News in Brief

McCain touts DOD/Silicon Valley ties, RAND ponders cyber reputations, and more

Map of Silicon Valley (PR Newswire/

McCain: Defense bill good for Silicon Valley

Arizona Republican John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made the case in a June 10 op-ed for Wired that the Senate's fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill can foster closer collaboration between Silicon Valley startups and the Defense Department.

The bill, which has been approved by McCain's committee but awaits full Senate consideration, would make it "easier for non-traditional firms to do business with the Pentagon" by "adopting commercial buying practices," he wrote. The legislation would also protect firms' intellectual property, he added.

To defend the nation, the Pentagon needs to "access innovation in areas such as cyber, robotics, data analytics, miniaturization and autonomy, innovation that is much more likely to come from Silicon Valley, Austin or Mesa [Arizona] than Washington," McCain wrote.

RAND: Cyberattack bad for reputation

The effect of a cyberattack on an organization's reputation is a bigger worry to private-sector CIOs than the direct costs of such an attack, a new study from the RAND Corporation suggests.

"The Defender's Dilemma: Charting a Course Toward Cybersecurity" focused on the private sector, but suggested some government could take to address the problem, including the creation of guides delineating how systems fail, which would help companies minimize the negative effects of a cybersecurity breach.

Information-sharing would be crucial to such an effort, the report said, not merely through the direct sharing of threat information, but through building a common understanding of how systems fail and thereby helping defense systems to evolve more quickly.

Former FBI Cyber CTO joins private sector

Milan Patel, formerly the chief technology officer in the FBI's cyber division, is now managing director of K2 Intelligence, the cybersecurity firm announced recently.

Patel will add to the firm's "rapidly growing cyber practice focused on helping clients prepare for and respond to cyber threats and attacks," K2 Intelligence President and CEO Jeremy Kroll said in a statement.

White House updating opengov roadmap

Open government advocates should put on their thinking caps as the United States plans its third National Action Plan, GCN reports.

The first U.S. NAP was published in 2011. The second, published in 2013, is still being implemented through the end of 2015. The third NAP will expand on existing initiatives and address new ways to improve government transparency, accountability and response in the next two years.

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