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Phishing Emails Targeting Veterans are on the Rise -- But Don’t Blame this Website, VA Says

March 22, 2016 Sometimes, the emails offer fake job interviews conducted via Skype or Google Plus during which scammers try to glean Social Security numbers or bank account information. Sometimes, the email schemes are more convoluted, asking recipients to cash what later turns out to be a counterfeit check to send back some...

Does VA’s Plan for Fixing Cyber Weaknesses Take Too Long?

March 17, 2016 The Department of Veterans Affairs’ top tech official says the agency has a plan to close long-ignored watchdog recommendations for improving information security -- but it’ll take some time. Testifying March 16 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, VA Chief Information Officer LaVerne Council said her team plans...

White House Official Steps In as OPM's IT Chief

March 17, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management is hauling in a White House official to temporarily serve as the agency’s IT chief. Lisa Schlosser, the deputy U.S. federal chief information officer, will join OPM as a senior adviser and acting CIO. The agency’s previous tech chief, Donna Seymour, stepped down last month...

VA Fails Cyber Audit Again

March 16, 2016 The Department of Veterans Affairs is still too slow to respond to cyberincidents, does not consistently review security logs for mission-critical systems and is plagued by weak passwords. A March 15 report from the VA Office of the Inspector General concluded information security at VA remains a “material weakness” --...

OPM Needs Another $37M for ‘Critical’ IT Upgrades, Agency Tells Congress

March 15, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management says it will need $37 million in additional funding next year -- a 75 percent increase from current levels -- to continue development of a more secure IT infrastructure. After the massive hack of background investigation records was revealed last summer, OPM accelerated plans to...

Obama to Techies: Uncle Sam Needs You

March 14, 2016 President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to visit the South by Southwest Interactive Festival last week -- the tech confab held since 1987 -- making a high-profile pitch for more technologists to join government. During an onstage Q&A, Obama touched on the role of government and the balance...

Industry Report Warns: Federal CISO Could Be ‘Disruptive’

March 11, 2016 The Obama administration’s move to hire the first-ever federal chief information security officer in the wake of wide-scale hacking of government computer systems is a positive step, according to a group of industry executives that advises the president. But adding the new role could be “disruptive,” the execs warn and...

New White House Open Source Policy Makes it Easier for Agencies to Reuse Custom Software

March 10, 2016 A new White House open source software policy requires federal agencies to make sure custom-developed source code can be shared and reused across the government. The new policy, set to be released today, applies both to code written by the government as well as custom software developed by contractors specifically...

IT Fund Gets a Thumbs Up from CIOs. But is $3 Billion Enough?

March 9, 2016 The Obama administration’s proposal to create a $3 billion IT modernization fund to help agencies pay for much-needed system upgrades is getting the seal of approval from chief information officers and even a key congressional watchdog. But some big questions remain. As the federal IT budget ratchets up to nearly...

5 Charts that Show Where the Federal IT Budget is Headed Next Year

March 8, 2016 Most federal agencies will see boosts in IT spending under President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget proposal, and the overall amount spent on computers, software, mobile devices and tech personnel across the federal government is set to top nearly $90 billion for the first time. Of the 25 largest civilian...