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DHS’ New Cybersecurity Strategy and other ExecutiveGov Need-to-Read Stories

ExecutiveGov’s round-up of news you need to read to stay up to speed on federal policy impacting the government-contracting community.

Image: Melanie Gamarra

 

Image: Juan Fuertes

New DHS Cybersecurity Strategy

Automation, interoperability and authentication are the three “building blocks for a healthy cyber ecosystem,” according to a new Department of Homeland Security white paper.

InformationWeek reports the paper, which lays out the framework for a centralized federal cyber defense network, was designed with input from 13 federal agencies at a cybersecurity workshop last year

Click here for more.

CIO Vivek Kundra, Photo: OMB.gov

E-government Fund to Face Cuts?

Federal Computer Week reports that the $34 million e-government fund — administered by federal Chief Information Office Vivek Kundra for such projects as Data.gov and USASpending.gov — could have its budget reduced to $2 million for the rest of the fiscal year because of cuts in congressional appropriations.

Click here to read more about what the Sunlight Foundation calls a “Budget Technopocalypse.”

Cloud Solution for Federal ID Card Mandate?

The federal government has been pushing agencies to install digital ID card readers to comply with a security mandate that federal employees and contractors carry Icards embedded with a digital copy of their fingerprints, Nextgov reports. However, the directive, which requires investments in screening software, also comes at a time when the government is looking to shutter federal data centers.

The solution for some agencies, Nextgov reports, is a cloud platform, allowing officials can monitor access control using a secure Internet application.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Teleworking’s Next Stop

Sharon Wall, performance management officer at the General Services Administration, said the next step in federal telework efforts — after a year’s-long push for federal legislation was capped by the Telework Improvement Act signed late last year — is determining how many teleworkers there actually are.

“We are trying to bring measures that demonstrate the amount of mobile work that’s happening and forecasting the actual benefits it’s bringing,” she said. “Remote work gives access to the best and brightest people wherever they may be.”

Click here for more.

NASA CTOs Favorable on Mobile Subsidy Plan

According to a Federal Times blog post, NASA CTOs are onboard with an idea federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra proposed last month: Giving federal employees a subsidy to purchase a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a laptop.

“I don’t think it’s much of a leap to say that five years from now, the average NASA employee will be using a mobile computing platform that is essentially a nice display with a browser connected to all their content and social connections through the ubiquitous ‘cloud,’” said James McClellan, NASA’s Johnson Space Center CTO.

Click here for more.

GSA Designs Japan Relief Widget

In response to the ongoing disaster in Japan, the General Services Administration has designed an online tool, known as a widget, to provide access to information about food and air safety, radiation exposure, and evacuation and relief efforts to display on government and agency websites.

Click here for more information.

Cloud is Not a Catch-all

Just in case you needed any more evidence that cloud computing is not a panacea for federal IT, check out the latest blog entry from the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative’s Michael Lee.

“The truth is the complexity behind cloud isn’t in the technology, it is and will be in the varied nature in which it will be procured and implemented throughout the federal government,” he writes. Cloud, he says, could fall prey to the same problems that have plagued IT management for years because of: longstanding issues with acquisition, the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink definition of cloud and a likely future outpouring of private clouds.

Click here for the full blog post.

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Bindu Nair: Pentagon Aims to Accelerate Basic Research’s Impact on Capabilities Through Pilot Program

Bindu Nair, deputy director for basic research at the Defense Department, told Federal News Network in an interview published Thursday that DoD intends to speed up basic research’s impact on capabilities through the Defense Enterprise Science Initiative. The Pentagon selected five university-industry teams in August for the DESI pilot program that seeks to address technological gaps and support other basic research initiatives within the department.

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