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A Federal hiring freeze ordered in a January 2017 presidential memo resulted in “significant” staffing reductions across the State Department – including the inability to fill two Senior Executive Service cybersecurity positions, which then delayed implementing an enterprise risk management program for IT systems.






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Embassy Nassau, the American embassy to the Bahamas, has IT issues that are largely a result of embassy understaffing, according to an August 5 report from the State Department’s Inspector General.






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The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) plans to open later this year an artificial intelligence (AI) policy “observatory,” following the OECD’s approval in May of an intergovernmental standard on AI agreed to by 36 member countries including the U.S.






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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 State Department on Thursday announced its vision for U.S. cyberspace policy based on articulated deterrents to criminal cyberattacks, protection of an open Internet, and international engagement and collaboration to achieve those goals, according to the summaries of two reports to President Trump authorized by the Cyber Executive Order (EO) of May 2017.






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It’s probably not a shocking revelation to learn that Federal IT managers are less than happy with their agency’s IT infrastructure. Their biggest gripes, according to a recent MeriTalk survey are that it’s 1) expensive, 2) difficult to manage, and 3) inefficient. Small wonder then that the same survey found that nearly all of those who participated—92 percent of 150 Federal IT managers—were frustrated with the state of their infrastructure.  






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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke frankly about the need IT modernization in the State Department last week, both referencing his personal experiences with the department’s servers and tying it into a larger need for reorganization in the department, but failing to lay out any concrete plan for the changes.






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Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Cyber Diplomacy Act, clearing the path for a new cyber ambassador. If signed into law, the act would establish an Office of Cyber Issues within the State Department and give the office’s head the status and rank of an ambassador.






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Agencies are looking at ways to secure the edge of their systems in order to support a more mobile workforce. “The edge is where the mission happens,” said Max Everett, CIO of the Department of Energy. “We’re in the midst of a transformation. It’s modernization with a plan.”






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