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Archive: March 2016
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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

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Government stepping up its big data game

Posted on March 23, 2016
Category: News

Information is king across every sector. It serves as the basis for all of the decisions that are made and provides businesses with a better idea of how they're performing on a daily basis. With the inclusion of mobile devices and sensors, more data is being generated than ever before, and it's only expected to continue rising in the years ahead. As such, it's important for government organizations in particular to prepare their systems to handle and parse through this information to glean the most relevant parts.  Read More

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While advancements in technology have allowed institutions to perform physical functions faster than ever before, {deep? free?} thinking tasks have been largely left to people. This is less of a moral objection to the idea of mechanical minds and more a statement on the effectiveness of the human brain when it comes to problem solving. That said, it would appear the U.S. Air Force and the Pentagon are attempting to break this mold by allowing IBM's Watson to analyze the Federal Acquisition Regulation, according to the Washington Post.  Read More

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The growing concern of cyberattacks directed at government agencies cannot be ignored. However, foreign nations attempting to gain access to confidential U.S. data may not be the only issue at play here. Incidents of ransomware – a type of cyberattack that encrypts the users files and demands compensation before the person can regain access – are growing rapidly. What's more, it appears the hackers behind these attacks are becoming bolder every day. What does this malware mean for government agencies, and what can be done to stop it in its tracks?  Read More

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It's a pretty commonly held fact in the cybersecurity community that older systems are generally easier to exploit compared to newer ones. A lot of this has to do with the fact that hackers have simply had a lot of time to tool around with them, and therefore know where the vulnerabilities are. This is especially true for the U.S. government's aging IT infrastructure.  Read More

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Over the past six years, federal data centers have undergone a number of changes. The 2010 Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative and the 2014 Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act have redefined limits for these facilities and have aimed to minimize the overall sprawl across government agencies. While these two efforts have done a lot to reduce the space, equipment, energy and other resources taken up by data centers, there is still a lot of work to do before government groups can reach their established goals.  Read More

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Government cloud spending to increase

Posted on March 07, 2016
Category: Cloud Computing

A report from the International Data Corporation is shedding light on just how important cloud services are to modern governmental functions. The study's researchers expected the federal cloud budget to increase from $6.65 billion in 2014 to $11.46 billion by 2019, according to TechNewsWorld contributor John K. Higgins. A second study by Deltek confirmed this upward trend, although this report's final number differed from IDC's due to a disagreement over IT taxonomy.  Read More

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US improving cyberwar capabilities

Posted on March 02, 2016
Category: Cybersecurity

The U.S. government is taking some major steps to increase its digital presence on the battlefield. Military-grade hackers launched an assault against ISIS recently, utilizing denial of service attacks as well as other techniques to overload their computer and cellular networks, according to Government Technology contributor W.J. Hennigan. This marks the first time a country has openly admitted to committing an act of cyberwar.  Read More


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The US Army is enlisting cloud computing

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

Government agencies have begun overhauling federal IT infrastructure in a bid to deflate the current IT budget, and improve technological efficiency. So far, most of the savings have been realized though data center consolidation – from the Navy to NASA, reducing the number of data storage facilities has been a top priority.  Read More

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Given recent revelations involving Edward Snowden and the U.S. government's use of information and communication technology as surveillance tools, it's not necessarily shocking that a November Pew {Research Center?} poll has revealed overwhelming distrust of Uncle Sam. Only 19 percent of respondents said that they trust the government the majority of the time, which represents the lowest percentage in the last 50 years. To pile on grievances, a recent Gallup poll has revealed that dissatisfaction with the U.S. government is the most commonly cited problem among Americans.  Read More

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Assessing Pentagon cloud computing

Posted on December 31, 2015 0 comments
Category: Cloud Computing

The value of cloud computing has been hotly debated in government circles. From a budget and efficiency perspective, there are big opportunities for improved data center consolidation, and wider avenues for enhanced collaboration within and among various agencies. Thus far, the only significant setback to adoption has been related to concerns about cybersecurity. Many agencies remain wary of their own ability to safeguard data that lives in the cloud.  Read More

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Data center consolidation is on the US Navy’s radar

Posted on December 30, 2015 0 comments
Category: Data Center

Government agencies have put data center consolidation at the core of efforts geared toward streamlining federal IT infrastructure. So far, success has been somewhat choppy. The U.S. Government Accountability Office did report savings of up to $3.6 billion – which data center consolidation contributed to – but learned shortly thereafter that 2,000 more data centers were in existence than previously believed. The setback resulted in the recent announcement of a new and forthcoming data center policy that may help get things back on track.  Read More

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Transitioning from legacy, on-premises IT solutions to cloud computing has been a top priority among government IT leadership in the past five years. Despite being slow off the starting line, recent studies revealed that government cloud computing spend is expected to increase from its current annual allotment of $2.4 billion to an estimated $6.2 billion by 2020. This growth rate outpaces that of the entire federal IT budget.  Read More

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New policy on data center consolidation in the making

Posted on December 22, 2015 0 comments
Category: Data Center

Data center efficiency is a growing concern among many organizations. These facilities are entirely necessary, but they are also tremendous sources of energy consumption. Worse yet, much of this energy consumption is unnecessary. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, data centers in the U.S. could have consumed 40 percent less energy in 2013. In addition to wasting natural resources, this inefficiency results in needless spending.  Read More

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Cloud computing takes the lead in government IT spending

Posted on December 19, 2015 0 comments
Category: Cloud Computing

The U.S. government has been pushing its cloud-first agenda hard in the past few years in an attempt to improve data center consolidation efforts as well as collaboration between government agencies. In 2011, The Federal Cloud Strategy proposed allocating $20 billion of the total $80 billion IT spend on cloud computing. Since the release of the report, there have been numerous barriers to adoption, namely distrust of cloud computing among many federal agencies – despite repeated proclamations from federal CIO Tony Scott that cloud computing is safe.  Read More

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Information technology infrastructure represents a sizable chunk of government spending at the federal, state and municipal levels, hence recent efforts across the board to maximize IT efficiency. Everything from cloud migration and data center consolidation to streamlined big data aggregation and analytics can be a source of savings – that is, as long as it improves federal IT services. Most of these examples focus on specific technological renovations; however, as one of California's most recent policies reveals, there are other ways to go about making improvements to government operations.  Read More

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Cybersecurity has been front of mind for the government for as long there have been hackable systems, but the Office of Personnel Management breach that took place in early 2015 was a wakeup call unlike any other. The data of some 21 million government workers was stolen as a result of the breach, including biometric information of an estimated 5 million people. It was a ground-breaking incident, and it left a bad taste in the mouths of the victims and government IT leaders alike.  Read More