Technocrat | April 22, 2019: Feeling (In)Secure

What’s New This Week:

Feeling (In)Secure

When special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his long-awaited report last week, it became evident that America’s election security needs major improvements and they need to happen fast — before the 2020 presidential election.

The 448-page document described in detail how the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election “in a sweeping and systematic fashion.” Meanwhile, Politico reported that states have been slow in spending their federal grant money to buy new technology, with some states choosing to replace voting machines with less secure devices.

While Mueller’s probe shows how much work still needs to be done, it’s a push that election officials, lawmakers, federal agencies, and tech companies needed to boost cybersecurity efforts.

Government agencies are increasingly recognizing the importance of cybersecurity and equipping existing employees with valuable skills. That’s why the Federal Cyber Reskilling Academy — which was launched last week with its first class of 30 students — aims to train federal workers without IT experience in cyberdefense analysis.

Security is top of mind for the Defense Department, which is constantly searching for ways to address a growing need for fast and secure transmission of data. The DOD recently asked the industry for ideas on how to help the military adopt 5G communications technology, which would improve data transmission speeds in the field. BGOV’s Robert Levinson explains more in this week’s exclusive story.

Moving on to emerging tech … One area where agencies are likely to spend big over the next couple of years is blockchain. Blockchain integration is now in the early stages governmentwide. Still, spending on the emerging technology is expected to increase from $10.7 million in 2017 to $123.5 million in 2022, according to a new report.

Some argue that technology with privacy risks, like facial recognition, doesn’t belong in government.  Amazon is trying to decide whether it should sell its Rekognition tool to federal agencies, and the company’s shareholders are meeting next month to vote on the matter.

There’s more news you can use below, so keep reading!


Red Hat Ansible Automation

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Get Smart

“Despite the challenges posed by Huawei’s dominance, the U.S. military is ready to embrace the capabilities of 5G technology.”

—Robert Levinson, senior defense analyst with Bloomberg Government

Read more in this week’s exclusive from Bloomberg Government.

Beyond Legacy

Army Experiments with Enterprise-IT-as-a-Service

Bidding for GSA’s COMET Contract Takes Off

The General Services Administration is moving ahead with its CIO Modernization and Enterprise Transformation contract. Bidding is now open for COMET, which will replace current backend systems the GSA uses for governmentwide procurement efforts. Read more.

Agencies Struggling with Data Center Consolidation

By the end of fiscal 2018, federal agencies should have closed a quarter of their tiered data centers and more than half of non-tiered data centers to save money. But only some agencies were able to meet that goal, the Government Accountability Office found in a new report. Read more.

In the Cloud

Judge Sets New Timeline for JEDI Cloud Contract

More details surfaced this week about the Pentagon’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract, which will not be awarded before July 19. The news comes as a Court of Federal Claims judge lifted a stay on an Oracle lawsuit against JEDI. Read more.

The Navy Explores Network-as-a-Service

The Navy is looking for a way to migrate its network communication, data, and services to the cloud to improve operations. Network-as-a-service — now in test phase — could give users easier access to the information they need regardless of their location, the Navy said. Read more.


Red Hat Ansible Automation

Deploy apps. Manage Systems. Crush complexity.
Automation is the use of technology to perform tasks without human assistance. This can be found in manufacturing, robotics, vehicle control, and other industries. It can also be found in the world of technology-in IT systems and business decision software.

Click here to learn more about Red Hat Ansible Automation.


Strategy & Leadership

DHS Gets New Chief Technology Officer

Brian Teeple is taking over as chief technology officer at the Department of Homeland Security. Teeple previously served as the Defense Department’s acting deputy CIO for command, control, communications, and computers and information infrastructure capabilities. Read more.

Looking Ahead at Innovative Federal Programs

Anil Cheriyan,  the new director of GSA’s Technology Transformation Service, takes a closer look at the future of innovative government programs, including the Centers of Excellence, 18F, and FedRAMP — and the challenges facing agencies — in a Nextgov Q&A. Read more.

Next Tech

Intel Community to Address AI Vulnerabilities  

How can the government prevent adversarial machine learning and stop attackers from turning artificial intelligence tools against users? The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity wants to find out as it lays the groundwork for new programs. Read more.

Government Needs Real Uses for Emerging Tech

With so much focus on quantum computing and AI, it’s important that lawmakers and investors maintain interest in near-term applications in government, industry experts argued during a recent Intelligence and National Security Alliance event. Read more.

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