In a bipartisan effort, Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs is looking to protect elections from cyberattacks and propaganda. The Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook, released today, gives campaign officials simple, actionable information to better secure campaign information from adversaries attempting to use cyberattacks.






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With $5 billion in global revenue, Symantec is the 500 pound yellow gorilla in the cybersecurity business. Some dimensions on the beast: installed at every Federal cabinet-level agency; supports 350,000 customers; tracks 700,000 hackers; and leverages more than nine trillion elements of security data. Now, that’s a big monkey.






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In the event of a cyberattack, it’s important for information about the attack to be shared with the public in order to prevent further problems. Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security, said that the agency shares timely, accurate information with its partners and constituents so that they can take proper action to protect themselves.






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The May Cybersecurity Executive Order and the White House’s IT Modernization Report have encouraged agencies to look for ways to use shared services to improve cybersecurity. The Department of Justice has been looking into using shared services before the push from the White House, giving the agency a head start at shared services centered on cybersecurity for the enterprise.






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The Justice Department has evidence to charge six Russian government officials for involvement in the hack of the Democratic National Committee. U.S. authorities are considering charging the Russian officials to make it difficult for them to travel, but they are unlikely to be arrested and prosecuted in the U.S.






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Tanium, along with its partner World Wide Technology, received a potential five-year, $750 million contract from the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), the Defense Department’s Silicon Valley outfit, to provide managed cybersecurity services to Federal agencies.






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The Department of Commerce has made strides to manage the IT costs and oversight of new systems before the 2020 Census, after reports of poor oversight and planning. A Government Accountability Office report, released in October, found that the Census Bureau faced challenges in managing and overseeing the IT programs, systems, and contracts supporting the 2020 Census.






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The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Program last week held its first data exchange between the Federal CDM dashboard and an agency dashboard. All of the CFO Federal agencies have agency dashboards to comply with the CDM program, and the Federal dashboard is in production.






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The Department of Energy plans to roll out an enterprise risk management framework that would provide cybersecurity data about the agency in one place and enable better information sharing between departments.
“The enemy isn’t a hacker in the basement,” said Micah Czigan, director of the Integrated Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center for DOE. “The enemy is a world power nation-state.”






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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said that he is concerned about the Trump administration’s widespread adoption of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. “The NIST Framework has never been adequately validated,” he said, adding that he wonders whether agencies have accepted it because it’s effective or because “compliance demands so little effort.”






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Representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google told Congress on Oct. 31 that they’ve had to learn how to combat nontraditional cyberattacks, like the spread of disinformation, rather than focusing on malware attacks alone to protect consumers.






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Following a House hearing on the cyber workforce shortage, the Department of Homeland Security released information about cyber training programs.






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Cybersecurity experts offered solutions to protect the U.S. electric grid, including moving the grid off of the public Internet, and using quantum encryption capabilities. “The nation’s electrical grid is a vital resource upon which our economy and our citizens’ daily lives depend,” said Richard Raines, director of the Electrical and Electronics Systems Research Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “It is also a system that is highly vulnerable to cyber intrusions as more and more utility controls and ‘smart’ technologies rely on public Internet connections.”






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In order to combat a cyber workforce shortage, the traditional U.S. education system needs to be revamped to better align with cybersecurity needs, according to testimony at a House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection hearing. “Simply put, cybersecurity professionals are not produced by the education system in the United States in the quantities or the correct soft skills that are needed,” said David Jarvis, chief information officer at the IBM Institute for Business Value.






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Many Federal agencies still struggle with overcoming security concerns when transitioning to the cloud, according to a MeriTalk report, To Cloud or Not to Cloud? That Isn’t the Question. Thirty-five percent of Federal IT leaders said that the security of their existing private cloud environments is excellent, compared to 21 percent for public cloud security.






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The Department of Homeland Security published tips on Staying Safe in a ‘Smart’ World, which tells citizens how to navigate an environment full of the Internet of Things.






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Jeff T.H. Pon, the nominee for director of the Office of Personnel Management, said that his top priority for the agency will be IT modernization. “Outside of work, Federal employees are able to access nearly any piece of information they need, from their bank accounts to student loans to car insurance, all on their phone,” he said. “We need to work toward providing the employees of the Federal government with the same conveniences with regards to their employment within the Federal government, with appropriate attention to information security.”






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The Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity along with Cal Athletics and the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 2028 Olympic Games produced a report, using the Olympic Games as a case study, that identifies potential risks posed by new technology in sports.






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