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Deception: An Underrated Tool in the Fight Against Cyberattacks

By John Breeden II // 12:17 PM ET

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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

Everyone is familiar with the concept of deception. In its most basic form, in terms of human interaction, it’s simply lying. Generally, it’s considered a terrible thing, but perhaps not anymore in cybersecurity, where lying might be the key to keeping assets and agencies safe.

As a tool, deception has a long history in warfare, with several huge successes like Operation Fortitude during World War II that convinced the Germans to ignore the ongoing landings in Normandy on D-Day for fear that much larger force—which consisted mostly of balloon tanks—would soon be attacking farther up the coast. In nature, deception has been in play even longer. The peacock is not an overly formidable bird, but its beautiful plumage suggests otherwise to would-be predators.

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In cybersecurity, however, it’s a relatively new concept, but one that shows...

4 Possible Agency Responses to the DATA Act

By Hudson Hollister and Demek Adams // June 26, 2017

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Demek Adams is a partner at Grant Thornton and a member of the board of directors of the Data Foundation. Hudson Hollister is the founder of the Data Foundation and the Data Coalition.

The federal government’s new era of financial management is now six weeks old.

On May 9, the DATA Act’s main deadline arrived. Every federal agency began reporting spending information to the Treasury Department using a new data format.

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The new format—known as the DATA Act Information Model Schema, or DAIMS—provides a durable framework that creates, out of many agencies’ spending details, one picture. Once all the agencies provided information encoded in the DAIMS, Treasury combined their submissions to publish a single, unified data set representing all of the executive branch’s spending.

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson was the first to call for the government’s finances to be brought into “one consolidated mass,” so Congress and the people could “comprehend them … investigate abuses, and consequently … countroul [sic] them.” 

Two hundred and fifteen years later, our government has finally managed to do that.

Treasury’s new spending...

Government Transformation Starts With Employee Digital Experiences

By Matt Gibbons // June 23, 2017

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Matt Gibbons is the senior director of government and government contractor sales for Concur.

Government agencies face many challenges today as they try keep up with citizen expectations. Many agencies are working to secure critical information, move to the cloud and provide citizens with better user experiences that mirror those in the private sector. However, one group of users is regularly overlooked: government employees. 

Too often, government agencies at the federal, state and local levels are unable to accomplish needed upgrades to internal systems because of a variety of reasons. Agencies across all levels of government should focus on overhauling legacy IT systems replacing them with employee-centric systems. This is especially true with travel and expense systems that, when modernized, put employees in the driver seat, resulting in higher productivity and accountability to spend management while assuring better user experiences and data management.

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Government employees expect their technology and reporting systems to function just as well as their technology at home, but that is often not the case. Employees are forced to process requests for office supplies, personal car mileage reimbursements and repayments for...

3 Human Traits We Must Bring to Big Data

By Jane Chappell // June 22, 2017

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Jane Chappell is the vice president of Raytheon’s Global Intelligence Solution.

You check your mailbox and there’s a free subscription to a parenting magazine, a sample of baby formula and coupons for store-brand diapers, but you and your spouse just renewed your AARP membership.

Obviously, something has gone wrong, and the algorithm used to process trends and habits to build a unique profile revealed its limitations. Perhaps you shopped for baby clothes for a new grandchild and the resulting consumer data told the retailer you were likely a parent-to-be rather than a retiree. Mailing samples of baby formula rather than coupons for wine-of-the-month club is expensive to both a store’s reputation and bottom line. But, with a human touch, analytics and machine learning have unlimited potential to enhance the effectiveness of any organization.

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While recent advancements in artificial intelligence and data analytics are impressive, the results of their collective role in our technological age are still being fine-tuned. Even as we approach a more capable version of artificial intelligence, the human-machine partnership is still critical to ensure we avoid mistakes with...

The Core Federal Services Council is Gone. Now What?

By Stephanie Thum // June 21, 2017

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Stephanie Thum, CCXP, is the former vice president of customer experience at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. She is currently practice director, customer experience and analytics at Capitol Management Consulting Services. Follow her on Twitter: @stephaniethum

Last week's memo from the Office of Management and Budget that eliminated, modified or paused dozens of federal agency requirements did away with an interagency initiative that some once thought to be a positive force for more focus on citizen/customer experience in government: the Core Federal Services Council.

OMB created the CFSC in 2016. It was a spinoff of sorts to a multiagency group of agency officials who initially came together several years ago to advance President Barack Obama's management goal on customer service. The idea for CFSC was that a group of high-level executives from the biggest agencies could make government better if they got together, communicated best practices among themselves, and identified strategies for improving citizens' experiences with major federal programs.

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Last week's OMB memo said, in essence, CFSC wasn't working. So, it's now a thing of the...