The Army’s work on the Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) is more than just a way to carve out a catchy name for the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, cameras and embedded devices that take the field with military forces. It also underscores the most important element of having those connected devices–the data collection and automated analytics capabilities required to make good use of the information they provide. […]

House Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee chairman Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, put the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program under the microscope in a hearing with industry experts last week.






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The Department of Defense (DoD) says it’s getting ready for the big one, but in this case, it’s not talking about a kinetic attack measured in megatons. It’s referring to a cyberattack measured in terabits.






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The Federal government wants to speed up adoption of cloud email and collaboration systems. But first it needs an accurate measure of how many agencies have not yet migrated to cloud email. There is definitive data on the benefits of cloud-based email solutions among CFO Act agencies, but no clear data regarding the adoption of cloud-based solutions at small and independent agencies, according to the Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization.






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A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate just before the Christmas break aimed at protecting American elections from foreign cyberattacks has been getting generally positive reviews from security professionals.






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The rising frequency and intensity of cyberattacks on information technology systems that support the government, military, businesses, and critical infrastructure has raised awareness among senior Federal agency managers that security controls cannot be bolted on to systems as an afterthought. Security must be a core part of the design of systems from the beginning, and considered throughout the development lifecycle.






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In the domain of warfare known as cyberspace, the Air Force’s cyber warriors naturally play a lot of defense, but they do it with the help of cyber weapons designed to add an important layer to the protection of the service’s operations and data. One example is the Air Force Cyberspace Defense (ACD) weapon system, a custom-built, $543 million suite that automates monitoring and analysis of activity on the Air Force Network (AFNET).






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Federal IT executives must move quickly to apply patches for the recently discovered Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, but should also be on the lookout for potential performance hits and unforeseen glitches associated with the bug fixes.






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Last year brought a great deal of change to Washington, D.C., from a new administration moving into the White House to D.C. United building a new stadium. As 2018 starts up with seemingly limitless IT opportunities ahead, MeriTalk takes a look back on the top Federal IT stories from 2017.






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After years on the backburner, electronic warfare (EW) is moving up the ranks as an integral part of the Pentagon’s military focus. The Army last month received approval to move ground-based EW efforts into the Terrestrial Layer Intelligence System, joining cyber, signals, and other intelligence as part of the Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) structure. The service wants to include airborne EW later this year.






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Usually agencies want to speak highly of their IT operating systems, so to hear Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Steve Censky call the USDA operating model “splintered and out of date” on Dec. 14 was a bit of a shock.  






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Password manager company, Dashlane, has added a twist with its list of the “Worst Password Offenders” of 2017, naming high-profile people and organizations that fell into the bad-password trap. President Trump was deemed the worst offender, primarily because of simple passwords reportedly used by cabinet members and policy directors. Outside parties were also the culprits for the Department of Defense, specifically for its contractor, Booz Allen, as well as the Republican Party (stemming from a careless data analytics firm). Paul Manafort, for using “Bond007” as a password, and Sean Spicer, for apparently tweeting his passwords, also came in for scorn.






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Email is a core network application for both the private sector the and government, and has become an essential business communication tool. Since email is nearly ubiquitous and often poorly secured, it also has become a vector for fraud and data theft. Phishing emails can compromise not only Federal networks and databases, but also trust in government communications.






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Since blockchain first appeared in 2009 as the digital ledger for Bitcoin cryptocurrency transactions, it has steadily taken the online world by storm, in the process practically becoming a synonym for security. Even if a lot of people still don’t know what it is, they’re beginning to hear it more and more. IBM, for instance, has taken to mentioning “blockchain for security” in its TV ads. And in a sure sign of pending mainstream acceptance, a “Blockchain for Dummies” book is now available.






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