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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



Cyber Threats Against U.S. Are “Prevailing”

Posted on March 18, 2013
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Last week was very busy in terms of cybersecurity and our nation. On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing and Gen. Keith Alexander, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command and Director of the National Security Agency, warned of a growing “roster of actors” that are threatening U.S. interests.  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. The event brought together speakers from across civilian and DoD agencies, as well as top industry data analytics providers. Key discussions focused on successful big data analytics implementations, as well as demonstrations of emerging technologies in this arena.  Read More

NIST Seeks Input for New Cybersecurity Framework

Posted on March 07, 2013
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Last week, cybersecurity professionals from around the globe gathered at the highly attended RSA 2013 Conference to share new insights, innovations and best practices when it comes to protection of our nation’s infrastructure. While the event is typically focuses on the commercial sector, this year government played a significant role, which is not a surprise given the key challenges that our government faces when it comes to cybersecurity. Leveraging the momentum from the event, the Obama Administration announced that NIST had officially issued a request for information for the development of its Cybersecurity Framework.  Read More

When it comes to fully leveraging big data in government, there are just as many challenges — from the complexities of using different databases to the sheer volume of data — as there are opportunities. In fact, consulting firm Gartner Inc. reported that enterprise data growth rates now average 40 percent to 60 percent annually.  Read More

The Intelligence Community (IC) is often the earliest adopter of the latest innovations that eventually make their way through the entire government. When it comes to big data, this is no exception. From connecting all data sets from multiple mission directorates into one computational environment; sharing information across multiple agencies; and combining the efforts of data analysts, computer scientists, mathematicians and engineers, the IC is always forward thinking when it comes to leveraging and managing big data.  Read More

Next week, Federal Computer Week and GTSI are hosting a Technology Leadership Series event on “Big Data Analytics in the New Budget Reality” at the Hamilton Live in Washington, D.C. The event will bring together speakers from across civilian and DoD agencies, as well as top industry data analytics providers. Key discussions will focus on successful big data analytics implementations, as well demonstrations of emerging technologies in this arena.  Read More

It is often the most motivated professionals who create new ways for collaborating and sharing information. In many organizations, employees often take the initiative to leverage nontraditional applications like Google Docs and calendar applications from Yahoo.com. In the private sector, this take-charge initiative is laudable. However, in the government arena, it can create major security challenges that are difficult to fully control.  Read More

Big Data Analytics in a New Government Budget Reality

Posted on February 13, 2013
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Government agencies are facing the perfect storm when it comes to managing big data. The amount of data is growing at a mind-numbing pace, while budgets for leveraging these resources is diminishing at the same rate. With the OMB asking that all agencies reduce their IT budgets by 10 percent – in its FY2014 budget guidance – how will agencies effectively manage the transition to big data? Fortunately, data analytics, a next-generation of technologies and architectures designed to extract value from very large volumes and varieties of data, is an emerging solution.  Read More

Using the Cloud to Reach the Crowds?

Posted on January 29, 2013
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Doug Bourgeois, Vice President, Federal Chief Cloud Executive at VMware, recently authored a blog post where he discussed the idea of using crowdsourcing to cost effectively solve government’s challenges. Bourgeois specifically discussed “the confluence of the ‘Crowd’” and how the Cloud is creating a powerful new software development model for the public sector. In an effort to support this vision, VMware and EMC are currently forming a new organization called the Pivotal Initiative to address this issue. GTSI is assisting this effort by providing a proof of concept in our labs that will be used as a basis for creating a solution for the Pivotal Initiative, which involves many players to bring it to life.  Read More