CUI Program Implementation Deadlines issued

ISOO issued CUI Notice 2020-01 to facilitate a coordinated transition to the CUI Program.

Implementation Deadlines

Awareness campaign – By June 30, 2020, agencies must initiate an awareness campaign that informs their entire workforce of the coming transition to the standards of the CUI Program.

Policy – By December 31, 2020, agencies must issue policies that implement the CUI Program. Agencies may implement the CUI Program through a single policy or through multiple policies that address specific elements of the CUI Program. If an agency has sub-agencies, all those subordinate components must develop and publish implementing policies and/or modify or rescind all affected policies by June 30, 2021. 

Classification marking tools and commingling – By December 31, 2020, agencies that manage, own, or control Classification Marking Tools (CMT) used to mark Classified National Security Information must have initiated any modification of such CMTs as necessary to begin accounting for CUI markings described on the CUI Registry and the standards described in 32 CFR 2002.20(g).

Training – By December 31, 2021, agencies (including any sub-agencies or components) must deploy CUI training to all affected employees. Agencies may implement CUI training through a single module or through multiple modules. CUI training may be incorporated into existing agency training (such as privacy, information systems, or records management training).

Physical safeguarding – By December 31, 2021, agencies (including any sub-agencies or components) must implement or verify that all physical safeguarding requirements, as described in 32 CFR 2002 and in agency policies, are in place.

Information systems – By December 31, 2021, agencies (including any sub-agencies or components) must modify all Federal information systems to the standards identified in 32 CFR 2002. Federal and contractor information systems that are used to store, process, or transmit CUI must be configured at no less than the Moderate Confidentiality impact value (see 32 CFR 2002.14).

Reporting – CUI Senior Agency Officials must submit an annual report on the CUI Program to ISOO no later than November 1 each year, and report on implementation during the preceding fiscal year. Reports must cover all implementation and program activities from October 1 to September 30 of the preceding fiscal year. Only parent agencies are required to report directly to ISOO. Agency components, elements, sub-agencies, regional locations, divisions, and/or internal lines of business must report to their parent agency.

Agencies that anticipate delays in implementing any of the above deadlines must include a narrative in their annual report submission that describes the issue giving rise to the delay and projects when they expect to implement the delayed program element. They  must also include a copy of their implementation plan or strategy. ISOO will evaluate and formally approve delays on a case-by-case basis and may report such delays to the President.

 

 

Using CUI while teleworking during Coronavirus social distancing common issues: Cohabitants

There is an increased potential for CUI to be overheard or observed with more people likely to be in the home.

Many people used to have the house to themselves while teleworking and now in many households’ spouses, kids, and housemates are home.

Even in homes with a room that can be used as an office, it might be a room shared by both spouses. In this situation, even if both spouses work for the government, one spouse may not have a lawful government purpose to have access to information the other spouse has access to. Special attention should be paid to dissemination controls, particularly FED ONLY, NOCON, DL ONLY, Attorney-Client, Attorney-WP, and Deliberative.

Other employees do not live in a home with even the option of an extra room to serve as an office. This might include a couple living in a studio apartment or just a very full house.

Some employees also might live with housemates that are not of their choosing because of financial constraints. Nearly all of us can think back to the days — at some point in our life — that we were in this situation.

So how do agencies and employees establish a controlled environment to effectively safeguard CUI when it is used during telework?

There are lots of deeply personal reasons an employee might have to make the judgment call they need to take extra precautions in order to achieve a controlled environment. Just to name a few examples: a kid who tells everything to their friends or random strangers they walk by, an untrustworthy roommate, a family member with mental illness, or a divorce in progress.

In most cases an employee will prefer not to go into these details with a supervisor, the same way they might be willing to say they “live in a studio apartment with a parakeet”…though some employees might not even be comfortable saying that. 

Though the personal situation can be generalized to protect employee personal privacy, there are three steps that should occur:

  1. the employee should notify their supervisor they feel a need to take extra precautions and what those precautions are,
  2. the employee acknowledges it is their responsibility to achieve a controlled environment that effectively safeguards the information and the supervisor recognizes that part of their own obligation to safeguard the information is to empower the employee with the work time and resources to do this,
  3. the agency provides supplemental training on the safeguarding needed to achieve a controlled environment is given before CUI is used.  

An employee knows their home environment best, so be a good listener when an employee says “I cannot talk about that now,” “Can I email you,” “I need to call you back about that,” etc.

Keeping the computer screen from being observed is a different set of challenges and depend greatly on the physical configuration of the work environment.

Different solutions will be right for different employees. Here a couple items supervisors might want to consider:

  • Providing flexible schedules (for example, to work at a time when others aren’t around)
  • Providing flexible range of assignments (so non-CUI work can be done if the environment changes)
  • Providing screen protectors (to limit the angles a computer screen is readable from)
  • Providing headphones (that can be used instead of speaker phones or laptop speakers; note: it remains the employee’s responsibility keep in mind people around them and be mindful of what information they are talking about)
  • Providing refresher training (particularly tailored to our new telework environment)

Employees also need to remember their obligation to report security and safeguarding incidents, even ones that happen at home. It is an essential security and safeguarding practice for agencies to foster a culture of self-reporting.

In addition, telework.gov is a great resource to check out for additional information.

What are other solutions that you have found to be a best practice as we all adjust to teleworking with a full house? What topics would you suggest be included in refresher training about creating a controlled environment while teleworking with a full house?

Save the Date: CUI Marking class (Webex)

CUI Marking Handbook Cover Image

The CUI Program Office will be hosting another

CUI Marking class

Date: May 19, 2020

Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm (EST)

You do not have to rsvp for this class, the information  will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at CUI@nara.gov

 

NOTE: If you attended the CUI Marking class on April 23, 2020; your completion certificate will be emailed to you by the end of this week. 

 

 

Agency Considerations when allowing employees to telework with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) during the COVID-19 pandemic

The CUI program has a lot of flexibility built in to allow agencies to accomplish their mission, including while employees are teleworking.

Agencies must ensure CUI is safeguarded in accordance with 32 CFR 2002 (the CUI Program’s implementing directive) and the applicable laws, regulations, and government-wide policies. In doing so agencies must establish controlled environments where CUI can be effectively safeguarded. 

Telework agreements can be used to spell out whether or not CUI is permitted, as well as, which categories of CUI employees can use while teleworking. The agreement should also outline what controls (physical or electronic) need to be in place to ensure adequate protection.

Here are some common issues agencies may encounter as they allow employees to telework with CUI:

1. Increased potential for CUI to be overheard or observed with more people likely to be in the home

2. Difficulty securing devices used for telework (computers, cell phones, tablets, routers, modems)

3. Ensuring compliance with current policies and limiting use of unauthorized equipment and media

4. Enabling employees to accomplish their tasks and adjusting expectations limit use of unauthorized workarounds

Agencies, in consultation with CUI Program Officials, should develop additional guidance that addresses each of the issues described above.  Front-line supervisors should initiate discussions with their employees to assist and determine the best ways to ensure the protection of CUI while teleworking.

Banner Markings now on the CUI Registry!

In response to stakeholder requests and to enhance the usability of the CUI Registry, ISOO recently updated the CUI Registry to reflect the banner markings that can be applied to the various categories of CUI. You can find this change on individual category pages, directly below the category name. This change should assist authorized personnel in the proper application of CUI Markings.  ISOO has also developed a number of resources that should assist with the proper marking of CUI.  The CUI Marking Handbook, training videos (Introduction to Marking & Marking Commingled Information), and the CUI Coversheet are great resources as you implement and begin marking CUI.

SLIDES: CUI Program Update to Stakeholders Nov 13 (1-3 EST)

Thank you to all those who attended the CUI Stakeholder meeting today. Please see the attached set of slides from the briefing. The next meeting will be February, 12th (1-3 EST).

CUI Stakeholders Briefing Nov 13

For those that did not attend topics included:

  • An update on New and Future CUI Notices
  • An update on agency implementation efforts
  • CUI and Metadata Plans/Discussion
  • The status and plans for a CUI Federal Acquisition Regulation Rule
  • The Upcoming CUI Industry Day:  February 11, 2020
  • Time for Questions and Answers

FY 2018 ISOO Annual Report Release

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Annual Report to the President today and posted it here.  In his Letter to the President, ISOO Director Mark A. Bradley highlighted the challenges the Government faces in trying to safeguard and manage petabytes of electronic data using antiquated systems meant for paper. He also stressed the need for the Government to modernize its information security and information management policies, and to adopt a technology and investment strategy to accomplish it.

The report featured both an update on ISOO’s efforts to implement recommendations from its FY 2017 Annual Report to the President and a high-level assessment of the various programs in ISOO’s portfolio, including the Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Program.  The first page of the FY 2018 report is dedicated to an evaluation of agency CUI implementation efforts and ISOO’s work supporting implementation. The report noted that agencies have made significant progress since last year, but work remains to be done.

Specifically, many agencies still have not submitted CUI budget estimates to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). To aid agencies, ISOO worked with OMB to modify section 31.15 of Circular A-11, Preparation, Submission, and Execution of the Budget. This guidance now includes details meant to inform what agencies need to include in submitting their CUI implementation budget estimates: hiring staff to implement and manage the program; developing and deploying automated marking tools; and creating training programs for agency staff. ISOO also worked with the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, and the General Services Administration to draft standard safeguarding requirements for inclusion in a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). ISOO and its partners hope to finalize these requirements in FY 2019 so it is ready for use by agencies.

We hope you take time to read both the Director’s Letter to the President as well as the full report.

CUI Program Update to Stakeholders

 

The next CUI Program update to Stakeholders will be held on

               November 13 from 1-3.

The following information that will be discussed:

Topics include:

  • A brief overview of the CUI program;
  • An update on agency implementation efforts;
  • The status and plans for a CUI Federal Acquisition Regulation Rule;
  • CUI Training session that will be held on August 29 from 1-3;
  • Time for Questions and Answers.

Hosted by: Devin Casey and Charlene Wallace

The phone in information will be posted in the upcoming weeks.