Cybersecurity has grown in importance as networked systems become irreplaceable methods for delivering federal services and enabling day-to-day operations. The Office of Management and Budget reported in March 2010 that during fiscal 2010 agencies identified 41,776 cyber incidents--a 39 percent increase in cyber attacks over the previous year.

Big changes are afoot in the federal cyber arena, with the Defense Department having stood up Cyber Command, the Homeland Security Department readying active defense measures for federal networks and the entire federal government debating the role it should play in securing critical infrastructure in private sector hands. 

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Latest Headlines

Integrate cybersecurity with federal cloud computing adoption, says Karen Evans

A paper co-authored by a former government executive who occupied the position now known as the federal chief information officer recommends greater integration of cybersecurity efforts with federal cloud adoption.

State Dept. OIG sounds alarm on recurring cybersecurity weaknesses

Recurring weaknesses put "at significant risk the integrity" of the State Department's cybersecurity program, warns the departmental inspector general.

HHS officials defend security of healthcare.gov

Three information technology officials from the Health and Human Services Department vouched for the security of healthcare.gov at a sometimes contentious House Oversight Committee hearing Jan. 16. No attacks on the site have been successful, said Kevin Charest, HHS's chief information security officer. He also called the code behind one widely  reported  denial-of-service attack attempt "rudimentary."

NIST drops privacy appendix from cybersecurity framework

The final draft of the critical infrastructure cybersecurity framework under development by the National Institute of Standards and Technology for nearly a year will not include a separate appendix for privacy controls. In the place of a dedicated privacy appendix, NIST will incorporate an alternative methodology first  developed  (.pdf) by Hogan Lovells partner Harriet Pearson.

NSA collecting SMS messages in bulk, says reporting based on latest Snowden document

The latest revelation gleaned from the trove of Edward Snowden-leaked documents shows the National Security Agency collecting almost 200 million SMS text messages a day from across the globe, "using them to extract data including location, contact networks and credit card details, according to top secret documents,"  reports   The Guardian  in an investigation undertaken with UK's Channel 4 News.

House Homeland Security critical infrastructure bill gets potentially controversial amendment

A House Homeland Security subcommittee approved by unchallenged voice vote a critical infrastructure cybersecurity bill, adding in the process several amendments – one of which could generate opposition to an otherwise bipartisan bill.

Spotlight: DoD and DHS cybersecurity spending to grow under omnibus

The omnibus appropriations bill likely to fund federal agencies for the remainder of the fiscal year includes $447 million for Cyber Command, states a House Appropriations Committee summary (.pdf)....

DISA mission assurance office adopts OWF as default presentation layer

The program executive office within the Defense Information Systems Agency responsible for network security and operations adopted late last year the Ozone Widget Framework as its default presentation layer for situational awareness, said its deputy chief technology officer. The OWF is a National Security Agency-developed framework for development of lightweight widgets to run in a browser.

Commerce developing centralized cybersecurity center

The Commerce Department is developing a centralized cybersecurity center to provide an additional layer of oversight and synthesis, said Rod Turk, departmental chief information security officer, while speaking Jan. 14 during a conference panel.

NIST undeterred by FFRDC criticism

Comments from critics of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's decision to establish a new federally funded research and development center focused on cybersecurity haven't deterred it from going forward, shows a Jan. 10 notice from NIST in the  Federal Register.