News in Brief

Paul Wester exits NARA, NNSA ups spending on cloud and more

Image courtesy of ARMA NOVA: Paul Wester.

Former Chief Records Officer Paul Wester

Paul Wester departs NARA

Paul Wester has left his post as Chief Records Officer of the United States. His last day was Oct. 2; he will take up the job of director of Agriculture Department's National Agricultural Library on Oct. 19.

As the top records officer, Wester led the effort, housed at the National Archives and Records Administration, to implement an executive order on recordkeeping that requires agencies to manage all email records in electronic format by the end of 2016, and to manage all electronic records in their original format, whether .pdf or Snapchat or podcast.

Wester was also the person irate legislators summoned to testify for any and every government email mishap, whether it was the use of unlisted email aliases by top officials, or the loss of troves of email records on the part of a certain IRS official enmeshed in a political scandal -- or when it was revealed that a former secretary of State had conducted the entirety of her official government correspondence via a privately held and managed email server.

In a July 2015 profile, Wester told FCW that he liked to view such public eruptions of the "mundane" business of records management as teaching moments. "It's giving records officers and senior agency officials the opportunity to have conversations with people they were never having conversations about regarding these issues," he said.

Laurence Brewer, currently director of the Life Cycle Management Division in the Modern Records Program at NARA, will serve as acting chief records officer until a permanent replacement is named.

NNSA ups spending on cloud

The Department of Energy agency that oversees management of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile is also making sure its cloud services are up to date.

The National Nuclear Security Administration plans to procure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) operations and maintenance capabilities under an existing task order with current cloud provider ActioNet.

NNSA is in the midst of an "aggressive" IT transformation strategy that looks to lower costs, improve security and enable collaboration solutions, according to contracting documents posted Oct. 1 on the FedBizOpps contracting website.

The agency is expanding an original $6.2 million, five-year task order with ActioNet, dating to February 2013, under the General Service Administration's Alliant Small Business Government-Wide Acquisition Contract.

The efforts, it said, will create a network architecture allowing streamlined deployment of future enterprise capabilities, such as automated security plans, one-click procurement, simple lifecycle management and other capabilities. Currently, ActioNet provides data center facilities, base network, computing and storage capabilities, and bandwidth needs on an Infrastructure as a Service model.

The announcement said NNSA wants to raise the ceiling value of the IaaS task order for YOURcloud to accommodate such additional services as monitoring infrastructure health; monitoring network statistics and disk space; changing administrative passwords regularly; reviewing alert e-mails that contain information warning of problems; and other maintenance functions.

Private sector planning to spend on protecting mobile

It’s not just feds worrying about mobile security -- the private sector is jittery too.

In an Oct. 5 report, IDG Research and the mobile security firm Lookout published the results of a survey of IT leaders and IT security executives from across private industry.

The major findings: 82 percent of respondents said mobile devices can access the majority of their corporate data, while 74 percent said mobile security lapses have led to a breach at their company.

Malware-laden and insecure apps and unsecured Wi-Fi connections were among respondents' top concerns.

The report's good news: As millennials join the workforce and federal agencies wrestle with protecting data, the private sector is beefing up its mobile focus. Ninety of the IDG survey’s 100 respondents said boosting mobile security investments will be a major priority over the coming year.

Read the full report here.

Manufacturing, meet the Internet

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is pouring $6.5 million into dozens of Internet-enabled manufacturing projects, the agency announced Oct. 2.

The funds will fuel 30 research projects at 28 universities, focusing on such areas cyber-manufacturing operating systems, apps and 3D printing.

NSF's statement said the agency hopes to help spur a Web-based transformation in manufacturing similar to the Internet’s transformation of the financial, retail and personal service industries.

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