News Roundup

Monday Roundup: Cyberturf, mentoring and web-traffic mysteries

Is DOD taking over cybersecurity? "It was bound to happen," Foreign Policy suggests. "The Senate fumbles and the House proffers only magical solutions for cybersecurity. The task of improving cybersecurity reverts to the executive branch, but the Department of Homeland Security does not inspire confidence. So the Department of Defense (DOD) is given a larger role in protecting cyberspace -- a responsibility that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta finally claimed" in last week's speech.

 

Intelligence officials "increasingly convinced" Iran was behind recent cyberattacks. The New York Times reported that "Iran has a motive, to retaliate for both the American-led financial sanctions that have cut its oil exports nearly in half," and that "American officials described an emerging shadow war of attacks and counterattacks already under way between the United States and Iran in cyberspace."

 

Feds turn to mentoring. With a half-million federal employees qualifying for retirement, more senior executives are opting for a chance to mentor, the Federal Times reports. Farrell Chiles, a retired human resources executive for the Army Reserve, put it this way:  "If you do not help your employees move up, improve their talents and abilities, and identify people for upward mobility, then you have failed as a leader."

 

New maps for energy data. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has launched a new state energy portal, displaying data-rich maps of national, state or local areas for items such as electricity or fossil fuel resources. FedScoop reports that the portal "upgrades and builds on EIA's popular state energy profiles."

 

IRS experiences unintended identity theft. The Internal Revenue Service has been experiencing a large number of identity thefts, due to the push to deliver tax refunds more quickly, reports Fierce Government IT. IRS officials report detecting 938,664 returns involving identity theft, claiming a total of $6.5 billion in refunds in 2011.

 

The "dark matter" of web traffic. As agencies are moving to improve website metrics as required by the administration's Digital Government Strategy, The Atlantic explains just how big the blind spots in web analytics can be.

 

What can feds learn from private-sector CIOs? Gartner shares some insights gleaned from a recent conference for global private-sector CIOs.

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