On the Agenda at IMPACT 2011

IMPACT 2011 took place in Chantilly, Va. this week and while the event was off-the-record, it’s worth reporting the hot topics discussed in this gathering of security officers and experts. With hundreds of Facility Security Officers and Information System Security Officers in attendance the forum was a hot venue for information sharing and discussion of the current security landscape. The trends you’ll note in the agenda aren’t surprising, and spotlight the evolving digital landscape today’s security professionals face. Here are the highlights:

  • Cybersecurity. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the past several years it’s probably no surprise that cybersecurity is a watch word across the intelligence and security industries. Whether you adhere to the Defense Department argument of cyberspace as a warfighting domain, or are with the State Department camp looking to broaden Internet access in order to promote democracy, wars of the future will be waged along the Internet superhighway. Government and private industry are looking for cybersecurity professionals with the necessary skills to compete in this growing market.
  • The mission matters. Security is a customer focused profession (and you thought it was all about defending networks and hunting down Russian spies….). Security experts have an important goal in keeping their communities safe, and the human component of any security position – even within the IT industry – is a powerful one. Several presentations focused on briefing skills and the importance of training and education. That’s certainly a trend we see with training and education related positions posted at
  • Progress has been made in the security clearance process…but it’s far from over. Representatives from the Defense Security Service (DSS), the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) and others highlighted the improvements made in efficiency and reciprocity, but were cautious not to toot their own horns too loudly. They acknowledged that more steps need to be taken to make the process clearer and easier for both applicants and the security officers with companies and within the government who facilitate applications.

Comment Archive

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    Got word today from my company that OPM considers us “essential employees” so we still work if the gov’t shuts down. We were unsure for the longest time. Would have been nice if they told us sooner.

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    That may be true, but remember that folks that send the work to us, are not excepted. This could cause a slow down of incoming work. The work already in the chute will hopefully get everyone through. Plan for the worst–hope for the best. Time will tell–even the FBI and others are not safe, depending on what work you perform. Check e-mail.

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    Blues Clues,

    If you are there, SAIC in D.C is looking for adjudicators.

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    My company also did not inform us until Friday that we would remain open despite the shutdown. However, a senior manager said that the company did not bother contacting all of the customer agencies until Friday morning despite weeks of email warnings and automated phone calls suggesting we’d close in the event of a shutdown.

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    The list of required qualifications for the Adjudicator positions are pretty lengthy and diverse. There are going to be a very limited number of people who are even eligible.

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    This whole shut-down thing was non-sense. Went through the last one and forgot it even happened. Life went on as normal.

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    Thanks, BW. Looking at the SAIC ad now.

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    Hi BW,

    I looked over the SAIC stuff – FBI adjudication. I wouldn’t pass it up…except SAIC is requiring an active TS and I’ve only got favorably adjudicated TS eligibility and an active SECRET clearance. One of my co-workers (with the same clearance situation) got to the telephone interview phase a few days ago for the SAIC job and was shot down based only on her clearance situation. Thanks for the heads up on SAIC anyway. Please keep the ideas coming!

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    Blues Clues,

    Stay on it. You have a favorable/current SSBI and they can do a RRU and have it sent to adjudications for TS without the need for another background. Just did mine this past summer and only took 2 weeks. Make sure you go into these armed with good solid details. There are alot of FSO’s that have no idea what they are doing.

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    RRU – recertify and upgrade? I’m a little fuzzy on the exact terminology but that’s when a gov agency or contractor can request jurisdiction of the clearance and have it upgraded based only on the investigation currently on file, correct? Sounds so simple, but I have been turned down for several potential jobs because no one seems willing to participate in this process. Even my current employer (OPM contractor) refused to do so when I applied to a different contract within the company – FBI adjudications (just like the SAIC job). My company told me an RRU would take at least six months and they couldn’t wait that long to fill the job, so sorry! Sounded like BS to me, but what can I do? I was turned down for a different adjudicator job outside of my company (Dept. HS contract) for the same reason last year – after three interviews and months of waiting. Being turned down by my own company was the last straw for me; that’s when I started looking only at federal jobs because while I haven’t had the best luck yet, when my ship does come in I bet the feds won’t turn me down over an RRU.