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Archive: February 2016
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The movement of large portions of life to a more digital space has spawned a huge influx in data collection. Government agencies and private businesses alike are gathering massive amounts of information in a trend that has been dubbed big data. And yet, many of these organizations are struggling under the weight of all this raw data.  Read More

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The state of cyberwar

Posted on February 26, 2016
Category: Cybersecurity

As the Internet and similar technologies began to creep further into government operations, hacking became the go-to method for collecting intelligence about foreign entities. It was a lot easier than sending in a spy to figure out what other countries were up to, and it didn't involve risking anyone's life to do so. However, recent developments into what a country can do with a cyberattack have shown warfare itself might see a major overhaul due to the digital revolution.  Read More

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For years, the only place to actually get work done was in the office. An employee could expect to be able to get a certain amount of their duties done at home, but this was a rare occurrence and certainly didn't pertain to a full-day's work. Advancements in technology have changed this, with more organizations beginning to allow employees to complete tasks outside the office.  Read More

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A cyberattack on a private institution that works with U.S. intelligence agencies has revealed yet another flaw in how many government officials view cybersecurity. The hack of Juniper Networks, which was announced Dec. 17, 2015, has resulted in a data breach that could contain encrypted correspondence of government agencies spanning more than three years.  Read More

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Government bloated by data storage needs

Posted on February 18, 2016
Category: Data Center

It's no secret the government has been having trouble with its data storage. Collecting information on a national scale is incredibly daunting, but putting that data to good use has proven to be quite the challenge. Sorting through big data has massive potential, but current data center administrators simply can't spend time analyzing this information.  Read More

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Yet another cyberattack has befallen the American government. This time, the Department of Justice was the main target of the hackers, who got away with the information of nearly 20,000 DoJ employees, according to The Guardian. What's more, the cybercriminals also gained access to data on roughly 9,000 employees of the Department of Homeland Security, posting the information on an encrypted website that The Guardian then investigated.  Read More

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The state of Massachusetts is taking an interesting step into the digital world with an announcement that legislators are considering making body cameras a required piece of equipment for all police officers. Local news organization WWLP reported that Massachusetts law makers within the Committee on Public Safety are looking into a bill that would make this technology mandatory.  Read More

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In the wake of the infamous Office of Personnel Management data breach, government cybersecurity has arguably trumped every other concern when it comes to government technology services. Cloud computing and data center consolidation have both had their fair share of time in the spotlight in the past few months, but securing the immense quantity of sensitive data the federal agencies possess is still a top priority for government IT leaders. As such, feds have taken several key steps recently that underscore the importance of government cybersecurity.  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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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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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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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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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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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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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