recommended reading


4 Key Areas to Consider When Solving the Cybersecurity Talent Gap

By Steve Kirk // October 26, 2016


Steve Kirk is vice president of federal at Fortinet. He is a cybersecurity professional with 17 years of experience, 11 of them with Fortinet. Prior to Fortinet, he worked for network security company Secure Computing, 3Com and Foundry. Kirk has 26 years of experience supporting the U.S. federal sector. He is a graduate of Radford University.

Findings from the “2015 PwC US State of Cybercrime Survey” revealed that only 26 percent of those surveyed feel they have the expertise to address cyber risks associated with implementation of new technologies. This means 74 percent of organizations—essentially three-quarters—don’t have the cybersecurity talent they need.

This is the known quantity of the security talent gap. The unknown quantity is the solution to this gap. Why? Because the scope of the challenge is broad and growing, it requires a broadening range of skill sets that are known but also unknown.

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This is a significant challenge for the public sector. At one point, and not just in the cybersecurity arena, but in multiple other areas of expertise such as law, medicine, engineering etc., the public...

7 Tips to Best Secure Your Agency’s Digital Transformation Efforts

By Chris Borneman // October 21, 2016

Maksim Kabakou/

Chris Borneman is vice president of Software AG Government Solutions. With over 20 years in technology and having held CTO, CIO and COO roles for multiple organizations, Chris has focused his career on delivering value to business through technology and building strong relationships.

As citizens and businesses increasingly prefer to interact with the government online, the need for digital change at federal agencies is imminent. With that said, any digital transformation effort needs to ensure the security and integrity of the underlying systems and their integration interfaces must be solidly intact and scalable.  

One needs look no further than the 2015 Office of Personnel Management data breach for an example of how poor data integration led to massive security vulnerabilities. In addition to the risk of data escaping, new unauthorized data coming in must be protected as well. Even with so many advances, for many agencies, data manipulation through network intrusion is a top concern.

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The availability of our systems should be treated with the same level of care as we invest in our security. As we transition to mobile digital approaches, our capacity...

Automating the Citizen Experience in Government

By Teresa A. Weipert // October 20, 2016

Mathias Rosenthal/

Teresa A. Weipert is senior vice president, Sutherland Government Solutions, a unit of Sutherland Global Services.

Last year at the annual World Economic Forum meeting in DAVOS, a pronouncement was made that the value of digital transformation—for society and the IT industry combined—could be greater than $100 trillion by 2025. That’s a staggering number!

Included in that transformation are digital technologies and cloud-based platforms, as well as analytics, sensors, mobile solutions and a new wave of automation that affects all industries and vertical markets, including financial, energy, security, communications and health.

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While they may be early in their life cycles, all of these technologies already are making their mark on societies, economies and people’s lives.

But with the emergence of the digital era come expectations of accountability, transparency and service. Because industry has been the original catalyst for this transformation, companies have come to recognize the importance of customer experiences in the digital marketplace. Customers want to be informed, and they seek real-time interaction, real-time results.

Delivering excellent customer service requires using newer technologies, integrating existing tools and platforms, and...

6 Items that Should Be on the New Federal CISO’s To-Do List

By Phillip Hallam-Baker // October 19, 2016


Dr. Phillip Hallam-Baker is vice president and principal scientist at Comodo, a global cybersecurity innovator. Contact him at

In his final budget proposal, President Barack Obama highlighted cybersecurity as a top priority and proposed a new position for the federal government: a chief information security officer. 

As part of Obama’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan, this new CISO would be tasked with modernizing government IT and transforming how the government manages cybersecurity.

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While the new CISO, retired Brig. Gen. Gregory Touhill, was just named in September 2016 and is just getting started, the one thing we know with absolute certainty is he will have a difficult job ahead. This is because federal government IT systems have more holes than a colander.

And the next time one of them is breached, Touhill will be the person sent to Capitol Hill to explain what went wrong—similar to how an enterprise CISO is sent to the CEO’s office to explain when a security breach happens.

Imagine for a moment you have been appointed as the new U.S. federal government CISO. What...

Why Defense Contractors Should Embrace Insider Threat Requirements

By John Breeden II // October 12, 2016

Andrea Danti/

John Breeden II is an award-winning journalist and reviewer with over 20 years of experience covering technology and government. He is currently the CEO of the Tech Writers Bureau, a group that creates technological thought leadership content for organizations of all sizes. Twitter: @LabGuys

October is national Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and I think it’s interesting it shares the same calendar space with Halloween. For many people working in government, the prospect of a security breach or hack is at least as scary as the season’s ghosts and goblins are for kids.

But while ghosts are arguably nonexistent and goblins are certainly confined to the realm of Tolkien fantasies, the danger of a cyber threat is all too real, with government becoming a favorite target of attackers in recent years.

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Government has recently been motivated to improve its cybersecurity posture in a sort of trial by fire. The WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden incidents were a one-two punch in the gut in terms of worst-case scenarios. Then, the breach at the Office of Personnel Management that resulted in the theft of more than 21...