News

Retirement accounts at risk, auditors say; TSP board defends cybersecurity

Thrift Savings Plan accounts are vulnerable to hackers because of poor cybersecurity measures at the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, sources say.

State Dept. official: New global effort crucial in developing capacity around cyber issues

The idea behind the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise is to help states with limited policy or technical capacity tap the expertise of more technologically sophisticated countries around certain cyber-related issues.

Company settles FTC complaint over misleading opt-out option for retail consumers

Nomi Technologies provides consumer-tracking technology for brick-and-mortar retailers, but it didn't provide a way for consumers to opt out of the service within stores as it had seemingly indicated in its privacy policies.

Only one-quarter of federal agency IT officials polled say their network data is protected in transit

And the top challenges in protecting such data are budget constraints, limited resources and the complexity and impact on network performance, the online survey of 200 federal IT officials representing 60 agencies found.

DoD issues sweeping update to cyber strategy (Audio)

The Defense Department unveiled a new cyber strategy today that affirms its commitment to more effective deterrence in the cyber domain and the integration of offensive cyber options into combatant command plans. 

Sunlight FOIA request leads to more open data, updated OMB policy

A Freedom of Information Act request from the Sunlight Foundation has turned into federal policy on agency data holdings, the foundation reported.

CBO: Low costs, rising revenues would be associated with data security bill

If enacted, the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 would cost the government $1 million to implement over five years and would increase revenues, via penalties paid by non-compliant businesses, by $9 million over 10 years, an assessment of the bill finds.

OMB releases more IT Dashboard metrics

For the first time since the Office of Management and Budget released the IT Dashboard in 2009, it is providing IT performance metrics used in internal discussions with agencies, according to a report.

Spotlight: 2 cybersecurity bills pass in the House

The House of Representatives passed the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R. 1560) April 22 and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 1731) April 23. 

OPM strengthened agreements with contractors following last year's cyber breaches, CIO says

The agency has strengthened its contractual clauses and is also making sure all agency contracts have the appropriate clauses in them – that is "clauses that require segregation of data."

NIST issues draft de-identification guidance for personally identifiable information

In a new draft publication, the National Institute of Standards and Technology explores techniques for de-identification and summarizes almost 20 years of research. 

House expected to consider 2 cyber threat data sharing bills that grant liability protections

The Obama administration largely supports both bills although it had some reservations regarding their liability protections. But civil liberties and privacy groups say they strongly opposed one bill sponsored by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Public-private partnership seeks to make troves of untapped NOAA data publicly available

NOAA collects about 20 terabytes of data daily, more than twice the data of the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress. But the public has access to only a fraction of it.

Pew: People hopeful 'open data' boosts gov't responsibility, but dubious on performance gain

The survey looked at the public's level of awareness on governmental efforts to share data, data usage in tracking performance and accountability, and routine online interactions with governments such as license renewal or information searches. 

Taxpayers had different online experiences with states depending on where they lived

Dynatrace, a software vendor that measures end user experience online, analyzed websites of several select state revenue departments and found a wide range of how fast their websites and pages loaded as well as how consistent these sites were throughout the day. 

Veteran federal contracting officer talks about benefits of agile software development in podcast

Jonathan Mostowski at U.S. Digital Service explores how hiring Leonardo da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa using agile or waterfall contracting models would affect the final product

Fed agencies reduce planned PortfolioStat savings as GAO questions past IT reform savings

Through the Office of Management and Budget initiative launched three years ago that requires agencies to review their IT investments annually and cut duplication, agencies were supposed to save $5.8 billion between fiscal 2013 and 2015. However, they reduced that amount to $2 billion, a 68 percent cut.

Report finds federal cybersecurity workforce insufficient

An insufficient cybersecurity workforce – propagated by inadequate recruitment and retention measures – is hampering proper defense, according to a new report.

Data integrity issues hampering USPS commercial mailing program, IG says

Problems with data integrity, customer service and communication are hampering the Postal Service's move to an automated system for commercial mail, a report found.

NIST considers update to e-authentication guideline

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is looking into updating its 2012 Electronic Authentication Guideline (pdf), and the agency wants the public's help. NIST is seeking comments...