According to a recent Cisco report, the number of connected devices per person worldwide will rise 50% from 2.4 in 2018 to 3.6 by 2023. And, at the same time – as we all well know - the days of a government employee logging on just during traditional business hours, in one building, on one or two devices, is over.
People bring the “constantly connected” mindset from their personal lives, to work. This mindset forms the expectations that they will have the ability to access all the information they require – anywhere, anytime.
For government security teams, it’s a love-hate relationship. On the upside, there are huge productivity benefits. And new opportunities for insights with the data collected and shared. But, as the volume and the variety of connected devices increases, so do potential cyber vulnerabilities. Read More
In Steven VanRoekel’s latest blog post he announced the formation of a Digital Services Innovation Center and said a new advisory group has begun working on a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy for federal employees. In his post, Mr. VanRoekel described the Digital Services Innovation Center as a “virtual hub” designed to operationalize the principle of “build once, use many times,” supported by agencies across government, to incubate and accelerate innovative digital services. Read More
In my May 30th blog, I talked about how Big Data discussions are starting to gain traction and build buzz across the federal government. Last week I had an opportunity to attend the FCW Federal Briefing on Big Data, which turned out to be a very good event. The packed room, consisting of government employees, decision makers, vendors, solution providers and academia had a lively discussion on some excellent topics. There were keynotes and panel discussions on Big Data by some very influential folks including Dr.Suzi Iacono (Sr. Science Advisor at NSF), Dr. George Strawn (Director at NCO and Co-Chair at NITRD), Dr. Chris Greer (Associate Director at NIST) and several others. This one day seminar was centered on the emerging challenges, trends, directions and solutions for Big Data and Data Analytics. The speakers provided a consistent understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with Big Data, sharing some thought provoking nuggets of information. Read More
Last week, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) office started taking applications from Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) who want to attain security accreditations. This is the next step in a process that many of us have been following for the past 18 months. But what does this mean? Read More
Last week it was announced that the team of CSC and Microsoft won the award to migrate all of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) email to the Microsoft SaaS Cloud using Office 365. But that wasn’t all that was in the announcement. As part of the federal government’s new “Shared Services” policy, it was announced that all of the Department of Transportation (including its 12 other agencies) will also be able to migrate their email as part of this contract. Read More
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
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
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
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