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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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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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Can technology improve perceptions of government in the US?

Posted on January 08, 2016 0 comments

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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Enterprise mobility, IoT highlight need for government cloud computing

Posted on December 28, 2015 0 comments
Category: Cloud Computing

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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California takes a unique approach to improving government IT services

Posted on December 11, 2015 0 comments

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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OPM launches the Cybersecurity Resource Center for hack victims

Posted on December 09, 2015 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

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