The digital transformation in government IT is driving modernization but also expanding the attack surface Federal agencies have to protect. The traditional perimeter no longer exists. Today, there is no “inside” or “outside” the network when it comes to detecting, defending, and deterring cyber attacks.






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The State Department on Thursday announced its vision for U.S. cyberspace policy based on articulated deterrents to criminal cyberattacks, protection of an open Internet, and international engagement and collaboration to achieve those goals, according to the summaries of two reports to President Trump authorized by the Cyber Executive Order (EO) of May 2017.






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It’s probably not a shocking revelation to learn that Federal IT managers are less than happy with their agency’s IT infrastructure. Their biggest gripes, according to a recent MeriTalk survey are that it’s 1) expensive, 2) difficult to manage, and 3) inefficient. Small wonder then that the same survey found that nearly all of those who participated—92 percent of 150 Federal IT managers—were frustrated with the state of their infrastructure.  






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A new report from the Departments of Commerce (DoC) and Homeland Security (DHS) suggests that the proliferation of botnets and the automated, distributed cyber attacks they generate will cause greater problems for Federal agencies absent a robust government response to the problem that includes a proper mix of funding, policies, and public-private collaboration.






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Federal agencies might not meet the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) data center closure goals, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Based on current projections, only 7,221 of the 12,062 data centers that agencies reported in August 2017 will be closed by September of this year.






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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke frankly about the need IT modernization in the State Department last week, both referencing his personal experiences with the department’s servers and tying it into a larger need for reorganization in the department, but failing to lay out any concrete plan for the changes.






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Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Cyber Diplomacy Act, clearing the path for a new cyber ambassador. If signed into law, the act would establish an Office of Cyber Issues within the State Department and give the office’s head the status and rank of an ambassador.






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Agencies are looking at ways to secure the edge of their systems in order to support a more mobile workforce. “The edge is where the mission happens,” said Max Everett, CIO of the Department of Energy. “We’re in the midst of a transformation. It’s modernization with a plan.”






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Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan invited 48 international women leaders in the STEM field to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program, and attend the Hidden No More event in Washington, D.C. “We know that we have more to do to remove barriers to women in STEM,” Sullivan said. “Our fundamental belief is that when women do better, families do better, countries do better, and the world does better.”






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