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Archive: December 2020

M-19-21 Memorandum and What It Is

Posted on December 09, 2020

The M-19-21 memorandum mandates that all records are created, converted and transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in electronic format by end of 2022. The need, however, does not make the reality any easier to embrace.  Agencies must both find a way to convert legacy records from paper to digital, and put in place processes that ensure all records going forward are created digitally.  Working with constrained budgets, needing to educate personnel, having to develop new processes and choosing the appropriate technology, all contribute to the complexity of achieving this goal by the established deadline.   Read More


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What does the Sony hack mean for federal agencies?

Posted on December 15, 2014 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

Understanding the dangers of communication online has never been easier, thanks to a series of high-profile communication leaks. While many people still treat email as though it were merely an upgraded version of letters, and not as a separate entity, current stakes call for better security for those collaborating online. The amount of potential risk that can occur when people are working together on a project that is then leaked online is much larger than it used to be with letters, simply due to the amount of people who could potentially be listening in.  Read More

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Federal agencies to increase cybersecurity spending?

Posted on December 11, 2014 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

A new $1.1 trillion spending package for cybersecurity for federal agencies was passed recently, hopefully giving government groups the tools they need to properly defend their servers from incoming attacks. This spending is going to agencies including the FBI, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense, according to The Hill. These types of increases in spending are necessary in today’s struggle to keep criminals out of servers. Recent hacking attempts on various retailers have brought the insecurity of typical digital infrastructure to the forefront of the public consciousness, which has lead to a widespread outcry for more safety on the Internet.  Read More

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Ashton Carter, Obama’s new lead, has an eye for cybersecurity​, according to the Washington Post. This is good news for all federal agencies, as the threat of cyberterrorism is real and should be recognized as such. With constant attacks upon banks, online retailers and other institutions, it seems like only a matter of time before a major hit happens where it can affect the lives of citizens directly. In order to deal with this problem, cloud computing for government and big data strategies are needed to understand how attacks are getting to various agencies and how to​ stop them. Part of the fundamental difference between how normal attacks work and cyberattacks work is that digital threats are inherently secretive. It may be difficult for a company to know they are under siege unless they are actually damaged, or if an attacker chooses to reveal him or herself.  Read More

VA fails cybersecurity audit 16 years in a row

Posted on November 26, 2014 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

This month the Department of Veterans Affairs underwent its annual cybersecurity audit, and for the 16th time in a row, it failed. The audits are conducted in order to ensure that agencies are meeting the standards set forth in the Federal Information Security Management Act.  Read More

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It was announced this week that the U.S. State Department was forced to shut down its unclassified email system in order to evaluate damage created by a potential data breach. According to the Associated Press, the email system was shut down in order to make repairs and upgrade security after suspicious activity was detected on the system recently.  Read More

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The Department of Homeland Security announced in early November that a Trojan horse malware program has been installed within the system that operates the majority of the country’s critical infrastructure. Were such a program to succeed in shutting down the system, it could cause economic chaos. Officials with DHS believe the malicious software was installed by hackers sponsored by the Russian government, ABC News reported.  Read More

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FDA releases cybersecurity guidance for device manufacturers

Posted on November 06, 2014 0 comments
Category: Cybersecurity

In late October, the Food and Drug Administration released guidelines for medical device manufacturers to follow in regards to cybersecurity. According to agency spokeswoman Jennifer Rodriguez, the information was provided in an effort to specify what exactly is expected of device manufacturers when it comes to security.  Read More

No one is denying that the U.S. is currently facing major cyberthreats, but according to the head of the National Security Agency, many don’t realize the obstacles in the country’s way to protect against cybercrime. In a speech at Stanford University in early November, NSA director and commander of U.S. Cyber Command Admiral Mike Rogers noted that the intelligence community has been tasked with overcoming multiple hurdles, including responding the concerns of data privacy and the inability to lure skilled security professionals to work for the government with high salaries.  Read More