Government IT executives are finding that the IT modernization process is increasing security challenges, according to a recent Unisys survey. However, Unisys Federal President Venkatapathi “PV” Puvvada said that the journey to more modern, and therefore secure, IT can often make cybersecurity harder before it gets better. […]

Though new initiatives like the Cybersecurity Executive Order cover many of the same issues tackled by past administrations, the focus on IT modernization will make a big difference in actually improving cybersecurity, according to Barry West, senior adviser and senior accountable official for risk management at the Department of Homeland Security.






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A hacker group named Dragonfly 2.0 has gained access to several companies that supply electricity to the U.S. power grid, according to Symantec. The new wave of cyberattacks could give attackers the means to severely disrupt affected operations centers in Europe and North America. Dragonfly 2.0 has been in operation since at least 2011 and is linked to the Russian government.






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Research published by SecurityScorecard found that though Federal and state governments have improved their cybersecurity since the rating system’s last report, they still fall behind the rankings of most industries in the U.S.






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The White House American Technology Council IT modernization report, released Aug. 30, emphasizes the need for updated IT infrastructure and shared services. The ATC said that the Federal government should invest in two to three cloud platforms to support all of the agencies.






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Just after the president’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council published a report on the critical nature of the nation’s cybersecurity efforts, eight out of 28 members resigned. “You have given insufficient attention to the growing threats to the cybersecurity of the critical systems upon which all Americans depend, including those impacting the systems supporting our democratic election process,” said a collective resignation letter.






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The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Homeland Security announced the next phase of the “Smart and Secure Cities and Communities Challenge,” a partnership to bring together Smart City initiatives and DHS’s security expertise and resources, at the Global City Teams Challenge Expo.






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A recent study by the IBM X-Force Kassel, a research team that operates “massive spam honeypots” to examine the trends in unsolicited emails, has found that most spammers keep normal business hours and operate predominantly during the usual work week.






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The United States needs to invest more resources in the security of election systems, Cook County (Ill.) Director of Elections Noah Praetz told the Election Assistance Commission.






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The National Security Agency gave Columbus State University in Georgia a $174,000 grant to develop a cybersecurity training tool. “We are building a tool that people across the nation can use to develop cybersecurity training, which guarantees compliance with government and industry standards for cybersecurity workforce development,” said Shuangbao “Paul” Wang, a professor in CSU’s TSYS School of Computer Science.






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DHS S&T announced Aug. 14 that it was awarding Metronome Software nearly $750,000 to strengthen the security of first responder sensor systems. Metronome Software, a software research and development company focused on working for the U.S. government, is  developing a technology to improve the security of first responders’ mobile device-based sensor systems.






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Software patching can never be done quickly enough, but some initiatives are setting Federal agencies on the route to better patching policies, according to security experts. “The river’s gotten wider and deeper, and so as it’s moving more rapidly the problem is that a lot of the organizations haven’t been able to change how they’re structured to go with it,” said John Scott, president of Ion Channel. “Most organizations aren’t equipped to deal with it.”






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Demand for cybersecurity personnel is ever increasing, and cyber teams could benefit from a broad range of skills beyond the typical technical employees, according to experts who spoke at New America’s Embracing Innovation and Diversity in Cybersecurity event.






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The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education recently released a Cybersecurity Workforce Framework that establishes a consistent vocabulary for recruiting and hiring cybersecurity talent.






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