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. […]

North Korea’s persistent efforts on nuclear weapons development and some loose talk about red buttons have raised new fears internationally about the possibilities of nuclear conflict. At home, government agencies also are addressing the questions about what to do in the case of a nuclear detonation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, will hold one of its Public Health Grand Round teaching sessions Jan. 16 on how medical professionals should respond–and although the event has been planned for months, it’s timing suddenly seems to be on the mark.






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Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke released a binding operational directive on Sept. 13 requiring agencies to identify and plan to remove all Kaspersky Lab products within the next 90 days. “The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks,” DHS noted.






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The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program is entering its fourth year and introducing a third phase. Now, the Trump administration’s increasing focus on cybersecurity adds growing pressure to the program and its scope.






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Leading cybersecurity experts will come together on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to discuss the changing cyber landscape and ways the private and public sectors can partner to strengthen a proactive cyber defense. MeriTalk’s sixth annual Cyber Security Brainstorm, “Cyber Everywhere: Collaboration, Automation and Integration,” will focus on keeping our nation’s government one step ahead of advancing adversaries.






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The entire Federal government is feeling the pains of cyber workforce shortages. But the Department of Homeland Security, which is tasked with protecting national security without the cool factor of the FBI and National Security Agency, hurts more than most, according to testimony at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Sept. 7.






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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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The designation of the nation’s election systems as critical infrastructure will not infringe upon state and local authority to run elections. In a recent memo to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Members, Ranking Member Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., relayed communications from the Department of Homeland Security that reiterated that fact.






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