2019.

“On the one hand, we have to make sure in the procurement cycle we are enabling the contracting officers to write the contracts the right way with cybersecurity in mind,” Chris Krebs, undersecretary for the national protection and programs directorate at DHS, said at the CyberNext conference.

“But also as the decision process comes through it can be intelligence and threat informed so that we can knock off the bad options if and when they are presented.”

He noted that his office is considering how to operationalize the information it has about a compromise and how to implement risk management measures to safeguard federal networks.

“One of things the ICT task force will consider is what are those incentives to drive more trustworthy options?,” Krebs said.

“The federal government has a great incentive package through the procurement cycle and the power of the purse.”

Krebs said the ICT task force is scheduled to have its initial meeting this week through the critical infrastructure partnership advisory council.