FCW Insider: June 24

Top stories, quick hits and other updates from FCW's reporters and editors.

Foreign countries are targeting and compromising U.S. defense contractors so frequently that the Department of Defense asked the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop custom security guidance. Derek B. Johnson has more on what the guidelines mean for the defense industrial base.

Amazon Web Services and the Justice Department pushed back on Oracle's claims of conflict of interest in the development of the requirements of the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud deal The filings also contained a testimonial from the CIO of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about why the Pentagon needs an enterprise-wide cloud capability. Adam Mazmanian has the story.

The new federal data strategy is going to need more than a cadre of chief data officers to build success, according to Brig. Gen. (Ret) Steven J. Spano, regional vice president for public sector at Tableau. Spano argues in this FCW commentary that the vision articulated in the new strategy requires leaders at all levels helping to create an environment where the right business and mission processes and business analytic tools become the center piece of decisions.

The top procurement official at the Department of Homeland Security said that the agency's focus on serving its customers and components sometimes means putting out bespoke procurements rather than relying on shared services or best-in-class solutions. Mark Rockwell explains.

Quick Hits

*** A new report from the Deloitte Center for Government Insights offers worldwide use cases that demonstrate how emerging technologies are gaining a foothold in government management and service delivery. The Government Trends 2020 report looks at how artificial intelligence is allowing national and local governments to developed focused problem solving strategies in areas from traffic management to crime fighting – and how the emergence of AI has led to a discussion of how to code ethics and values into AI applications. The report also looks at how new, more secure digital identity proofing methods are supporting service delivery, how policymakers are tapping insights from behavioral sciences for applications in public health, energy policy and education and how all these efforts are being powered by a new emphasis on cloud and data analytics.

*** According to a Yahoo News report, U.S. Cyber Command struck at an Iranian state hacker group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The attack was reportedly in retaliation for an Iranian campaign of targeting U.S. naval personnel to obtain advance details about the movements of warships in the Persian Gulf. The news comes amid a general ratcheting up of tensions in the region, with Iran suspected of attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf and admitting to downing a U.S. drone aircraft. The U.S. was prepared to launch a military strike against Iran in retaliation, and stood down only after orders from President Trump, which were detailed in multiple twitter posts late Friday.

According to an Associated Press report, U.S. military hackers "disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers."

Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, released a statement on Saturday warning of Iranian efforts to target U.S. businesses with "wiper" attacks aimed at destroying whole networks.

"CISA is aware of a recent rise in malicious cyber activity directed at United States industries and government agencies by Iran regime actors and proxies," Krebs stated.

*** The White House updated its artificial intelligence strategy in a new document that sets out priorities for AI research and development. The new documents adds a plan to expand public-private partnership to push progress on AI to its list of seven research and development priorities formulated in the initial 2016 AI strategy. Michael Kratsios, head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said that the hope is that government, industry, academia and international partners will come together "to generate technological breakthroughs in AI and to rapidly transition those breakthroughs into capabilities."