The Treasury Department announced sanctions against 11 entities and individuals involved in cyberattacks by Iranian actors. The sanctions include two Iran-based networks that are responsible for cyberattacks against U.S. financial systems. […]

Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass, Richard Blumenthal D-Conn., Sheldon Whitehouse D-R.I., and Al Franken D-Minn., introduced a bill on Sept. 14 to require accountability and transparency for credit report companies that are collecting and selling personal information about consumers. The legislation follows the Equifax breach, which affected 143 million Americans.






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The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning on Sept. 14 to consumers to be on the alert for phishing scams related to the Equifax breach. The FTC said people might call asking to verify consumers’ account information due to the Equifax hack. “Stop. Don’t tell them anything,” the FTC said in a statement.






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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he expects his Modernizing Government Technology Act to pass the Senate within the next week as an add-on to the Senate’s 2018 National Defense Authorization Act deliberations. “Buying IT goods and services in the Federal government is pretty silly,” said Hurd, criticizing the fact that agencies must use all of their IT funding for the year or risk losing it. “That is an insane way to purchase things to defend our digital infrastructure,”






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The problem with IT modernization is often a people problem. “There’s a cultural challenge within the IT community,” said Department of Homeland Security Acting CIO Stephen Rice, at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference on Sept. 13. “Changes aren’t just within the technology but also within the culture of those managing the technology.”






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Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke released a binding operational directive on Sept. 13 requiring agencies to identify and plan to remove all Kaspersky Lab products within the next 90 days. “The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks,” DHS noted.






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Creating one cloud architecture for the civilian agencies will make it easier for hackers, according to Beth Dunphy, program director of cybersecurity technologies at IBM. The White House’s recent IT Modernization Report calls for the Federal government to invest in two to three cloud models to support the different agencies. “At the end of the day it’s just going to make it easier to repeat the attacks from the attackers,” Dunphy said at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference on Sept. 12.






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The Federal government is working on improving its inter-agency information sharing process during cyber threats, but Greg Touhill, former Federal CISO, said that information sharing is useless if recipients of the information don’t act on it. “You can share all day long but if people aren’t listening and they aren’t acting on it, bad things are going to happen,” Touhill, president of Cyxtera Federal Group, said at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference on Sept. 12.






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Cybersecurity threats have risen to the top of the nation’s national security concerns, according to U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, who spoke at the Billington CyberSecurity Summit on Sept. 13. “What keeps me up at night now is the wide diversity of threats that we have from all across the world, including the […] […]

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program is entering its fourth year and introducing a third phase. Now, the Trump administration’s increasing focus on cybersecurity adds growing pressure to the program and its scope.






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The government needs to get tougher on financial institutions that endanger consumer data, as occurred in the recent Equifax breach, according to testimony at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing.






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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is evaluating the various technologies it can use to secure the southern border and vet incoming travelers. “As you may have heard, CBP is involved in building a wall on the southwest border,” said U.S. Border Control Chief Ronald Vitiello.






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Federal agencies are expected to submit their budget requests to Congress in September, detailing the funding they’ll need to meet their missions for fiscal year 2018. One trend that Congress can expect to see is requests for AI applications to automate cybersecurity processes, according to Thomas Jones, Federal systems engineer at Bay Dynamics.






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Leaders from the technology industry are optimistic about the status of Federal IT after the release of the White House’s IT Modernization report. The report calls for the government to leverage shared services by adopting a network of shared capabilities for common enterprise applications including human resources, finance, collaboration, and cybersecurity.






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When starting an IT modernization project, agencies should ask what their end goal is before trying to figure out what their current state of affairs is, according to National Technical Information Service director Avi Bender.






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Leading cybersecurity experts will come together on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to discuss the changing cyber landscape and ways the private and public sectors can partner to strengthen a proactive cyber defense. MeriTalk’s sixth annual Cyber Security Brainstorm, “Cyber Everywhere: Collaboration, Automation and Integration,” will focus on keeping our nation’s government one step ahead of advancing adversaries.






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The Federal Cloud Center of Excellence’s draft C.A.S.T.L.E guide on cloud acquisition aligns well with the White House’s IT Modernization Report. “The IT Modernization Report is focused on accelerating the move toward the cloud from an overall strategy and policy perspective and we’re here to support its cloud adoption goals,” said Syed Azeem, senior IT project manager for the Department of Labor, and outreach and advocacy lead within the CCOE. “Where we come in is providing the hands-on implementation level guidance as part of the C.A.S.T.L.E guide and other deliverables the CCOE is working on.”






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After the credit monitoring company Equifax announced that it had detected a data breach affecting potentially 143 million U.S. consumers, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., is calling for a House Judiciary Committee hearing to investigate the breach.






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