Department of Homeland Security DHS

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., is pressing major electric utility companies for details about whether and when their systems have been penetrated by Russian-affiliated hackers, and at the same time is querying several Federal agencies about what they are doing to help utilities recognize and prevent attempts to break into their networks and control systems.






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The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Deputy CIO Guy Cavallo and CTO Sanjay Gupta said today at the FCW Cybersecurity Summit that their agency’s unorthodox approach to the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program is yielding a ton of practical benefits, even though it required a bit of a departure from CDM’s initial guidelines. Now, SBA is providing a new potential model for other agencies – many struggling with the first of CDM’s four phases – to use when considering how to achieve the outcomes the program intends.






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U.S. Census Bureau CIO Kevin Smith said that the Department of Homeland Security performed penetration tests this year that were unable to break through Census’ data safeguards, confirming the strength of Census’ cybersecurity programs for both its self-response website and in-field mobile devices.






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Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Chris Krebs, head of the agency’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), has named Bob Kolasky to serve as director of the newly-established National Risk Management Center (NRMC), a DHS official confirmed to MeriTalk today.






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Paul Beckman, chief information security officer at the Department of Homeland Security, said Thursday at MeriTalk’s Cyber Security Brainstorm that software-defined networking, adopting a zero-trust model, and optimizing DHS’ security operations centers (SOC) are his biggest emerging priorities to promote better security across the department.






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Following the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement of a new National Risk Management Center, critical infrastructure executives along with Federal agency leaders hailed the new coordinating wing of DHS as a way to harness the collective strengths of both government and industry to address cyber concerns that have the potential to hobble the nation’s critical functions.






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At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday, July 25, to examine findings of the Federal Cybersecurity Risk Determination Report and Action Plan released by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in May, lawmakers and private sector witnesses hailed new legislation as a necessary – but on its own insufficient – step to bring down the security risks of three-quarters of Federal agencies deemed in cyber danger.






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The House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday approved the Securing the Homeland Security Supply Chain Act (HR 6430), which would authorize the Homeland Security Secretary to take a variety of actions to curb supply chain risk including actions to exclude certain contractors in order to address “urgent national security interest.”






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Federal CIO Suzette Kent, testifying today at a joint subcommittee hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that the Federal government intends to complete all of the tasks outlined in the Federal IT Modernization Report by the end of the year. She said that the majority of those tasks are already complete, and that many have beaten the timelines the government had set for itself.






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Federal agency .gov domains have less than three months left to come into compliance with binding operational directive (BOD) 18-01, issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last October, which requires the use of Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). A DHS representative on Wednesday said that progress in implementing DMARC has been strong, but that initial implementation is far from the finish line.






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Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, introduced legislation today to codify into law the Department of Homeland Security’s Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, in order “to advance and modernize” the program and ensure procedural policies for it.






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CGI Federal has won a task order worth an estimated $530 million to provide services under the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program to CDM’s Group C Federal agencies, a CGI spokesperson confirmed today.






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The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and the Transportation Security Administration announced the winners of their passenger screening algorithm challenge that solicited new automated detection algorithms to improve speed and accuracy of detecting “small threat objects” during airport passenger screening processes.






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Joyce Corell, assistant director for the supply chain directorate at the Officer of the Director of National Intelligence’s (ODNI) National Counterintelligence and Security Center, predicts that regulation or other means to manage IT supply chain security risk is inevitable, given increased emphasis on the topic across government. Speaking at an Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board meeting Friday, Corell said rumblings across the Federal space concerning supply chain risk will soon likely lead to even more formal steps.






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