Brenda Marie Rivers

DOL Issues Cybersecurity Guidance on Protecting Retirement Plan Assets; Ali Khawar Quoted

Cybersecurity Competition

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released new guidelines on ensuring the cybersecurity of systems that are key to protecting $9.3 trillion in retirement benefits for over 34 million participants in contribution plans. DOL said Wednesday that the Employee Benefits Security Administration‘s (EBSA) guidance includes cybersecurity best practices and is geared toward plan sponsors and fiduciaries, participants and record keepers.

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Bipartisan Senators Reintroduce Legislation on Federal Cyber Workforce Development; Sen. Jacky Rosen Quoted

Cyber Workforce

Three bipartisan senators have reintroduced a bill to retain and develop the skills of federal cybersecurity professionals. Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., John Hoeven, R-N.D. and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., reintroduced the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act to improve the recruitment and retention of cyber employees across the federal government, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Tuesday.

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President Biden Nominates Jill Hruby for NNSA Administrator; Jennifer Granholm Quoted

Jill Hruby

President Biden has nominated Jill Hruby, former director of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), as the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and undersecretary for nuclear security. The White House said Wednesday that Hruby joined SNL as a technical staff member in 1983 and retired from the laboratories in 2017.

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NIST Seeks Feedback on Plans to Automate Cryptographic Module Validation Program

Cryptographic Module

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is looking for public input on its plans to automate validation procedures for cryptographic modules. NCCoE intends to conduct first-party and independent testing of automated processes for the Cryptographic Module Validation Program, including the relay of data to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

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V-22 Tiltrotor Program Office Eyes Survivability, Medium-Lift Capability Updates; Col. Matthew Kelly Quoted

V-22 Osprey

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is working with the U.S. Marine Corps to improve the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft’s survivability and establish its assault-support elements in high-threat situations. Kelly noted that his office is also looking into implementing helmet-mounted visualization technologies for the MV-22 variant for missions in degraded environments.

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DOD’s Barbara McQuiston, Stefanie Tompkins on Prioritizing Partnerships to Drive Innovation

Technology Development

Barbara McQuiston, acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said the Department of Defense (DoD) must “innovate at speed and scale” to retain leadership in emerging technologies. According to McQuiston, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has been making progress in keeping pace with industry on technology development. The agency currently has 189 companies under contract. 

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NIST Unveils Prototype Tech for Integrating Broadband Into Public Safety Communications Systems

Public Safety

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a prototype system designed to integrate broadband communications technology with aging emergency response radios. NIST said Monday that the prototype is intended to help older Land Mobile Radio towers and handsets benefit from wireless Long-Term Evolution capabilities including voice, video, text, instant messaging and other data-related features.

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House Panels Call on Biden Administration for Partnerships on U.S. Research Security

U.S. Research Security

The members of two House panels have written to President Biden seeking collaborations to ensure the safety of U.S. academic research initiatives against foreign influence. They noted in the letter that an effective approach entails transparency on security risks, coordination on research security requirements and commitment to collaboration and openness.

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President Biden Nominates John Tien, Jen Easterly, Robert Silvers for DHS, CISA Roles

White House

President Biden has nominated U.S. Army veterans John Tien and Jen Easterly to serve as deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), respectively. Tien has been a managing director at Citigroup since 2011 and served as senior director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the National Security Council (NSC) during the Obama and Bush administrations. 

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Air Force Releases FY 2019/2020 Acquisition Management Report; Darlene Costello Quoted

Acquisition Management

A new biennial report from the Department of the Air Force states that the department has made progress in its procurement management through the use of commercial ventures and digital acquisition strategies. The Air Force detailed in the fiscal year 2019/2020 Acquisition Biennial Report how it quickened the pace of delivering technologies to warfighters through rapid acquisition authorities and mid-tier acquisition procedures, the service branch said Friday.

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