News

Postal Service cloud contracts omit security measures

The 13 cloud computing contracts that the Postal Service awarded in recent years inadequately addressed data security, says the USPS office of inspector general. Contracting officials worried that integrating policies from the agency's handbook on cloud security would drive up the cost of the contracts.

Policies should focus on 'managing,' not 'solving' cybersecurity problems, says NRC

Public policy can help address U.S. cybersecurity, but it should not be viewed as an issue that can be solved through legislation or regulation. Rather, public policy can help improve cybersecurity management, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Spotlight: House passes VA spending bill with VistA caveat

The fiscal 2015 Veterans Affairs Department appropriations bill (H.R.4486) passed in the House with restrictions on the department's electronic health record modernization program.

NARA urges agencies to adopt email management practices

The National Archives and Records Administration wants agencies to implement a simplified and automated approach to managing the billions of emails they send and receive. The approach, called Capstone, is not mandatory but is designed to help agencies comply with an August 2012 memo from the White House that requires them to electronically manage permanent and temporary email records by Dec. 31, 2016.

GSA maps NS2020 strategy with focus on interoperability, converged IP

With a focus on flexibility, interoperability and converged IP services, the General Services Administration plans to help agencies shift to next-generation telecommunications and IT infrastructure services, according to newly-published strategy documents from the agency.

USCIS official: Technology oversight causing its own waste

The balance between resources for oversight and formalities and those devoted to actual software development has tilted too far to the former, said the chief information officer of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Big data report asks Obama to push data breach legislation, consumer privacy protections

Big data poses a serious risk to consumer privacy and challenges corporations to responsibly handle security –two issues that need prompt attention and policy development from the White House, recommends a May 1 report (pdf) from the White House on big data.

NOAA administrator refuses to make polar satellite gap predictions

Ensuring continuity of satellite operations is one of the biggest challenges facing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but when pressed at a congressional hearing, NOAA's administrator refused to make specific predictions on a threatening satellite gap.

UPDATED: NDAA takes a critical look at GPS technology

A House subcommittee wants congressional investigators to provide an update next year on the  Defense Department's efforts in deploying a highly secure, anti-jamming signal for Global Positioning System satellites.

FBI issues warning, EHRs vulnerable to cyber attack, theft

The FBI is warning healthcare providers that lax cybersecurity standards will leave their computer systems more vulnerable to hackers as the industry transitions to electronic health records.

VA considers prize competition for VistA Evolution

The Veterans Affairs Department is considering using a contest to spur the development of a modernized electronic health record system. In a notice posted April 25, the agency said it wants to implement a prize program as a way to tap outside expertise to help develop the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, or VistA.

In cybersecurity: 'We're not so different, you and I'

In a White House blog post this week, the Obama administration offered rare insight into its thought process on when to reveal and when to remain mum on cyber vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel noted that weighing the tradeoffs is not easy.

Cost overruns and delays could derail communication with NASA spacecraft

Delays and cost increases threaten to disable NASA's method of communicating with orbiting spacecraft, an April 29 NASA inspector general report says. NASA's space network consists of nine satellites and three ground stations by which NASA, other government agencies, and commercial companies communicate with spacecraft operating in low Earth orbit.

Usability tests put the brakes on data.gov redesign

At first, "the comments themselves were almost all positive," said Jeanne Holm of data.gov. "So if we'd stopped there, that would've been the design we moved forward with."

Spending transparency gets boost with passage of DATA Act, awaits President's signature

Bipartisan legislation designed to bring greater transparency, consistency and accuracy into federal government spending through the use of strong, uniform open data standards is headed to President Obama for his signature.

DOE: Energy sector should pare down IT components, access

The Energy Department developed the document in collaboration with industry. The guidance focuses on protecting the industrial control systems behind energy delivery, rather than information technology more generally.

Federal leaders ponder tech talent shortage

"If things go well, there's not the equivalent of equity or stock options" that private sector risk-takers can receive, said Tom Kalil, a deputy director at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Takai leaving DoD

Defense Department Chief Information Officer Teri Takai is leaving her post effective May 3, after more than three years serving as the top technology official at the department. Takai tendered her resignation to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and a replacement has yet to be named, confirmed DoD spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart April 28.

No 'trauma team' to save state healthcare site

The beleaguered rollout of heathcare.gov was quickly addressed by a "trauma team," deployed to recode portions of the platform strengthen privacy and better handle enrollment capacity, but state healthcare exchanges lack similar agility or funds.

Commerce cybersecurity detection, prevention lacking, says IG

Several bureaus within the Commerce Department lack adequate capabilities to detect and stop cyber attacks in a timely manner, according to a recent security audit (pdf) released by the inspector general's office.