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FCW Insider: Jan. 28

The Office of Management and Budget instructed agencies to call feds back to work after a 35-day shutdown that included two missed paychecks for 800,000 federal employees. The big government payroll services kicked into high gear to get back pay to employees -- they're hoping to have everyone paid by Jan. 31. Adam Mazmanian has more.

President Donald Trump announced a deal with Congress to fund the government while negotiations for border security priorities take place. Adam has the story.

The shutdown hit the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency just as it was getting off the ground. Derek B. Johnson has the inside scoop on how CISA plans to spin up after the shutdown while keeping pace with implementing an emergency cybersecurity directive.

The research arm of the Defense Department looks to a Colorado mine for next leg of its tunnel mapping tech challenge. Mark Rockwell explains how DARPA is digging into underground mapping.

Implementing modern procurement technology and best practices is an investment, not an expense, which will deliver returns over time. Ty Levine offers a better way to manage modernizing funds in this FCW commentary.

Quick Hits

*** Smash and grab attacks are common on the public cloud, according to a recent study.

Cybersecurity provider Armor said in a report that it found and neutralized 681 million cyberattacks aimed at its 1,200 cloud customers in 2018. Its customers are in the financial/financial services, retail, healthcare, insurance, software and IT solution providers, and utilities.

The vast majority of the attempted incursions were attacks of opportunity, not specifically targeting specific organizations, it said. Attackers acted much like predators -- hunting weak targets, continually probing possible victims for vulnerability then pressing in when one was found.

Those millions of attacks, it said, mostly leveraged older attack techniques. The top four attack vectors, it said, were attacks against known software vulnerabilities; brute force attacks, such as distributed denial of service, web application attacks, such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection, as well as attacks that targeted the internet of things.

IT managers, it said, should not take solace because attackers aren't generally targeting specific organizations. The randomness of such attacks doesn't lower organizational risk. Organizations should be watching for tell-tale scans and act before attackers get a foothold.

*** Space Command, the latest combatant command, is poised to stand up in early 2019.

Lt. Gen. David Thompson, vice commander of the Air Force Space Command, said Jan. 25 that the future Space Command in the final planning stages and set to come in early 2019.

Thompson, speaking after an Air Force Association Mitchell Institute, told reporters that Space Command’s earliest priorities are making the transition seamless and continue to provide the mission support and be able to withstand incoming demands.

"Really on day one, that staff that exists is going to have to be large enough and robust enough to be able to effectively conduct some of those activities every single day," he said, adding that it would take years to be completely staffed.

The Air Force is also working on a consolidated, enterprise approach for satellite communications for the future U.S. Space Command.

"We're in the process of developing an enterprise approach, strategy, and architecture for all satellite communications," he said. "At the end of the day, the user should not and will not care whether it’s being provided by a military capability or one of our commercial partners."

The president elevated Space Command to a unified combatant command via an executive memo Dec. 18 to include warfighting capabilities, current space-related responsibilities, and Joint Force Provider and Joint Force Trainer for Space Operations Forces duties.

Air Force Space Command assumed oversight of the provision of commercial satellite communications for the Defense Department, which was formerly tasked to the Defense Information Systems Agency.

With regards to how the combatant Space Command would work with the president’s proposed Space Force, Thompson said "it will be an exciting 2019" as the proposal heads to Congress.

Posted on Jan 28, 2019 at 12:51 AM


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