Federal Contract Information (FCI)

Federal Contract Information (FCI) is a specific category of controlled unclassified information (CUI) that is created by or for the U.S. federal government under a contract, task order, or other contractual agreement. FCI encompasses information that is not intended for public release but is required to be provided to the government in order to fulfill contractual obligations. It is subject to certain security and safeguarding requirements to protect its confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

Key Aspects of Federal Contract Information (FCI)

  • Origin: FCI originates from contractual agreements between federal agencies and contractors or subcontractors. It is generated during the performance of these contracts and may include deliverables, reports, data, and any other information that the government requires from contractors.
  • Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI): FCI is a subset of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), a broader category of sensitive but unclassified information that the government needs to protect. While CUI encompasses various types of information, FCI specifically pertains to data related to government contracts.
  • Security Requirements: FCI is subject to specific security and safeguarding requirements outlined in federal regulations and guidelines. These requirements are designed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of FCI throughout its lifecycle.
  • Data Protection: Contractors and subcontractors are responsible for implementing appropriate security measures to protect FCI. This includes encryption, access controls, monitoring, and incident response procedures to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure.
  • Contractual Obligations: Federal agencies specify the security requirements for protecting FCI in contractual agreements. Contractors must adhere to these requirements and ensure that their subcontractors also comply.


While FCI is a subset of CUI, it is essential to distinguish between the two:

  • FCI (Federal Contract Information): FCI specifically refers to controlled unclassified information that is generated or required under federal contracts. It is a narrower category that focuses on information related to government contractual obligations.
  • CUI (Controlled Unclassified Information): CUI is a broader classification encompassing various types of sensitive but unclassified information that the federal government needs to protect. CUI includes FCI but also extends to other categories like Personally Identifiable Information (PII), export-controlled information, and law enforcement-sensitive information.

Protection of Federal Contract Information (FCI)

Protecting FCI is vital to ensuring the integrity and security of government contracts and safeguarding sensitive information. Key measures for FCI protection include:

  • Access Controls: Limit access to FCI to authorized individuals only. Implement role-based access controls and strong authentication methods to ensure that only authorized personnel can access FCI data.
  • Encryption: Use encryption technologies to protect data both at rest and in transit. Encrypting FCI helps prevent unauthorized access and ensures data confidentiality.
  • Security Monitoring: Implement continuous monitoring of FCI systems and networks to detect and respond to security incidents promptly. Monitoring tools and practices help identify potential threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Incident Response: Develop and maintain an incident response plan specific to FCI. Ensure that personnel are trained to respond effectively to security incidents and breaches.
  • Contractual Compliance: Ensure that contractual agreements between federal agencies and contractors specify the security requirements for protecting FCI. Contractors should comply with these requirements and extend them to subcontractors when applicable.
  • Secure Technology: Use secure and up-to-date technology solutions for processing, storing, and transmitting FCI. Regularly update and patch systems to address vulnerabilities.

Federal Contract Information (FCI) and Technology

Technology plays a critical role in the protection of FCI. Contractors and subcontractors often rely on various technological solutions to ensure the security of FCI data. Some important aspects of technology in FCI protection include:

  • Data Encryption: Implement strong encryption protocols for data in transit and data at rest. Encryption helps protect FCI from unauthorized access, ensuring data confidentiality.
  • Access Control Technology: Utilize access control mechanisms, including user authentication, access permissions, and role-based access control (RBAC) to manage and restrict access to FCI.
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM): SIEM solutions can help monitor and analyze security events in real-time, enabling the detection of suspicious activities and incidents involving FCI.
  • Endpoint Security: Employ endpoint security solutions to protect devices that access or store FCI. These solutions may include antivirus software, host intrusion detection systems, and data loss prevention (DLP) tools.
  • Network Security: Implement robust network security measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and secure VPNs to safeguard FCI during transmission.
  • Security Patching: Regularly apply security patches and updates to all systems and software used to handle FCI. Vulnerability management is crucial to minimizing security risks.


Federal Contract Information (FCI) represents a specific category of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that is generated or required under federal contracts. Protecting FCI is essential for safeguarding sensitive government data, maintaining the integrity of contractual agreements, and ensuring compliance with security requirements specified in federal regulations and contractual agreements.