Computer Crime Research Center

A Mission to Protect High Tech

Telos Corp. has been providing information technology and networking services to government agencies for three decades, but as the end of the millennium approached, security services seemed to be in greater demand then ever before.

After bulking up its network security division over several years, the company spun it off into a separate subsidiary, now called Xacta Corp. The field of firms providing security services has become increasingly crowded, but Xacta's focus is slightly different from the norm.

The company is capitalizing on the government's strict security requirements for new technology systems. Each new line of equipment introduced to an agency must meet certain standards before it is put to use.

"The government has a mandate in place for every computer and system. They have to put it through this assessment process . . . that produces a multi-thousand-page document," said Mary Lange, Xacta's vice president of marketing. "We make the compliance process simpler for the government. . . . What used to take 18 months now takes a fraction of that."

The firm's other main offering is a software product that monitors government technology for new vulnerabilities after it has been certified and integrated.

"Now the government wants [government agencies] to go beyond compliance," said Richard Tracy, senior vice president. "Those customers may also say, 'I would like you to leave your product behind to automatically let me know when those changes are made.' "

Defense Department customers were the first to use Xacta's technology, but civilian agencies became customers soon after, said Tracy. The company plans to expand its reach to state and local government, as well as private companies in regulated sectors such as health care and financial services.

Source: Ellen McCarthy @ Washington Post

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