News in Brief

Fraud-fighting analytics, email security and border IT

data abstract

Senate bill uses analytics to target federal fraud

A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate would require federal agencies to assess the risk of fraud in their programs and develop strategies to fight it, while also tasking them with developing and using cutting-edge data analysis tools to ferret out suspicious activity, similar to how private sector credit card companies spot patterns of fraud.

The Fraud Reduction and Data Analytics Act of 2015, sponsored by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) was written in response to a critical Government Accountability Office study that highlighted the need for federal managers to take a more strategic, pro-active, risk-based approach to managing fraud risks and developing effective antifraud controls.

"Our bill would, among other things, require federal officials to determine what areas of government spending are at the greatest risk for fraud, develop an action plan, and then share those solutions across agencies with similar programs," said Sen. Carper, ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

NIST initiatives tackle email security

Two nascent initiatives from the National Institute of Standards and Technology are aimed at strengthening the fragile state of email security. A NIST draft document offers guidance on meeting federal requirements for email security. The Internet’s foundational email protocol was adopted in 1982 and "is susceptible to a wide range of attacks including man-in-the-middle content modification and content surveillance," the document stated. Meanwhile, NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence is developing a guide that will explain how to build an email platform that meets “federal and industry security and privacy requirements using commercially available tools and components,” the institute said.

DHS extends Unisys for key border operations

The Department of Homeland Security awarded a sole-source, year-long $27 million bridge contract to Unisys Corp. to help Customs and Border Protection’s  Passenger Systems Directorate’s Land Border Integration program to continue operation, maintenance of some of its data systems, as well as test facilities and an LBI dashboard, according to documents posted on Fed Biz Opps.

The contract, said DHS, will allow ongoing operation of Test Lane Facilities that house full-scale operating examples of all of LBI’s existing systems solutions, as well as hosting the LBI Dashboard. The dashboard, it said allow real-time, remote monitoring of over 900 deployed LBI systems across the country. Under the contract, Unysis will provide systems engineering, technical and program management services, as well as provide ongoing operation and maintenance for system performance.

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