Booz Allen Hamilton

From Stovepipes to Secure Exchanges

Identity theft involving government documents and benefits is exploding: More than half a billion records with Americans’ personally identifiable information have been lost or stolen from government and corporate databases.

At the same time, the demand for data sharing between federal agencies and state and local governments is skyrocketing—increasing the level of services required of agencies and worsening the risk of data breaches.

Government agencies struggling to make their systems more secure are hampered by complex technical and compliance environments, stressed resources, inefficient use of federal funds, and a lack of consistent, standardized security requirements for all federal and exchange partners.

But a solution called the Integrated Data Exchange Program (IDEP) can provide a secure environment with a total compliance and governance framework. IDEP has been detailed in “From Stovepipes to Secure Exchanges: An Integrated Approach to Protecting Shared Federal Data,” a study by Booz Allen Hamilton.

Many federal agencies exchange sensitive data with multiple partners, including state, local, and private organizations, to fulfill legislative and mission-based requirements such as collecting state revenue. Once transferred, the data resides on the exchange partner’s information systems, but the federal agency maintains oversight over how the partner protects the information. 

IDEP represents a shift from traditional stovepiped data security and compliance to a more efficient, modern, and holistic approach. IDEP streamlines the government’s data exchange programs into one centralized, automated system of exchanges and compliance activities, and secures data residing with the exchange partner in accordance with Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) concepts.

The study details key benefits of the solution, including:

  • Cost savings by reducing redundancies
  • Improved compliance via an interoperable, transparent data-sharing environment
  • Increased data security by centralizing federal data management, monitoring operational risks, and allocating resources based on risk
  • Increased exchange partner customer satisfaction by streamlining reporting requirements and eliminating multiple corrections to the same security issues
  • Governance by establishing an oversight board of stakeholders

Principal Greg Brill and senior associate Khurram Chaudry led the Booz Allen team that contributed to the study.

study posted August 13, 2009