Earlier this week, the Department of Justice announced it settled a False Claims Act case with Netcracker Technology Corp. and Computer Sciences Corp. for their failure to ensure that only individuals with security clearances worked on a contract for the Defense Information Systems Agency.
Netcracker Technology Corp. will pay $11.4 million and Computer Sciences Corp. will pay $1.35 million to resolve the allegations.
Information technology has become an essential part of the federal government’s day-to-day operations, and it relies in large part on private contractors to build the infrastructure and software required for the modern state. As a result, the government has strict laws and regulations governing digital security, and drafts its contracts with private companies to reflect those laws and regulations.
There have been high profile instances of sophisticated hackers exploiting weaknesses or oversights in key federal systems.
The first step in protecting sensitive government data is ensuring that contractors meet the strict requirements they agree to. Given the complexity of these systems, it may not be apparent that a contractor is selling a non-compliant product, making whistleblowers especially vital in this new and important area.