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Archive: April 2016
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The landscape of war has dramatically changed over the years. Putting boots on the ground is no longer the only option countries have in terms of subduing enemies, and this fact could make all the difference in the near future. Cyberwar is increasingly becoming a convenient and powerful tool, as it has the potential for disrupting communications, gaining intel and generally ruining a group's day. It should be no surprise that the U.S. as well as other nations are gearing up to use this method as a long-term strategy in accomplishing their goals.  Read More

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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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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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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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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



According to a recent GAO report, the federal government’s ambitious plan to close 40 percent of its data centers by 2015 may not actually happen. The report underscores the sheer enormity of this challenge and how more needs to be done to meet this goal. Fortunately, the right industry partners can help build out multi-vendor solutions that directly address these data consolidation challenges. From converged infrastructure data management to application dependency mapping, there are many steps required and this process is not fast, cheap or easy.  Read More

In the wake of a successful pilot to host the Secretary of the Navy’s public website on the Amazon Web Services cloud, Terry Halvorsen, CIO of the Navy, has directed the Navy and the Marines to use commercial cloud services providers to host all publically releasable information. In compliance with the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which mandated the migration of defense data to the cloud, thisnew directive aims to increase efficiencies without compromising operational effectiveness – all while driving down overall costs.  Read More

This month, the Obama Administration made some major headlines with the announcement of a new effort to map the human brain, which could unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases. The major initiative, called Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN), will require a coordinated approach by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and support from academia and the private sector.  Read More

On February 27, 2013, Federal Computer Week and UNICOM Government, Inc., hosted a Technology Leadership Series event on “Big Data Analytics in the New Budget Reality” at the Hamilton Live in Washington, D.C. We were fortunate enough to spend time with the master of ceremonies for the event, Mr. Don Upson, Former Secretary of Technology, Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. Upson discussed the value of the Technology Leadership Series event, and how Big Data is reaching unprecedented levels of usage — even though we are at the early stages of usage.  Read More

As part of the Federal CIO’s Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is pushing for ways to not only reduce the number of data centers, but also maximize the existing data centers. As such, the Federal CIO’s office has created PortfolioStat, which aims to root out waste and data center inefficiencies. The main vision of this effort is to focus on efficiency, storage and energy usage metrics.  Read More

On February 27, 2013, Federal Computer Week and GTSI hosted a Technology Leadership Series event on “Big Data Analytics in the New Budget Reality” at the Hamilton Live in Washington, D.C. We were fortunate enough to spend time with Kapil Bakshi, Chief Architect and Strategist, Cisco, who highlighted the future trends in Big Data and government. Mr. Bakshi discussed how we are getting past the “hype cycle” and government agencies are now truly leveraging structured and unstructured data.  Read More