Figures in an annual, international data breach report indicate that China is a hotbed of government and industrial espionage. China-based breaches accounted for the largest source of espionage, according to figures in Verizon's Data Breach Investigations Report, which the company published April 23.
The Homeland Security Department will institute near real-time deep packet inspection of traffic coming to or from .gov federal Internet protocol addresses, DHS says in an April 19 privacy impact analysis (.pdf). Information collected under deep packet inspection can be used for secondary purposes and shared with federal, state or local law enforcement, the assessment says.
Some of the common criticisms against Agile Development--that it produces sloppy code, that documentation gets overlooked, that user development stories are cumbersome--are unfounded or the result of bad Agile implementations, a group of federal chief information officers said April 23. "It's perfectly acceptable that you went down one path and now you need to change and refactor," said Mark Schwartz, CIO of USCIS.
As the Agriculture Department focuses on information technology consolidation, its chief information officer and chief human capital officer have to work more closely than ever, according to Cheryl Cook, the newly appointed CIO at USDA.
Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel envisions the fund building reference architectures, data collection models and other tools "to drive IT excellence forward." It will also fund a modest team to bring scientific rigor to program oversight, said VanRoekel.
In an April 12 report (.pdf), the Energy Department office of inspector finds much to laud--noting that recent vulnerability scans turned up just 335 high- and medium-risk vulnerabilities, as opposed to a July 2011 scan that turned up about 9,000 such vulnerabilities. But tracking, prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities is problematic at the program, which is responsible for the safety of naval nuclear propulsion systems.
More than a decade's worth of research pointing toward cost savings to be had by making Defense Department satellite control systems interoperable has gone unimplemented, says the Government Accountability Office in an April 18 report (.pdf). The increase in dedicated infrastructure "reflects more of a preference by satellite program managers than a need," auditors say Air Force officials told them.
Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel delivered the keynote address at an AFCEA Bethesda breakfast April 19.
The House of Representatives approved the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act by an April 18 vote of 288 to 127. The bill (H.R. 624), similar to a bill of the same name the House approved in 2012, now goes to the Senate--which didn't forward the bill past committee stage last year.
Two General Services Administration officials recently sat down with FierceGovernmentIT to discuss their efforts to help agencies improve their digital presence and better serve citizens. Sheila Campbell, director of the center for excellence in digital government, and Jonathan Rubin, First Fridays usability program manager, explained GSA's web usability testing services as well as ways it's institutionalizing lessons learned through blog posts and training.
Taxpayers are electronically filing returns at a slightly higher proportion than last year, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says, based on interim filing season data. In a newly released March 29 report (.pdf), TIGTA says that as of March 9, 2013, 91.3 percent of taxpayers submitted an e-filed return, as opposed to 89.5 percent of taxpayers on that date last year.
Metrics used by the Internal Revenue Service to ensure information technology programs meet cost and schedule estimates aren't consistent, says an April 17 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf).
The Defense Information Systems Agency announced April 16 it has achieved initial operational capacity as the commercial cloud computing middleman for the Defense Department--despite its acknowledgment that it has yet to fully approve for DoD use any FedRAMP-authorized commercial cloud service providers.
The Federal CIO Council released April 16 a catalog of shared services in furtherance of the Office of Management and Budget policy of Shared First. The contents of the catalog, which are not classified, aren't public. The council also released an implementation guide (.pdf) that outlines steps agencies should undertake to implement shared services.
The Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2013 (H.R. 1163), secured a 416-0 vote with 16 representatives not present; it would amend the Federal Information Security Management Act in ways similar to legislation the House approved in 2012 but which the Senate did not take up.
In an effort to improve its website, the Internal Revenue Service launched short projects to deliver interactive tools and longer-term projects to improve foundational infrastructure, but it has no overarching strategy for its website, says the Government Accountability in an April 16 report (.pdf).
The White House veto threat (.pdf), issued before the rules committee approved the final rule via voice vote, cites CISPA's (H.R. 624) broad authorization of information sharing between companies and the federal government, stating that the Homeland Security Department should be the point of entry for private sector threat information. CISPA would permit civilian, military or intelligence agencies to directly receive private sector threat information, a feature opponents say would undermine civilian control of national cybersecurity measures and amount to surveillance of Internet users.
Spending at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency would go down slightly under the White House fiscal 2014 budget proposal when the agency's requested amount is adjusted for the Office of Management and Budget's projected rate of inflation.
The National Archives and Records Administration requests total appropriations of $385.84 million for the coming fiscal year in the budget proposal the Obama administration sent to Congress April 10.