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Watchdogs Prep for Review of Agencies’ IT Security Policies

March 4, 2016 A Commerce Department watchdog is putting agency officials on notice: His team will be poking around the agency’s policies for protecting computer systems from cyberattacks. A Feb. 29 memo from Allen Crawley, the assistant inspector general for systems acquisition and IT security, says the IG’s office is kicking off an...

Most CISOs Lack Direct Line to the Boss

March 3, 2016 When the Obama administration announced last month plans to name the first-ever federal chief information security officer, officials said the notoriously behind-the-curve federal government would finally join a trend many businesses adopted years ago. The CISO is “a key role that many private sector companies have long implemented and is...

IT Upgrade Fund Faces More Skepticism in Congress

March 2, 2016 Legislation to establish a $3.1 billion revolving fund to help federal agencies pay for IT system upgrades will soon be on its way to Capitol Hill. Denise Turner Roth, the head of the General Services Administration, said this week the Obama administration planned to deliver to lawmakers proposed legislation for...

Could Twitter-Savvy Teens Help Government Tackle Social Media Screening?

February 29, 2016 A systematic effort to analyze the Facebook and Twitter accounts of people undergoing background investigations to handle sensitive government information is still mostly stuck in the planning phases. Maybe it’s time to haul in a few social media-savvy teens. That’s what House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz,...

Oversight Chairman: $3 Billion IT Upgrade Fund ‘Hogwash’

February 26, 2016 A top Capitol Hill Republican is not a fan of the Obama administration’s plan to help federal agencies upgrade outdated IT systems -- or at least its price tag. The White House’s 2017 budget, released earlier this month, proposes establishing a $3.1 billion revolving fund devoted specifically to helping agencies...

Is the New IT Plan to Protect Security Clearance Docs ‘Headed for Another Disaster?'

February 25, 2016 The Pentagon is preparing to undertake a full-scale security assessment of the previously hacked and patched-over IT systems currently used to store background investigation files. Defense Department Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen told a House committee today the security scan is the first step in a process being led by...

See Something Suspicious Online? Homeland Security Wants to Know About It

February 17, 2016 The Department of Homeland Security wants an extra $1 million next year to develop a public-service campaign designed to increase awareness of online threats. The new initiative will be modeled on the “If You See Something, Say Something” effort rolled out after the Sept. 11 attacks. The new cyber PSA...

Will Congress Write a $3 Billion Check for Better Federal IT Systems?

February 16, 2016 This article was updated Feb. 17 to include a statement from an Obama administration official. Last week, the Obama administration announced a big push to upgrade outdated and obsolete federal IT systems. The fiscal 2017 budget -- the last of the Obama administration -- called for the creation of a...

8 Things to Look For in the 2017 IT Budget

February 10, 2016 The Obama administration is seeking substantial budget increases to shore up cybersecurity protections at federal agencies and proposing a new funding scheme to help pay for badly needed upgrades for some of the ancient IT systems gathering cobwebs in government. Those are some of the big-ticket items in the fiscal...

Do You Have What It Takes to be the Federal Government’s Chief Information Security Officer?

February 9, 2016 As part of a National Cybersecurity Action Plan unveiled today, the Obama administration announced plans to hire the first-ever federal chief information security officer. The new federal CISO, which will be “the recognized federal expert and authority” on the government’s cybersecurity policies, according to the USAJobs announcement, which went live...