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FCW Insider: Feb. 7

A China-linked hacking group behind a widespread cyber espionage campaign against IT service providers has gone quiet since two of its members were indicted, but DHS officials say the group remains an active threat to American businesses. Derek B. Johnson has more.

To truly benefit from shared services and the cloud, agencies should be building a repository of "microservice" business routines – modeled on one of the internet's most successful companies. In a FCW commentary, Michael Garland and Gaurav Pal explain why the government needs to be more like Netflix.

Appropriators in the House of Representatives are probing the legal gray area of excepted operations during a lapse in appropriations. Chase Gunter reports.

A joint exercise in Houston last summer exposed gaps in cybersecurity and infrastructure protection between state, local and federal authorities. Mark Rockwell reports on the lessons of Jack Voltaic 2.0.

Quick Hits

*** The Professional Services Council is backing a proposed rule change to limit the use of the lowest price technically acceptable criteria in defense contracting. In comments filed Feb. 1, the group's Executive Vice President and Counsel Alan Chvotkin wrote that LPTA "has a place in the acquisition toolbox," but it is not appropriate when applied to "complex professional or IT services where higher-level technical capabilities and innovation are often sought."

The proposed amendment to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement was called for in source selection provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act. The provisions specifically named IT, cybersecurity and other technically advanced services as not suitable for LPTA source selection.

*** Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) are teaming up on a bill designed to introduce new ethics requirements into the presidential transition process. The Transition Team Ethics Improvement Act updates existing law governing presidential transition teams, requiring them to develop and release ethics plans covering financial conflict-of-interest issues for the candidates themselves and transition team members. The ethics plans must include details on prohibitions of transition team members working on matters in which they have financial interests. The bill also requires transition team members to sign a code of conduct.

*** Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) called for a national cybersecurity strategy for 5G high-speed wireless networks at a Feb. 6 hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee. "In the push for 5G, we need to make sure we’re not blind to some of the very important policy issues," Cantwell said. "Put simply, 5G networks must be secure, and that starts with having a cybersecurity strategy that focuses on shoring up our defense against hackers and state-sponsored actors of cyberterrorism."

Cantwell, the ranking Democrat on the committee, called on the Trump administration to produce a threat assessment for 5G and provide assurances that the 5G supply chain is secure. In particular, Cantwell wants the U.S. to examine whether any "foreign bad actors" need to be banned from the 5G supply chain.

Posted on Feb 07, 2019 at 1:06 AM


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