We sat down in recent days with Amy Gilliland, who has run General Dynamics Information Technology as president for going on five years, to talk mostly about how the company is helping Federal agencies cybersecurity and zero trust policy mandates, but in the course of a wide-ranging conversation came away with a whole lot more.

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Happy Employee

In the summer of 2021, President Biden released the Executive Order (EO) on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce, and to meet the requirements outlined in the EO Federal agencies have strived to incorporate practices that build up diversity and inclusion in their respective workforce, agency leaders said during the ServiceNow Federal Forum 2022 on Mar.10.                                                 

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ServiceNow Federal Forum

Endpoint devices, or personal laptops, government-issued devices, tablets, mobile phones, etc. used outside of the network perimeter are key factors in a successful telework model. Keeping those devices secure from any location at any time is at the top of all IT team priorities. But are the security tools in place strong enough to combat bad actors, could Federal IT teams have too many endpoint security tools in their toolkit, and what is often overlooked on the journey to better endpoint security?

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supply chain

President Biden was set to meet with administration officials and industry partners today to announce new investments in the domestic production of critical minerals and materials, which are crucial to many modern technologies.

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In January 2022, government and industry technology leaders discussed edge computing challenges and opportunities. This article highlights progress and what is needed from government and industry as more and more data is collected and analyzed at the network’s edge.

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ServiceNow Federal Forum

On average, it takes 287 days to identify and contain a data breach, according to IBM Security’s 2021 Cost of a Data Breach report. The longer the delay in identifying a breach, the costlier it is. When a breach takes more than 200 days to identify and contain, it cost organizations an average of $4.87 million in 2021, while breaches that took less than 200 days cost an average of $3.61 million, IBM found.

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Recent waves of cybercrime underscore the importance of increased government visibility before, during, and after a cybersecurity incident. As adversaries continue to target government networks and other infrastructure, efficient event logging is crucial in identifying, investigating, and preventing attacks. President Biden’s May 2021 executive order on cybersecurity set new requirements for event logging, and Office of Management and Budget memorandum M-21-31 in August 2021 provided guidance for agencies on how to meet those requirements.

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Cybersecurity

Organizations and agencies across industries and government have been rocked in recent years as cyberattacks are getting more sophisticated, costly, and disruptive. With the Federal government in the crosshairs of bad actors trying to steal sensitive data – or worse – President Biden has made cybersecurity a critical focus of his administration. His Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity (EO 14028) gives Federal technology teams clear directives designed to quickly secure Federal networks. One of those directives instructs agencies to adopt a zero trust architecture.

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Mask

Against the backdrop of a significant rise in cyberattacks against the Federal government and private sector organizations, President Biden has made cybersecurity a critical focus of his administration. His Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity (EO 14028) gives technology teams marching orders with aggressive deadlines for securing Federal networks, systems, and endpoints.

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space

The U.S. Space Force, the smallest and newest military branch, is looking to industry to serve as a leader in a number of innovative technology areas and to successfully collaborate with the service branch, according to Lisa Costa, Space Force’s chief technology and innovation officer.

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AI

While the Federal government has been busy pouring billions of dollars into artificial intelligence (AI) technology development, it’s time to take stock of those efforts and start exploring the critical questions of what that work means for Federal agencies, employees, and citizens.

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As a very busy 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the past year and look forward with optimism to the possibilities of the new one that’s about to begin. Rounding the corner to 2022, MeriTalk asked several experts on the industry side of Federal IT for their predictions of what the next year will bring.

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With the holiday season upon us, we at MeriTalk wanted to spread some holiday cheer. We’ve gathered up photos of our furry friends dressed in festive attire, meeting Santa, or just enjoying some winter weather.

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is sustaining a protest by Microsoft after the company complained that the National Security Agency (NSA) improperly evaluated proposals for cloud services in support of NSA’s classified and unclassified computing requirements when it awarded a contract to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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Emerging tech
Coast Guard
AI

The Federal government is cultivating artificial intelligence (AI) technology gardens across major agencies, but varying mission requirements and funding streams for those efforts are producing strikingly uneven results.

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Since the release of the Cloud First mandate in 2011, the Federal government has been pushing agencies to modernize legacy technology and migrate to the cloud. While Cloud First evolved into Cloud Smart, agencies have historically taken a measured approach to cloud migration. On the most recent FITARA scorecard, only three agencies scored an A in the Modernizing Government Technology category. Eleven agencies scored a C or below.

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NIH

The National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) will need to rework some requirements in its $50 billion Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) IT services contract, after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) partially sustained a bid protest.

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cloud

Federal mandates, including Cloud Smart and the Biden administration’s cybersecurity executive order, are pushing agencies to modernize and migrate to the cloud. But with modernization comes complexity. Agencies are increasingly living in a hybrid world, with some workloads remaining on-premises while others move to the cloud. Add multi-cloud vendors to the mix, and it becomes harder for agencies to have a holistic view across their environments.

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National Guard
Insider threat cybersecurity

Palo Alto Networks recently issued a report detailing a targeted attack campaign that leveraged leased infrastructure in the U.S. to scan hundreds of vulnerable organizations, which compromised at least nine global entities in the technology, defense, healthcare, energy, and education sectors.

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The Biden administration’s Cybersecurity Executive Order (Cyber EO) issued in May 2021 marks the Federal government’s most determined effort yet to not only propose – but also to enforce through sustained government-wide action – the kinds of fundamental changes needed to advance civilian agency cybersecurity, defeat sophisticated attacks on government networks, and in the process, take a giant leap forward in the cause of IT modernization.

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