News

Cybersecurity legislation needed for better public-private info sharing, says JCS's Dempsey

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said that cyber weaknesses in the private sector such as in civilian infrastructure and businesses are a serious threat to national security. And since the U.S. military depends on commercial networks, its defenses are still vulnerable.

 

US-UK digital partnership strengthens

The United States and the United Kingdom are strengthening their digital partnership with plans to work more closely on delivering digital services, expanding open government efforts and increasing information technology training and Internet access.

Spotlight: Obama urges Congress to act on cyber legislation in SOTU

President Barack Obama urged legislators to act on cybersecurity legislation during his Jan. 20 State of the Union address. 

GAO says NOAA not doing enough to address potential weather satellite data gap

A potential gap in weather satellite data – before the next polar-orbiting satellite is launched and operational – could occur sooner and last longer than anticipated.

As 2016 launch of new weather satellite nears, GAO sees risks in NOAA's program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continues to face cost overruns and delays in key program milestones as it readies the launch of the first of four next-generation weather satellites next year.

Expert panel: No software can target intelligence information to replace bulk data collection

No software exists now that would help the U.S. intelligence community better target and acquire information rather than conduct the bulk collection of electronic communications such as domestic telephone metadata, a National Research Council panel found.

Cloud business cases must address staff, says NOAA exec

There's been much discussion around the efficiencies to be gained from cloud computing – shuttering data centers and streamlining operations – but little talk of the freezing effect this end goal can have on the federal IT workforce. Cloud computing efforts would see stakeholder buy in improve significantly if there was some assurance that personnel would be protected, says one National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration IT executive.

Gov execs: 'Exit strategy' critical in federal cloud computing contracts

Interoperability and portability remain largely unaddressed issues among cloud services. And until all cloud computing services can ensure clients' data is portable and interoperable, federal chief information officers need to think about how they can get out of their cloud contracts, said federal executives speaking Jan. 15 at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit in Washington, D.C.

Proximity matters, even in the cloud, says DISA's top technology official

Having data available anytime, anywhere has long been touted as a major benefit of cloud computing, but a top Defense Information Systems Agency official said where data is physically located still matters.

Smaller companies exempt from using open-data format for financial reporting under House bill

Section 701 within the bill exempts emerging growth and other small companies from using Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, for financial statements and other periodic reporting that is required by the SEC.

GSA touts increase in SATCOM contracts, savings

Federal agencies are utilizing more commercial satellite communication services and turning to a joint General Services Administration-Defense Department contract vehicle to help them acquire solutions, according to a Jan. 9 post to the General Services Administration blog.

DISA releases security guidance in implementing, hosting cloud services for DoD agencies

The Defense Information Systems Agency Jan. 13 publicly released guidance that updates and codifies enhanced cybersecurity requirements for implementing and hosting cloud computing systems for certain types of sensitive Defense Department data.

Clapper, North Korean counterpart exchanged strong words just prior to Sony hack discovery

President Obama sent James Clapper to North Korea to bring back two imprisoned American citizens. During the mission, he met with the director of North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau, the organization that likely oversaw the cyberattack on Sony Pictures.

VistA marketing ramps up in advance of DoD EHR award

A marketing campaign aimed at raising the profile of the Veterans Affairs Department's open source electronic health record is in full swing. The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, or VistA, now has a website, Twitter account and LinkedIn group - just as the Defense Department considers a VistA proposal for its new EHR.

GAO: Feds have done little to address potential cyber threats to federal facilities

Congressional investigators say the Homeland Security Department and other agencies have taken few steps to address potential cyber threats to building and access control systems within federal offices, labs and warehouses.

US Central Command social media accounts hacked

Two social media accounts for the Defense Department's U.S. Central Command were hacked Jan. 12, according to a report from the Associated Press.

White House rolls out data privacy, cybersecurity proposals before SOTU speech

President Obama will preview several measures to strengthen digital privacy and cybersecurity in a scheduled late morning address Jan.12 at the Federal Trade Commission, before he formally unveils them during his State of the Union speech next week, the White House said.

Army banking on multiple, varied sensors to provide soldiers with greater situational awareness

For example, medical researchers are experimenting with soldiers wearing physiological sensors that can provide information about dehydration, elevated blood pressure and cognitive impairment from being sleep deprived.

DARPA seeks new tools and methods to minimize uncertainty in designing complex systems

Researchers said understanding the level of uncertainty in computational models, which are used in designing such systems, is a difficult mathematical challenge because of the many variables involved.

Cyber attack on German plant just a step below Stuxnet, says cyber expert

While a reported cyber attack on a German industrial plant last year may not have risen to the level that the damaging Stuxnet computer worm could have inflicted, a well-regarded Washington, D.C., cybersecurity expert said it was pretty close.