DI 39536.220 DDS Systems Security

The administration of the program covered by the Social Security Act requires SSA and its representatives, such as a DDS, to provide sufficient safeguards for personal data. The act itself, along with other Federal statutes, requires that SSA protect the privacy, confidentiality and integrity of that personal data. When in the process of developing EDP systems to maintain personal data, the DDSs are expected to provide safeguards that are intended to prevent, minimize, and provide for recovery from the effects of actions or events, whether accidental or intentional, that:

  1. Breach Confidentiality and Privacy--The DDS is responsible for guaranteeing the confidentiality of records that fall under any of the following statutes or regulations: (1) Regulation 1; (2) Freedom of Information Act; (3) Privacy Act of 1974; and (4) Tax Reform Act of 1976.

  2. Result in Disability Program Branch Abuse--The DDS must take all prudent measures necessary to ensure that its systems are free from abuse, both from internal (DDS and parent agency) and external sources. This applies to both prevention and detection of potential or actual abuse.

  3. Prevent or Delay Accomplishment of SSA's Mission--The DDS must ensure that should such action or event still occur, (despite careful use of preventive measures), it is capable of rapid recovery to maintain the continuity of its operations and accomplishments of its mission.

    The system safeguards are intended to be primarily preventive in nature, with the added responsibilities to detect abuse and recover from actions and events not intended.

    As the DDS proceeds with feasibility studies and cost benefit analyses, the security requirements of the system must be considered. The DDSs should consult with the Regional Security Officer (RSO) at the outset of planning so that proper safeguards can be integrated into the systems design. Standard systems development procedures require that functional requirement documents (FRD) submitted as part of the studies contain a thorough discussion of the security implications. Such procedures are intended to require the designer of the system to think through the security problems being created by the proposal and then explain how they are being guarded against.

    All systems need appropriate backup procedures. A copy of all programs should be made (either a tape or disk) and stored in a fireproof vault at an offsite location, to be used in the event of an emergency.

    Requirements for controls over password usage in accessing the system should include hiring and termination procedures.

    NOTE: Access to the system must be limited to appropriate personnel. Controls should be in place to allow new hires and disallow terminated personnel use of the system.

    DDSs are subject to the same security requirements as SSA components (i.e., DOs and BOs) and the RSO has responsibility for all system security matters. Therefore, all system proposals are subject to RSO approval.


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http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0439536220
DI 39536.220 - DDS Systems Security - 01/23/1990
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:01/23/1990