Darwin McDaniel

CISA Defines Critical Functions of Feds, Industry for National Security

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a list of national critical functions to guide the federal government and private sector partners in protecting critical infrastructures. The National Critical Functions document highlights the activities of agencies and organizations that significantly contribute to U.S. national security, CISA said in the document released Tuesday

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U.S. Air Force F-35As Conducts First Combat Employment

The U.S. Air Force conducted the first combat employment of the F-35A Lightning II aircraft as part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq. The service said Tuesday that two of the fighter jets from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, performed an airstrike targeting a tunnel network and weapons cache controlled by the Islamic State group in the Hamrin Mountains. For the mission, the Air Force equipped the F-35As with a Joint Direct Attack Munition to support the airstrike.

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DHS Looks to Build In-House Contract for Agile Development

The Department of Homeland Security is working on an in-house contract focusing on agile development to accelerate the modernization of information technology for the agency and its components, Nextgov reported Tuesday. The effort comes after Homeland Security Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa unveiled the third iteration of the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading-Edge Solutions contract in December.

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USDA Makes Progress in Modernization as Center of Excellence

A top official at the General Services Administration said the Department of Agriculture is moving forward with its modernization efforts to consolidate data and call centers, FedTech Magazine reported Monday. The progress comes after USDA received the federal Center of Excellence designation from the White House. 

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DARPA Tests Autonomous Techs Ahead of Subterranean Challenge

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency hosted the SubT Integration Exercise that gathered local and international teams to test autonomous air and ground systems for navigating underground areas. DARPA said Monday that the event in Idaho Springs, Colo., marked the initial phase of its Subterranean Challenge intended to provide service members and first responders with new technologies to map, navigate and search underground environments. 

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GAO Sees Effective Implementation of FITARA to Update Federal IT

The Government Accountability Office discovered that nine agencies successfully implemented provisions of a 2014 law requiring changes to governmentwide information technology management. GAO released a report on Monday highlighting the 12 practices that helped agencies implement the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act

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Labor Dept Integrates New Tool for Cyber Risk Monitoring

The Department of Labor will integrate a new algorithm into its continuous monitoring dashboard to identify and track vulnerabilities of the agency’s information technology assets, FedScoop reported Friday. The new Agency-Wide Adaptive Risk Enumeration tool was built under the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program to monitor millions of assets across the entire federal government. 

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DoD Takes New Look on How to Secure Defense Industrial Base

Ellen Lord, under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment and Wash100 Award winner, announced new efforts to improve how the Pentagon will identify the companies at risk of cyber attacks, USNI News reported Friday. “So what I’ve mandated is, this year we will come up with a National Cybersecurity Standard with metrics, and we will develop third-party independent auditors who can go and audit against those cybersecurity standards,” she said at a recent U.S. Naval Institute meeting.

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Federal CISO Calls for Scalable Approach to Secure Supply Chain

Grant Schneider, federal chief information security officer, said the government should expand its approach for providing security to the federal supply chain to stay ahead of the latest threats, Nextgov reported Thursday. The government implements government-wide restrictions to secure networks and contractors.

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