The Unisys 2017 Security Index found that public concern over Internet security has increased more than any other security concern since their 2014 survey. “Our biggest percentage increase was in viruses, malware, and hacking activities,” said Bill Searcy, Unisys vice president of global justice, law enforcement, and border security.






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Federal IT executives are focused on the future.  And, as agencies consider modernization strategies and options, most agree that cloud will be a foundational component.   While cloud conversations have been ongoing for many years, widespread use of cloud models remains a challenge.  There is still confusion about choices, migration paths, and which cloud offerings are available for different types of workload.  Fortunately, the burgeoning relationship between government and industry partners helps agencies cut through this cloud confusion.






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Despite disagreements about climate policy and immigration, the White House still managed to scrape together 18 technology executives who want to have a voice in the administration. Jared Kushner, head of the White House Office of American Innovation, said, “Many warned me bureaucracy would resist any change we tried to implement. So far I’ve found exactly the opposite. The goal is simple here, to improve the day-to-day lives of average citizens. That’s a core promise and we are keeping it.”






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The personal details of nearly 200 million voters were left exposed online by data firm Deep Root Analytics, which was working on behalf of the Republican National Committee, according to UpGuard, which reported the exposure on June 19 and characterized it as “the largest known exposure of voter information in history.”






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The Department of Health and Human Services recently named Bruce D. Greenstein as its new chief technology officer.






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Eighteen technology company CEOs are expected to attend the White House Tech Summit on June 19 to talk about modernizing the government’s tech infrastructure and keeping its computers safe from cyberattacks. The technology leaders could benefit if the government moves to modernize with the help of their hardware, software, and cloud-computing services.






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When moving to the cloud, government customers must think about the many moving parts that make up such a project including the resources they need to sustain their applications as well as the resources required to complete the actual migration. They also must consider the architecture, security policies, and model for operations and maintenance, as well as scope the size of the environment.






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Autonomous vehicle technologies have the potential to eliminate road deaths worldwide, according to the Department of Transportation. Companies including Transurban are jumping at the chance to be a part of the autonomous vehicle revolution.






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MeriTalk compiles a weekly roundup of contracts and other industry activity. Here’s what happened this week in the Federal Information Technology community.






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Over the past few years, the department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has started using cloud computing services. Michael Giardinelli, a senior software engineer and technical team lead at PNNL, said the lab’s 16 counterparts across the nation have embarked on similar cloud journeys. “A lot of them are moving in same direction as us,” Giardinelli said. “One key thing is collaboration amongst labs, like when working through the power grid.”






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Under tight budget restrictions and capital expenditure scrutiny, government agencies are finding it difficult to keep pace with mandates to modernize technology infrastructure. Technology Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offers a direct path to IT modernization, efficiency and control. This white paper details the driving forces behind the shift to IaaS as well as the benefits of moving to a consumption economics model for IT. It also details best practices, specific strategies and the five (5) key principles in contracting for IaaS as well as a glossary of IaaS related terms, so that government agencies can efficiently and effectively utilize what is fast becoming the preferred, proven method of contracting for and implementing IT capacity.






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The Federal government currently lacks the empowered leadership necessary to address U.S. cyber vulnerabilities, according to former Federal experts testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “For the entire apparatus, there currently isn’t an empowered, either an individual or an agency, to do what I think is necessary,” said Samantha Ravich, senior adviser for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former national security adviser for Vice President Dick Cheney.






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Cloud infrastructure may be the safest place to store an agency’s most sensitive data, department of Justice officials said at an AWS Public Sector Summit. “I’d say it’s a pretty good place to put your crown jewels,” said Karl Mathias, chief information officer for the United States Marshals Service, adding that commercial clouds may end up being safer than an agency’s own data centers.






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Former CIA Director John Brennan said that the Federal government should create an independent commission to regulate the digital domain. Brennan said that the commission should be made up of former government officials and private sector engineers to ensure that there are representatives of both backgrounds.






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Amazon Web Services will open a new GovCloud Region in 2018 on the U.S. East Coast, the company announced at its annual Public Sector Summit on June 13.






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