Six years after the Homeland Security Department started operations, integrating the information technology systems of its 22 formerly separate agencies remains a primary, ongoing information security project for DHS’ senior leadership.
The integration and consolidation of DHS’ existing IT systems and architecture have proven difficult for many of the same reasons that other agencies have encountered. However, unlike other administrative tasks at DHS, IT management and information security can have an immediate effect on a DHS component agency’s operational performance. In addition, the IT programs at individual agencies were tied to each agency’s culture, mission and history.
As the department marks its sixth anniversary, current and former DHS officials say they are proud of the progress made in information security during those years. DHS received a B+ on its 2007 Federal Information Security Management Act score card, up from a failing grade of F two years earlier.