Sweet dreams

If you are an information security manager, quite a few things probably keep you from sleeping peacefully at night. Security vulnerabilities in operating systems and application software that make networked systems easy targets for attacks are being discovered daily. Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and sophisticated. New security challenges arise with new technologies, and services are emerging that help boost productivity, ensure information sharing and collaboration, and usher in a new era of e-government and e-commerce. So it would be no surprise if you have many restless nights.

Fortunately, technologies that can help you mitigate risk and fortify your network infrastructure are available. In the following special report, we examine four areas of concern and the technologies that can help you protect critical assets while providing a platform for the secure exchange of information and online transactions.

We start with an examination of automated patch management. It may not be a panacea, but it can help you plug a good percentage of those security holes that make your systems vulnerable. Then, we look at some advances in identity management that will help you not only determine who is allowed on your network and what assets they can access but also what they are doing while they are there. Next, we look at smart cards: Will they emerge as the most effective tamper-resistant credential for access to buildings and networks for many federal agencies? And finally, we explore threat management and examine the strategies and underlying technologies you need to block attacks and intruders. As one security expert points out, "no network is perfect." Your task is to reduce the risks as much as you can to protect your information technology infrastructure. We hope these articles will help you in that task and make your dreams sweeter.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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