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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



Big Data Technology Taking Hold in the Public Sector

Posted on May 30, 2012 0 comments
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Data in the public sector continues to grow exponentially and agencies are being challenged to find ways to leverage big data in the support of government mission outcomes. In my big data blog earlier this year, I mentioned several emerging trends that are driving the adoption of new approaches to data analytics across the federal government – including the volume, velocity and variety (both structured and unstructured data, including full motion video, emails, voice, social networks, sensor-enabled facilities, web and biometrics data). Agencies have started taking big data seriously and I am seeing this technology take a firm hold in the public sector.  Read More

Watch Out! Citrix Redefines the Cloud Broker

Posted on May 23, 2012 0 comments
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Last week I attended the Citrix Synergy conference in San Francisco, CA at the Moscone Center. As usual, Citrix announced many new products, feature sets and new acquisitions. For me, the highlight of the conference was the announcement of the Citrix Cloud Portal. Many of my colleagues around the beltway have been saying that they want to be a “Cloud Broker,” but what does this mean?  Read More

Bridging the Gap between BYOD and Policy Enforcement

Posted on May 16, 2012 0 comments
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Best practices preach that security policies should be applied consistently across an entire distributed agency. However, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is making it even more complicated than before, because not only are employees bringing a vast array of disparate wireless devices to work, they also want to connect from anywhere, with any device, and often look to access the cloud. Additionally, there is continuing need for contractors requiring access to government network resources, as well as cross-department access and information sharing between various agencies. These demands create an increasing pressure that CIOs in the government have to face. This diversity also means the weakest link in security policy enforcement could exist almost anywhere in the agency infrastructure. Many CIOs are wondering how they can accommodate the exponential growth of new devices and applications on their agency network in real-time, as well as how to secure, determine and manage who, what, when, where, how and how many users and devices access that network?  Read More

Cyber Attacks & Mobile Threats on the Rise

Posted on May 04, 2012 0 comments
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Symantec Corporation just released their new “Internet Security Threat Report,” which provides an overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity. As per the Report, the number of cyber attacks increased significantly in 2011. Mobile platforms, particularly Android OS and social networks, were a focus of attackers. Social networks are gaining in popularity even among enterprises, and due to their viral nature and affinity to social engineering, it is easy for malware to spread very quickly.  Read More

Last week, I attended the Cisco Partner Summit 2012 in San Diego. There were thousands of Cisco partners attending from 90 countries, and a lot of excitement in the air. I have attended this event several times in the past, and the focus has always been almost exclusively on Cisco’s products. This year the focus is radically different. The conference is oriented on joint, integrated, best-of-breed “smart” solution architectures and “smart” services. It has been a welcome change to see top infrastructure vendors like Cisco, NetApp, VMware, Citrix, EMC and several others working together to create integrated solution offerings in Private Cloud, Desktop Virtualization and several other technology hotspots. Customers in both the private and public sectors have been clamoring for this collaboration for years.  Read More

Federal Cloud Initiatives for 2012

Posted on April 12, 2012 0 comments
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In a talk at FOSE last week, Department of Energy CTO Peter Tseronis said that agencies should do much more than meet the minimum three use cases for Cloud to be identified by the end of the year.  Read More

Gartner says Personal Cloud to replace PC by 2014

Posted on March 21, 2012 0 comments
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There is a really good article from Gartner last week which can be found at http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1947315 in which Gartner claims that Personal Cloud will replace PC’s by 2014.  Read More

Is Cloud a cure-all?

Posted on March 16, 2012 0 comments
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I recently ran across a customer that wanted to move an application to a public IaaS Cloud. They were convinced that moving their application to the Cloud would solve a bunch of their downtime issues. Now, let’s dismiss for a minute the fact that the customer had no idea what the application was costing them to run as is, what it would cost to run in a public IaaS cloud, or the relative performance of the app in either place. Let’s forget all that for a moment. The real problem here is that the customer thought they could move their existing application architected the same way as in their data center, to the public IaaS Cloud. They had a standard 3-tier application with web servers, application server, and a database server.  Read More

“Which type of Cloud is right for me?”

Posted on March 01, 2012 0 comments
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This is a question that I hear almost daily from potential customers. But the question is really an indication that the person asking the question doesn’t understand the paradigm shift that is occurring in IT today. By that I mean that Cloud is just another way of delivering a service that meets a set of business requirements. It is one of the many options that IT needs to evaluate based on the requirements of the business or organizational unit, the promised SLA’s of the service, and the costs of that service.  Read More