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FCW Insider: June 6

The General Services Administration just made a round of awards in its Centers of Excellence program. Now the White House-backed effort is looking to future areas of focus including robotics process automation and identity proofing solutions. Mark Rockwell has more.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee see a lot of room for improvement in the Pentagon's efforts to recruit cybersecurity specialists. Lauren C. Williams has the view from the Hill.

The Transportation Security Administration's plans for coordinating pipeline security aren't keeping up with rising threats in cyberspace, according to the Government Accountability Office. Derek B. Johnson explains.

House Democrats hammered the head of the Federal Labor Relations Authority over a move to stop recognizing the employee union and to close two regional offices. Adam Mazmanian reports.

Quick Hits

*** The Federal Data Strategy launched June 4 provides 16 tasks for civilian-side agencies, but the Pentagon is, as is often the case, doing its own thing.

At FedTalks on June 4, DOD Chief Data Officer Michael Conlin said he has been working on a data strategy that will have to be harmonized with the larger federal effort. "But that was expected," he said.

One of the biggest challenges of developing a data strategy, said Dr. Mona Siddiqui, chief data officer at Health and Human Services, is to keep the processes and data gathering practices from becoming just another compliance requirement at agencies.

The big picture, according to Margaret Weichert, who wears two hats as deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget and acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is to identify and corral data that can generate economic activity, citing global positioning systems and weather data.

"All are government sourced and have driven billions of dollars of value creation in the private sector," she said. "We need to do more of that."

*** The National Security Agency published a rare cybersecurity advisory pointing to a vulnerability dubbed BlueKeep that could facilitate complete remote takeovers of unpatched legacy Windows systems. NSA is urging administrators to apply patches to affected systems, including  Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and others. The spy agency warns that the vulnerability is easily spread and that "it is likely only a matter of time before remote exploitation tools are widely available for this vulnerability. NSA is concerned that malicious cyber actors will use the vulnerability in ransomware and exploit kits containing other known exploits, increasing capabilities against other unpatched systems."

Posted on Jun 06, 2019 at 2:22 AM


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