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Homeland Security Experts Discuss Cyber Resiliency Efforts
A Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing brought together several experts from the intelligence community today to discuss the homeland security landscape 20 years after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
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  1. telework EPA Well Prepared for Future Remote Work Needs, but Must Disconnect Unneeded Services
    The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, along with other natural disasters, forced the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to shift to remote work. In a new report, the agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said that the EPA was able to effectively plan a long-term solution to address remote access concerns while also transitioning to the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract.
  2. Electronic Records M-19-21 Deadline Approaches Yet Federal Agencies Struggling to Meet Deadline
    As the deadline to meet the requirements set in Memorandum-19-21 (M-19-21), some Federal agencies are struggling to meet the remaining requirements. However, during an FCW virtual summit on Sept. 21. the National Archives and Record Administration’s (NARA) chief record officer, Laurence Brewer, said the agency is aware of these challenges and is prepared to have those conversations, but there is currently no plan for a deadline extension.
  3. DoD DoD Makes Progress on New EHR System, Challenges Persist
    The Department of Defense (DoD) has made progress in implementing a new electronic health records (EHR) system, but some challenges remain, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says.
  1. Evolving Agency Cybersecurity Practices to Meet Executive Order Goals
    At the highest levels of the Federal government and the private sector, officials have recognized that cybersecurity is a national security issue. A series of policy and technical documents and high-level meetings this year have reinforced this notion. Chief among them is President Biden’s cybersecurity executive order (EO), which outlines a wide-ranging and ambitious series of actions Federal agencies must take to better secure government operations. MeriTalk recently talked with Jim Richberg, field chief information security officer at cybersecurity firm Fortinet, who is uniquely qualified to assess the potential impact of the cybersecurity EO and the actions that agencies must take to realize its promise. Prior to joining Fortinet, Richberg was the senior federal executive focused on cyber intelligence within the U.S. intelligence community. He helped build the discipline of cyber threat intelligence analysis and is an innovator in measuring cyber performance, risk, and return on investment. 
  2. workforce Federal Union now Supports Civilian Cyber Reserve, Still Opposes National Digital Reserve Corps
    The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) now supports Rep. Jimmy Panetta’s, D-Ca., National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment that would create a Civilian Cyber Reserve at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), AFGE announced in a follow-up letter on Sept. 18.
  3. USPS IG Found Areas for Improvement in Cryptocurrency Usage 
    The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Inspector General (IG) reported that the Postal Inspection Service sufficiently manages seized cryptocurrency. However, opportunities exist to improve its management of cryptocurrency used for investigative purposes.
  4. Kids at computers hackers students education Parents Think Digital Communications With Schools During Pandemic Was Effective
    A recent survey by OneSignal found that nearly 70 percent of parents found that digital communication methods with educators and administrators was either less time consuming or about the same as phone or in-person meetings.
  1. Federal Union Opposed to Civilian Cyber Reserve NDAA Amendments
    The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) wrote the leaders of the House Rules Committee Sept. 15 to express their opposition to amendments to the fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would create a civilian cyber reserve program.
  2. Commerce Seeking Feedback on Supply Chain Report
    The Department of Commerce’s (DoC) Bureau of Industry and Security published a request for comments to gain feedback on what should be included in a report on supply chains for critical sectors and subsectors of the information and communications technology (ICT) industrial base.
  3. MeriTalk Tracker: Keeping Score on IT/Cyber in $3.5T Reconciliation Bill
    As we approach the home stretch for the two trillion-dollar-plus infrastructure bills that have consumed an extraordinary amount of legislative energy over the past few months, it’s easy to become confused.
  4. Rep. Langevin Calls for Increased Cyber Collaboration
    With attacks on critical infrastructure increasing, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems, is calling for improved security of critical systems and increased cybersecurity collaboration among the private and public sector.
  5. NIST Receives Feedback on AI Risk Management Framework
    A request for information (RFI) by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) developing a framework to improve the management of risks to individuals, organizations, and society associated with AI received feedback to assist in its development.
  6. House Rules Committee to Decide Which FY2022 NDAA Amendments Receive Votes
    With fiscal year (FY) 2021 ending September 30, the House Rules Committee will be meeting on September 20 to decide which of the over 800 amendments filed for the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will get a floor vote.
  7. Air Force, Navy to Gain New Supercomputers in $68 Million HPCMP Deal 
    The Department of Defense (DoD) High-Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) awarded two contracts, totaling $68 million, to Penguin Computing to provide high-performance supercomputers and associated capabilities for the Navy and Air Force. 
  8. OIG: CISA Must Update Plan for Critical Infrastructure Protection
    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) says that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) needs to update plans for protecting critical infrastructure. CISA Director Jen Easterly said that an updated plan will be in by Sept. 30, 2022.
  9. NIH Kicking off New IT Strategic Plan
    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has invested “proactively and preemptively” in technology, so that when the coronavirus pandemic hit NIH it was able to seamlessly transition to a telework environment, according to the NIH CIO and Director of the Center for Information Technology, Andrea Norris.
  10. Biden Nominates John Sherman as Permanent DoD CIO
    President Biden has announced his intent to nominate John Sherman as chief information officer (CIO) at the Department of Defense. Sherman has served as acting CIO at DoD since January.