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Archive: April 2016
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How cyberwar can make and break the US government

Posted on April 28, 2016
Category: Cybersecurity

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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Why federal IT modernization is a big deal

Posted on April 21, 2016

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
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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The time for government transition to the cloud is now

Posted on April 14, 2016
Category: Cloud Computing

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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Should government hop on board the chatbot bandwagon?

Posted on April 14, 2016

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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New tool helps organizations better visualize federal data

Posted on April 12, 2016

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
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

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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California attempting to create an open data portal for the whole state

Posted on February 23, 2016 0 comments

It would appear that California is attempting to make a more transparent government by creating an open data portal for the entire state. This portal would put multi-agency data under a single umbrella, allowing the Golden State's citizens to have an in-depth look at what kind of information has been collected by each department.  Read More

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Breach of government data due to outdated software

Posted on February 22, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

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 0 comments
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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Justice Department hack shows flaws in government cybersecurity

Posted on February 12, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

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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Massachusetts police may be wearing body cameras soon

Posted on February 05, 2016 0 comments
Category: News

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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The US federal government is enlisting cybersecurity help

Posted on February 01, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

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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FedRAMP lampooned in new study

Posted on January 31, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cloud Computing

When it comes to government cloud migration, the feds may just be their own worst enemy. Multiple federal IT initiatives have been spearheaded by various agencies over the past few years, one of which is to make the transition to cloud computing. The goal here is both to save money on legacy IT infrastructure through means of data center consolidation and improve sharing of technology resources.  Read More

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Cybersecurity innovation in government agencies

Posted on January 28, 2016 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

As federal IT infrastructure is overhauled – through means of cloud migration and other strategies – for the sake of cost efficiency and better systems and processes, one of the chief concerns among government agencies is cybersecurity. The array of cyberthreats to government agencies is well-documented. In fact, research from Control Risks has shown that government was the most highly targeted sector in the past year, accounting for 36 percent of all targeted attacks in 2015. Unfortunately, this is only the tip of a very large iceberg of cybersecurity woes for government organizations.  Read More

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Big data strategies in law enforcement

Posted on January 25, 2016 0 comments

As big data continues its mainstream ascent, a variety of industries and verticals will continue to search for new and innovative ways to make the most of the vast quantities of information available in cyberspace. According to recent research by the IDC, the big data technology and services market is forecast to see a 23.1 percent compound annual growth rate through 2019. Most of this growth will be driven by businesses as they attempt to adopt analytics tools and software that will help them identify new value propositions.  Read More

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Government technology trends in 2016

Posted on January 20, 2016 0 comments

The federal government has been struggling over the course of the past few years to stay in stride with evolving technology trends. Various initiatives such as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) have been conceived specifically for this purpose, and while 2015 saw it's fair share of successes, agencies were also confronted with several big setbacks.  Read More