OMB: Agencies need policies on file sharing

The Office of Management and Budget is clamping down on agency use of file-sharing, peer-to-peer networks.

Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for e-government and IT, earlier this month sent a memo to CIOs directing them to update or create policies to 'ensure the appropriate use of certain technologies used for file sharing across networks.'

OMB instructed IT managers to make sure agency personnel are trained in the proper use of file-sharing networks and the department's policies.

Evans also required CIOs to implement federal cybersecurity standards to prevent and detect improper file-sharing systems.

'We are trying to do a better job of managing the risk of these peer-to-peer systems,' Evans said at the recent 2004 Interagency Resources Management Conference in Cambridge, Md. 'We are not banning them on government networks, but if agencies need to use them, they have to be cognizant of the risk and make business decisions based on that risk.'

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