News

VA to buy, not build, new scheduling system for VistA

Within months the Veterans Affairs Department plans to issue a request for proposal for the purchase of a new patient scheduling module that would work within the Veterans Health Information System Technology Architecture, or VistA.

GSA will upgrade buildings with new physical access systems, says gov't official

The General Services Administration starting next week will begin upgrading its buildings with new physical access systems that can read trusted government identity credentials, an agency official said during a panel discussion June 11.

Not challenging DoD network resilience delusional, says CYBERCOM official

When Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, deputy commander for Cyber Command, arrived at CYBERCOM the focus was on keeping networks operational, not on challenging the network's resilience to an advanced persistent threat. The "red team" was never allowed to go after the Defense Department network in exercises, said Davis.

NextGen incentive program would require additional FAA appropriation, says Huerta

The Federal Aviation Administration lacks the necessary authority to create an incentive program that encourages pilots to equip aircraft with technology critical to the success of FAA's 2020 NextGen program.

Halvorsen vows to push DoD to commercial solutions for cloud, data storage

The Defense Department's acting chief information officer wants the department to be more creative in how it uses commercial data solutions. "That means that there's almost no data storage, data transmission, data exchange scenario we won't use," said Terry Halvorsen, DoD's acting CIO.

Congressional CJS funding bills address need for cybersecurity

The House and the Senate are giving cybersecurity some attention through their respective Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bills.

Separate cyber force not needed, says Navy official

While the Defense Department has grown fond of referring to cyberspace as the new, fourth operational venue – along with sea, air and land – it does not warrant its own, independent branch of the armed services, said Vice Adm. Ted Branch, director of Naval Intelligence.

FAA approves first commercial drone operation over land; Nevada begins drone testing

For the first time, the Federal Aviation Administration allowed a commercial drone operation over land. AeroVironment, an unmanned aircraft system maker, flew a drone over Alaska June 8 to conduct aerial surveys for oil company BP.

IG: USPS system can improve accuracy of mail volume data

While a Postal Service system that collects, stores and reports mail volume data has been generally reliable, the USPS Office of Inspector General found areas where data accuracy can be improved.

NIST guidance helps agencies break from static IT system reauthorization cycle

In a November 2013 memorandum, the Office and Management and Budget told agencies they could abandon a security reauthorization process required every three years in favor of ongoing authorization of information systems. Now, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is advising agencies on how exactly to make that transition.

Cybercrime costs global economy as much as $575B a year, new report says

Cybercrime is costing the global economy from $375 billion to as high as $575 billion annually, a new report estimated.

Cybersecurity top concern for federal CIOs, CISOs, says TechAmerica survey

Improving cybersecurity emerged as the top priority again for federal chief information officers and chief information security officers, according to an annual survey from industry group TechAmerica.

Chinese military responsible for some cyber attacks on U.S. federal systems, DoD says

The Defense Department said some cyber attacks to federal and other global computer systems can be "attributable directly to the Chinese government and military," in its annual report to Congress.

NIST proposes supply chain risk management baseline in updated publication

Newly-proposed cybersecurity controls from the National Institute of Standards and Technology would establish a baseline for tracking the components that make up the information and communication technology systems used by federal agencies.

Deadline for FedRAMP compliance with cloud services arrives

After two years of planning, agencies are now required to use the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program for cloud services designated as low or moderate security risk under the Federal Information Security Management Act, or FISMA. 

NIST report reveals 30% increase in accuracy in facial recognition software since 2010

Facial recognition software has gotten 30 percent better since 2010, a May 21 National Institute of Standards and Technology report says. The report, written by NIST researchers Mei Ngan and Patrick Grother, compared the facial recognition software released in 2013 to the software available in 2010 by looking at the accuracy of the algorithms and the amount of time it took the software to identify the person by comparing photos within a database of 1.6 million photos. The research included data from 16 organizations.

Report: More federal execs going virtual for training and events

The impact of federal conference and travel spending scandals over the past few years appears to be playing out as a shift to digital. After four-years of steady decline, more federal executives are now attending online webinars than in-person conferences.

Paper: Imposing a 'public utility style' rule to preserve net neutrality is a mistake

Many net neutrality supporters want the federal government to impose a "public utility style" regulation on Internet service providers to prevent them from prioritizing traffic. But Robert Litan, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Brookings Institution, said that not only won't work, but it could affect other tech services in the future.

Hagel pushes open dialogue with China on cybersecurity

Although China has stopped participating in the U.S.-China Cyber Working Group, U.S. officials would still like to pursue an open discussion on core issues that will benefit both parties, said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. 

VanRoekel: DATA Act requirements don't map to federal systems

Conformance with the newly-enacted Digital Accountability and Transparency Act will require heavy lifting on the part of government, said Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel. "As far as systems today and how we can get there, they don't necessarily map in the way that the act described," said VanRoekel.