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4 Myths of Citizen Experience

By Josh Plaskoff // July 30, 2015

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Josh Plaskoff is director of learning and technology service development at HighPoint Global

Any time we face new challenges that require a shift in thinking, we are naturally drawn to pathways that are the familiar, the comfortable, the expedient or the one of least resistance. The result is that we generate myths based on old ways of thinking that can derail even the most conscientious effort. What is required for success is to abandon old myths and fundamentally shift our thinking.  

The government needs to revamp the way it interacts with citizens. Recent surveys show incredibly low “customer satisfaction” and trust levels with federal agencies. Citizen experience, or CX, is more than improving call center metrics; it involves a holistic look at how and where citizens interact with the government and improving these touch points to meet their expectations. To do this, we need to do some myth-busting to ensure the changes implemented make a real difference.

Myth #1: The right technology will create the best citizen experience.

This has been a classic error made with almost every organizational change. In the early days of knowledge management, technology was often pitched as the solution to harnessing an organization’s intellectual...

The Future-Forward Cybersecurity Fix

By Chris Edwards // July 29, 2015

Chris Edwards is chief technology officer at Intercede.

Recent breaches to U.S. federal computer networks – such as the Office of Personnel Management hack – have catapulted the need for improved identity management and authenticated access to the top of the national agenda. The White House-mandated a 30-day call for action for all federal agencies: tighter control of privileged user access and multifactor authentication.

After closing out the “30-day sprint” July 11, the government committed to a July 20 results announcement date only to delay the release until an undetermined date. The delay may serve as an indication the government has a long way to go in its efforts to increase network security, yet meeting the call for improved identity authentication is largely achievable within the existing infrastructure of any government computer network. Today, all federal employees have already been issued Personal Identity Verification credentials, which can be leveraged by a derived credentials system to instantly enhance secure network access from mobile devices.

The U.S. government is playing catch-up on security primarily because it has not been able to keep up with the advances in technology over the last decade. With the imminent availability of derived PIV credentials, the U...

4 Steps to Boost Records Management Practices

By April Chen // July 28, 2015

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April Chen is product manager at Iron Mountain Government Services.

News reports of the past year contained more than a few indicators that the state of federal records and information management is not living up to its potential. According to internal self-assessments, oversight reports and employee surveys, one of the key challenges in reaching an ideal management state is a lack of confidence regarding what constitutes a record and the proper policy for handling them.

In fact, it was roughly a year and a half ago the Government Accountability Office reported a lack of current data, agency personnel and formal policy framework were driving records management uncertainty and noncompliance.

Agencies have been taking steps to address these issues, and have worked to mitigate self-reported challenges by designating or reaffirming knowledgeable staff and developing or implementing management plans.

To highlight the progress agencies have made, a May 2015 GAO report on information management identified significant improvements in RIM practices, with the majority of agencies properly designating a senior agency official in charge of records management self-reporting and taking action to address the requirements laid out by the joint Office of Management and Budget and National Archives and Records Administration's “Managing...

Government Hacked Yet Again. It's About Time Federal Cybersecurity Became a National Issue

By Darren Guccione // July 25, 2015

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Darren Guccione is CEO of Keeper Security.

The group of hacktivists, Anonymous, claimed in a tweet on Wednesday they hacked the Census Bureau and leaked employee details online. The hack was in protest of TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), which is an agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and E.U. critics say would increase corporate power and make it more difficult to regulate markets. The leaked Census Bureau data includes names, emails, phone numbers, positions and password hashes of employees.

This breach comes just one month after it was revealed the Office of Personnel Management was hacked. However, the massive OPM breach isn’t just one more high-profile hack. It’s a wake-up call for all Americans that we need to make government cybersecurity a national issue. What’s at stake aren’t just the identities of federal government employees or state secrets, but the digital security of all Americans.

Yet, the aftermath of the OPM hack, with all its humiliating details of ignored warnings, has shown the federal government is both stubbornly slow to fix mistakes and woefully understaffed with cybersecurity experts.

As recently as 2013, the security firm Veracode ranked the government as the most...

How to Secure an Increasingly Mobile Federal Workforce

By Chris Edwards // July 21, 2015

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Chris Edwards is the chief technology officer of Intercede.

In the wake of the recent security breaches of the Internal Revenue Service and Office of Personnel Management, government officials are starting to fully address their own data vulnerabilities to ensure their agencies do not suffer the same fate. 

To fight back and protect sensitive data from falling into the hands of nefarious organizations or opportunistic hackers, federal agencies with a mobile workforce must now deploy more robust technology to enhance data security on mobile devices. Fortunately, there is now a way to create mobile identity credentials to the same strict security standards as federal employees’ smart cards, without the process becoming cumbersome for the end user.

According to a recent survey by IDC Government Insights, growth of tablets in the government sector is projected to increase by double-digits for the next several years, following the meteoric rise of smartphone adoption. Federal employees now can – and do – access sensitive information from their mobile devices, and agencies of all sizes must take the appropriate steps to protect digital assets and sensitive data. Failure to do so could lead to the theft of such data, causing disruption not just for the agency, but...