A low-key change has taken place that sources say has shifted the National Institute of Standards and Technology Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity from a purely voluntary practice to a mandatory standard for Federal agencies….Reactions to the White House’s open source coding push….And grumbling about Silicon Valley imports.






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Department of Veterans Affairs CIO LaVerne Council has ordered VA CISO Brian Burns to “redirect his exclusive focus on VA’s role in the Interagency Program Office.” Council also tapped Ron Thompson to serve as interim VA CISO. … VA kicked off its 2016 Information Security and Privacy Awareness Week Speaker Series, but problems dogged the online chat and telephone dial-in.






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After years of development and hundreds of millions of dollars spent, the Department of Veterans Affairs is balking at the idea of replacing its flawed scheduling system with a commercial alternative. Yes, even after a major scandal involving deliberate manipulation of the scheduling system that led to the deaths of veterans, VA thought it was appropriate to tackle the development themselves.






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So, as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee conducts its archaeological spadework to unearth ancient Federal IT systems – consider, things could be worse. OGR asked the 24 Cabinet-level agencies for an audit of their legacy systems and migration plans by January 29. Capitol Hill tells us many agencies missed the deadline – but most of the 24 have now submitted their reports.






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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (Photo: INSA)

The Prez really gets the cyber problem–that’s why he jacked the FY17 cyber budget to $19 billion. That $5 billion hike was, driven by OPM, the Cyber Sprint, and terrorist threats. The 2015 Cyber Information Sharing Act set new government and public-private bidirectional intelligence swapping requirements.






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It has become so tough for Federal agencies to find skilled technical talent that the National Security Agency is collecting resumes from “former civilian affiliates” who have the necessary skills, experience, and security clearance to help the agency “augment the existing work force on high priority projects or programs.” … A pilot program is underway to demonstrate the use of federated online identity technologies for use by hospitals and patients. … And DOD continues to make significant progress on its insider threat detection program and the intelligence community’s new continuous evaluation effort.






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Fed Cloud Silver Lining

We all agree cloud consumption is inherently more efficient – helping agencies shift from CapEx to OpEx – and more flexible – enabling “anything as a service,” where agencies pay for what they use vs. pay for what they project.






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Fed Cloud Silver Lining