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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CIT

Background

Why does CDC need to track pharmaceuticals and medical materials?

The need to quickly locate and provide critical pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to responders and the public has increased significantly. CDC must be ready at all times to respond to, manage, and reduce the impact of public health emergencies.

During a public health emergency, Government response officials need to have a comprehensive picture of the assets available to make critical purchasing and distribution decisions. By receiving near real-time data on inventory and distribution of key pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, CDC will be better prepared to ensure that critical countermeasures reach vulnerable populations during an emergency.

How is this different from the Strategic National Stockpile?

The Strategic National Stockpile contains limited quantities of critical pharmaceuticals and supplies specific to dealing with the top national planning scenarios, including category A agents and pandemic influenza.

How will CIT data be used?

CIT data will provide critical information for situational awareness and emergency response to a natural disaster, pandemic flu, or bioterrorism attack. Public health decision makers will use the private sector information, in concert with information available from the Strategic National Stockpile and state and local public health sources, to plan appropriate and timely public health interventions. During a public health emergency, decision-makers will be able to monitor the available inventory and location of medical countermeasures within the supply chain, and current distribution to affected areas, to ensure that appropriate countermeasures reach vulnerable populations.

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Privacy/Legal

What legal protections and security controls are available to protect the confidentiality of the data and to prevent unauthorized users?

CDC is sensitive to concerns over issues of privacy and confidentiality and has taken precautions to ensure all data are transmitted and stored securely. As a critical information system, CIT must comply with many federal laws and regulations including the Privacy Act of 1974, Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA), E-Government Act of 2002, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12). Compliance with these laws and regulations is enforced by CDC security mechanisms such as the Secure Access Management Services (SAMS). SAMS includes user identity management and authentication and authorization controls to ensure data can only be accessed or modified by approved users.

What is being done to ensure the security of the data transmissions?

As a government agency, CDC is bound by federal law that dictates specific information security rules and processes that must be followed. In accordance with federal requirements, CDC has implemented safeguards included in the SAMS authentication and authorization process to protect the data in its possession and the people and organizations that this information represents.

Data transmissions between individual data sources and CDC are encrypted and secure. For CIT, these connections are browser-based and are easily identified by the prefix “https” in the application URL. In addition, CIT utilizes SAMS for electronic authentication. SAMS is an access management system designed to provide secure access to applications within the CDC environment. SAMS functions as the “front door” authentication gateway to CIT as well as the other Countermeasure Tracking Systems (CTS) applications. It is the next generation replacement for CDC’s legacy Secure Data Network (SDN) portal and does not use digital certificates.

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Implementation

How do I get started with CIT?

Because of security requirements based on the sensitive nature of the information accessed, users are required to complete the Secure Access Management Services (SAMS) authentication and authorization process to use CIT. Email CTSHelp@cdc.gov to register in SAMS and complete this process, or for more information.

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