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Alexa, How Can Government Adopt Artificial Intelligence Faster?

By Dave Egts // September 16, 2016

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Dave Egts is chief technologist, North America public sector at Red Hat.

Artificial intelligence showed a lot of promise decades ago when many thought expert systems and fuzzy logic would be used everywhere. Unfortunately, that didn't quite come to fruition, largely because the concepts were ahead of their time.

Today, AI is a reality. We use it at home (the aforementioned Alexa, or Apple’s Siri) and at work (so-called smart machines that do everything from monitoring social media traffic to providing second opinions for cancer treatments).

This proliferation is thanks to complementary enabling big data analysis, exa-scale storage, and cloud technologies that cost effectively assist AI algorithms with highly scalable methods to quickly access and analyze massive data sets.

As AI technologies become more and more popular, startups are getting acquired and integrated as software-as-a-service offerings from a small number of large companies like Google, Salesforce, IBM and others.

And as AI moves to SaaS, some government agencies and workloads may miss out on the benefits because of security and privacy requirements, which may put the government at a disadvantage compared to commercial counterparts and consumers.

For instance, many commercial and government IT enterprises take advantage of predictive...

Combating Hackers with Multimodal Biometrics

By J. Kevin Reid // September 15, 2016

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J. Kevin Reid is vice president of national security and CIO at KeyLogic Systems, Inc.

Even the most tech savvy individuals aren’t immune to hackers.

As we become more and more reliant on mobile devices and applications to store sensitive data, the possibility of cyberattacks is always present. This concern is amplified for the federal government, as federal agencies are constantly tasked with combating insider threats and breaches by foreign adversaries.

To mitigate the risk of these threats, whether it’s on soil or in the cyberspace, governments around the world are using multimodal biometrics as a common mode of identification tracking. Here in the United States, the federal government has furthered this initiative by investing heavily in high-quality capture devices for everything from fingerprints to voice recognition to iris scans.

This investment is not unique to this country, as a recent study found the global biometrics market is projected to become a $21.9 billion industry by 2020. While federal agencies have been able to use biometrics to protect its board and networks, the continued growth of the technology presents a new set of challenges. As anyone involved with cybersecurity can attest, adversaries are always hunting for ways...

12 Washington Leaders the Tech Community Needs

By Gary Shapiro // September 13, 2016

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Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,200 consumer technology companies, and author of The New York Times best-selling books, “Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses” and “The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.” His views are his own. Connect with him on Twitter: @GaryShapiro

With the 24/7 media news cycle dominated by the high-wattage presidential contest, it’s easy to lose sight of the other races also on the ballot in November.

The tech community would be wise to focus on—and support accordingly—current and potential members of the House and Senate who have made a huge difference for the industry and U.S. innovation. Among those who deserve your support:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla: Rubio was the only Republican presidential candidate who raised important technology issues—such as the value of the sharing economy—during the GOP presidential nominating process.

In his speeches and book, Rubio discusses the American Dream and the value of innovation in moving the country forward. He is a strong advocate for free trade and high-skilled immigration reform.

Sen. Ron...

Report: IoT Security Failures are 100 Percent Preventable

By Ariel Robinson // September 9, 2016

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One hundred percent of internet of things security failures reported between November 2015 and July 2016 could have been easily avoided had manufacturers and developers taken a more serious approach to security and privacy, according to new research.

That number comes from Online Trust Alliance, a nonprofit that works with companies and policymakers to enhance privacy and security on the internet.

“I wasn’t surprised, but somewhat disappointed that so many of the basics continue to be overlooked,” OTA Executive Director and President Craig Spiezle said in an interview.

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He and his team found that every single security failure could have been identified and addressed before products reached the market if companies had followed the 31 principles and practices outlined in OTA’s "IoT Trust Framework."

That might seem like a lot, but many are basic best practices, such as verifying that patches, firmware and software revisions come from trusted sources—something Nest failed to do that led to malfunctioning thermostats in January 2016—or disabling user accounts after a certain number of invalid login attempts to prevent brute force or other login attacks...

Beyond Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt: A Glimpse Inside Today’s CISO Playbook

By (ISC)² U.S. Government Advisory Council Executive Writers Bureau // September 8, 2016

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This column was produced by (ISC)² U.S. Government Advisory Council Executive Writers Bureau. Patrick D. Howard, CISSP, CISM, Kratos Technology & Training Solutions, was lead author of this peer-reviewed article.

There was a time when chief information security officers employed fear, uncertainty and doubt to motivate adherence to their cybersecurity programs. In particular, they would use FUD to get the attention of executives and managers to communicate program needs and to gain recognition of the CISO’s role. CISOs could gain grudging support by peddling doom at every turn. A CISO’s ability to scare the CIO about a vulnerability or bring sweat to the brow of the CEO about a risk to the organization proved to be a highly effective tactic.

Over time, we have seen the FUD rhetoric is losing its effectiveness in garnering support for an enterprise cybersecurity program. Threats to the organization’s sensitive data and critical systems are now generally understood, and fear of compromise or outage is constant at the strategic and operational levels of the organization.

Consequently, CISOs now operate in an environment where adverse impacts are generally recognized and where the CISO’s role in IT risk management is established and accepted...