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Archive: July 2015
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Government cybersecurity still an issue

Posted on July 31, 2015
Category: Cybersecurity

Recent hacks against retail giants like Target and government organizations like the U.S. Office of Personnel Management have thrown a stark light on the effects of not protecting vital citizen and government data. Hackers are getting smarter, and government agencies especially have a duty to the public they serve to make sure confidential data stays out of the hands of malicious actors. To this end, big data analytics play an important role in how government organizations can learn how to address these issues.  Read More

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In a push for government organizations to be more transparent about their inner workings and more efficient in the way they serve the public, agencies are turning to government technology solutions. More and more voters are beginning to utilize technology to give vital feedback about how their elected officials and city processes impact their daily lives, and this is made possible through innovations concerning government IT solutions and applications. A 2012 study from the Pew Research Center found that 34 percent of American adults contacted a government official via online methods, and 39 percent participate in political activities on social networking sites.  Read More

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Municipalities are beginning to realize the benefits of open data policies. Government's use of big data is gaining ground, and it's helping local agencies better serve citizens and maintain public safety. For instance, according to Government Technology, transit authorities are using a standardized data system only possible through the use of open data. The General Transit Feed Specification, because it has common data formats and feeds, has allowed developers to streamline app development.  Read More

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Technology helps government agencies simplify processes

Posted on July 23, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Government organizations are growing fonder of utilizing technology to streamline and strengthen processes that used to eat up time and resources. Cloud computing and other forms of technology are helping to make unseemly government processes a thing of the past and free up staff time to invest in other projects for the good of the community.  Read More

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Government cloud computing gains steam

Posted on July 23, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Federal, state and local government organizations are starting to make the shift toward the cloud. According to CloudTech, the cloud is gaining ground in government agencies despite slow rates of adoption. Government incentives are transforming how health care organizations store their medical records in the cloud, and the Department of Defense is moving toward using more cloud-based processes in the future. What does this mean for the rest of the government agencies still struggling with the idea of the cloud?  Read More

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An update on government cybersecurity in the cloud

Posted on July 23, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Cybersecurity continues to be an issue for government organizations. A survey conducted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium found that federal information security experts have a poor view of the government's cybersecurity in general, with almost 50 percent of respondents saying the government is seeing no return on recent security investments. Recent attacks against organizations have spurred more conversations about the effectiveness of government cybersecurity measures.  Read More

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Big data can help government agencies strengthen cybersecurity

Posted on July 21, 2015
Category: Cybersecurity

For federal, state and local government organizations, cybersecurity is a growing concern. High-profile hacks and breaches of government data are on the rise, indicating a need for stronger defenses and better education when it comes to keeping their data safe. For instance, at the beginning of June, the Social Security numbers and other confidential information was stolen from the Office of Personnel Management. According to The New York Times, 21.5 million federal employees were affected by the hack, making it the largest cyberattack into internal federal systems.  Read More

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Every day, government agencies are using technology to improve the lives of the public they serve. Health care, energy use, pollution control and general well-being of the people in their jurisdictions can all be made better through the use of smart innovations. Government technology solutions like the integrated apps and cloud computing can be crucial tools as agencies seek to better provide services and promote civic engagement.  Read More

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How can government agencies use wearable technology?

Posted on July 15, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

It seems like wearable technology is everywhere these days. The Apple Watch is one of the frontrunners in the industry, along with Google Glass and others like it. These kinds of devices are popular among the public already: according to Reuters, the Apple Watch had already sold 2.79 million units as of mid-June, and the numbers keep rising. People are using these devices for everything from shopping to activity tracking, but how can federal, state and local government organizations benefit from the big data generated by wearable tech as well?  Read More

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An Internet of Things government update

Posted on July 10, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Federal, state and local agencies are continuing to realize the benefits of the Internet of Things. This network of interconnected sensors can potentially deliver valuable data on all kinds of public concerns. The IoT adds to the growing wellspring of government big data, helping agencies realize community improvement goals and strengthen civic engagement.  Read More

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Cloud computing for government: Why adopt the cloud?

Posted on July 10, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Many state and local government agencies are making the switch to cloud computing, and they are reaping the benefits across the board. According to a recent report from Forbes, many organizations are moving to a true “cloud first” orientation, beginning to host more data and applications in the cloud. Slowly but surely, more agencies are reporting that they have experienced cost savings, scalability and outstanding levels of data security when they started implementing government cloud computing strategies.  Read More

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Government virtualization: a quick guide

Posted on July 08, 2015
Category: Cybersecurity

Government organizations of all levels are making the shift to virtualized desktop environments, with federal agencies leading the way. The Joint Staff at the Pentagon made the effort to convert to a virtualized desktop model in 2014, and the U.S. Army is now making that switch, according to Federal Times. There are distinct advantages of government virtualization. Here is a quick guide.  Read More

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Data sharing helps agencies work smarter

Posted on July 01, 2015

Interdepartmental data sharing is one way to improve relationships within government agencies and, as a result, positively impact community relations down the road. Proper government data management is crucial to maintaining many federal, state and local systems and to bolstering communities affected by these agencies. Big data and open data work together to strengthen communications between departments and thus give agencies the information they need to best serve the public.  Read More


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Why federal IT modernization is a big deal

Posted on April 21, 2016 0 comments

Businesses across all industries have been traditionally reluctant to migrate to new technologies and processes while leaving behind their tried-and-true practices. Sectors that are heavily regulated are even harder to sell on modernizing their hardware and software infrastructures due to the amount of considerations and challenges that can be introduced. It's no surprise, then, that the federal government has been slow to upgrade and is still gradually making changes to its IT portfolio.  Read More

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White House creates new cybersecurity commission

Posted on April 15, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

In order to help both private and public sector entities better protect themselves from hackers, malware and other threats, the Obama Administration recently created a new commission to help draft protection guidelines for organizations to follow. Officially dubbed the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, the non-partisan group features 12 veteran leaders from large enterprises, leading Silicon Valley firms and government agencies. This group is tasked with presenting Congress in December 2016 with tangible steps both public and private organizations can take to bolster cybersecurity and ensure more robust data protection.  Read More

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The time for government transition to the cloud is now

Posted on April 14, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has effectively taken over businesses in virtually every sector over the past few years. For government, the road to virtual platforms has been paved with roadblocks in the forms of security, budget and overall hesitance to change from tried-and-true solutions. Despite these challenges, many federal and local government organizations have adopted the cloud for their operations, and it's making a significant difference. Other agencies that aren't using the cloud are likely to start their journey to these platforms in the near future, and will begin reaping all the benefits the cloud can offer.  Read More

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Should government hop on board the chatbot bandwagon?

Posted on April 14, 2016 0 comments

Chatbots may be the next big thing in tech, and the technology could prove enormously beneficial in the public arena. Chatbots, although just known as bots for short, are a form of artificial intelligence, noted Hannah Francis, a Technology Reporter with the Sydney Morning Herald. A bot works by executing a command and formulating a particular response depending on what is typed in as the input.  Read More

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New tool helps organizations better visualize federal data

Posted on April 12, 2016 0 comments

In order to help both private companies and public agencies better make sense of publicly-available data, a team of academics and consultants have teamed up to create a tool that visualizes and more effectively displays this information. The tool is called Data USA, and it provides a search engine-like interface to help interested parties learn more about locations, occupations, industries and more. The site also includes pre-made breakdowns to make it easy to determine everything from the highest earning jobs in real estate to the racial breakdown of poverty levels in Flint, Michigan. Data USA is still fairly new, so additional data and pre-made filters will likely continue to be added to it in the coming months and years.  Read More

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New government tool aims to help developers of health-related mobile apps

Posted on April 11, 2016 0 comments

To help ensure mobile app developers don't run afoul of the law, a consortium of federal agencies recently created a tool that provides helpful guidance on health-related laws and compliance. The Mobile Health Apps Interactive Tool was created as a joint effort between the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Office for Civil Rights. It is a simple, interactive checklist for those developing health-related apps to make sure their program is following various laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  Read More

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Government cybersecurity incidents on the rise

Posted on April 07, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

The state of government security is drastically shifting to have a larger focus on cyberspace than ever before. Federal organizations deflect threats from malware, ransomware and viruses on a daily basis, but the risks are becoming more dire as time passes. Malicious parties are advancing their tactics as quickly as security firms are upgrading their solutions to fend off threats. This volatile environment is leading to numerous breaches and more determination to protect sensitive information under federal domain.  Read More

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White House embraces open source coding

Posted on April 07, 2016 0 comments

As part of a broader effort to boost innovation and reduce costs across the board, the White House recently announced a new initiative that will make the code for all federal government software open sourced and available to everyone. In a late March blog post announcing the initiative, federal CIO Tony Scott said that going forward, all software that is designed or used only by federal agencies must have its source code be freely available. This will enable innovation, he said, by allowing a wider variety of parties to tinker and improve on government software. It also aligns federal government IT efforts more closely with private sector best practices. Plus, it hopefully eliminates the need to have to purchase multiple software licenses for different agencies, helping to streamline costs across the board.  Read More

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Agencies must partner with tech experts if they want to see progress

Posted on March 31, 2016 0 comments

There are certain situations where going it alone isn't the best option. Asking for help from an expert can often solve a problem more effectively, and this is nowhere more apparent than within government IT. Agencies should know that partnering with knowledgeable outside companies isn't a sign of giving up on the problem. Rather, it shows that officials care enough to get the best person possible to help solve the issue in the most effective and efficient way possible. In that vein, let's look at some of the agencies who've teamed up with private companies recently.  Read More

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Social engineering: A major threat to government data security

Posted on March 30, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

Humans will always be the weakest link when it comes to security. An agency can utilize top-tier encryption, employ the world's best cybersecurity experts and spend millions of dollars on its defenses, and all it takes for a hacker to gain access to private data is for someone in HR to fall for a social engineering attack.  Read More