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** The Census Bureau needs to tighten up its cloud controls, according to a June 19 report from the Commerce Department Office of Inspector General. The report found "fundamental security deficiencies," including unsecured root keys in its Amazon Web Services GovCloud deployment which was rushed into production for the 2018 end-to-end test. The Census Bureau is required by law to safeguard sensitive data from population surveys.

*** The Defense Department’s top tech job has officially become a presidentially nominated, Senate-confirmed position. The White House announced June 25 of its nomination of current DOD CIO Dana Deasy for the newly converted position.

The DOD CIO position became Senate-confirmed Jan. 1 as part of a slew of new authorities passed in the 2018 NDAA.

Deasy was alerted to the White House email announcing nomination during a Defense Writers Group breakfast. He told reporters that he's been going through the preparatory process necessary for the nomination since the beginning of the year and expects to go through the Senate confirmation hearing process.

"There's no doubt that technology -- think of any conversation you would have with any secretary, any three or four-star [general] today -- I guarantee somewhere in that narrative, technology is going to be front and center of what concerns them and is what is going to enable them," Deasy said.

*** Amid other top DOD leadership shuffles, Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy has assumed responsibilities of Army secretary. Mark Esper, Army Secretary, has already begun acting as DOD chief earlier this week. As for the Army, Jim McPherson, general counsel, will perform undersecretary duties, a spokesperson confirmed to FCW.

*** John Sanders, acting administrator of Customs and Border Protection, resigned June 25 amid turmoil at the department over substandard living conditions provided for migrant children at border facilities. Sanders was elevated to the top CPB job when his former boss, Kevin McAleenan, was tapped to serve as acting Homeland Security secretary. Sanders previously was COO at the agency and in between stints in the private sector, also served as the chief technology officer at the Transportation Security Administration.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the departure was more evidence of "chaos" at DHS. "CBP needs proven, Senate-confirmed leadership as soon as possible," Thompson said.

Posted on Jun 26, 2019 at 2:20 AM


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