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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


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Cloud computing is safe, says US CIO

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

The U.S. government has no shortage of federal agencies that are suspicious of cloud migration. In early October, there were multiple reports that cloud adoption among federal agencies wasconsiderably behind schedule. One of the main factors impeding adoption was a lack of trust in cybersecurity and cloud vendors, especially in light of recent cyberattacks executed upon the Office of Personnel Management, which resulted in stolen personal information of millions of government workers.  Read More

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Data center consolidation will save Nebraska millions

Posted on October 26, 2015 0 comments
Category: Data Center

No company, organization or government can function without basic IT infrastructure services in the 21st century. Deploying and managing this infrastructure affordably has become a priority. When it comes to government technology services in particular, saving money, whether in the form of data center consolidation, cloud migration or through big data strategies, is essential. This was recently highlighted In Nebraska, where the state government has announced a plan to save around $5.3 million in IT costs over the next 10 years, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.  Read More

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Earlier this year, Baltimore experienced a barrage of protests, some of which devolved into riots, following the untimely death of Freddie Gray. The turmoil thrust the city into the media spotlight, and under closer scrutiny from the nation. And while the catalyst was a series of incidents involving local law enforcement's use of violence against African-Americans, the city has taken several steps recently in an attempt to improve the overall quality of life for its residents.  Read More

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As the federal government continues to ramp up its data center consolidation and cloud migration efforts, U.S. municipalities continue identifying new ways technology can improve infrastructure and quality of life for residents. One example of a pilot program that has generated results came in the form of San Francisco's use of surveillance technology to alleviate congestion of public transit. The Transit-Only Lane Enforcement (TOLE), which was first introduced in 2007, was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown earlier this month, according to The San Francisco Examiner.  Read More

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Cloud Computing Caucus announces new leaders

Posted on October 15, 2015 0 comments
Category: Cloud Computing

Government cloud computing has been the focus of several government reports and headlines, especially since the implementation of the Cloud-First initiative in 2011. With many federal agencies gearing up for cloud migration, and many others still lagging behind, big changes are in the forecast for federal IT infrastructure. It is perhaps therefore fitting that Oct. 13, the Cloud Computing Caucus announced three new co-chairs: Reps. Barbara Comstock, Ted Lieu and Mark Walker.  Read More

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The use of big data strategies as crime-fighting tools on federal, state and local levels has been a hot topic recently. One successful stab at turning data into more actionable insight came in the form of an up-to-the-minute crime information system that helps spots trends in real time. The system will be used by Seattle law enforcement officials to improve response times, and possibly even reduce crime in the long term.  Read More

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US government reports early savings on IT infrastructure

Posted on October 13, 2015 0 comments
Category: Cloud Computing

The realm of government IT infrastructure has reported some mixed news in the past few months. On one hand, cloud migration among federal agencies is occurring more slowly than anticipated due primarily to security concerns. On the other hand, the federal government is already reaping some rewards from agencies that are in the process of finding ways to reduce spending on IT infrastructure.  Read More

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The problem of sifting through reservoirs of big data is not unique to federal IT services. On local and state levels, municipal entities must consider new and innovative approaches to harnessing what data is available to them, whether in the form of call recordings, public documents or traffic reports, to improve the community. In some cases, the implementation of effective data management can be a matter of life and death.  Read More

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The U.S. government was given a jolt to start virtualizing IT services thanks to the implementation of the cloud-first initiative in 2011, which mandated that federal agencies take full advantage of the capabilities of the cloud. Earlier this year, the Congressional Cloud Computing Caucus reinforced the priority with its release of the "Don't Be a Box Hugger" report. Among the top arguments in favor of cloud migration was the staggering $18.9 billion that could be saved over time by further embracing the cloud.  Read More

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How big data strategies can expedite government initiatives

Posted on October 07, 2015 0 comments
Category: Data Center

Many U.S. government agencies have spared no effort to capture massive quantities of data that can give them better insight into society or the respective sectors the agency serves. Some might even argue that the federal government has excelled at data collection to a fault. But the healthy majority of federal agencies are interested in using big data to benefit the public in concrete ways, and herein lies the biggest data-related challenge.  Read More