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*** A bill to establish cybersecurity standards for Internet of Things devices acquired by federal agencies will cost $35 million to implement over five years, according to a Congressional Budget Office assessment released Sept. 13. The Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019, advanced by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in June, tasks the National Institute of Standards and Technology with developing guidelines and standards for the acquisition and deployment of IoT devices on federal networks. The costs include 13 new employees and the expansion of NIST's National Vulnerability Database. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform advanced a nearly identical bill.

*** In one of her final policy moves as acting head of the Office of Personnel Management, Margaret Weichert urged federal agencies to take advantage of new standards to better access candidates for federal jobs. In a Sept. 13 memo, issued one day after Dale Cabaniss won Senate confirmation to serve as OPM Director, Weichert said that involving subject matter experts in job candidate evaluations and taking steps to identify new skills assessment methods will help agencies land the more qualified workers. "Screening minimum qualifications using an occupational questionnaire is fine, but a 'deeper dive' needs to be taken in order to address the actual competencies needed to perform the work successfully," the guidance states.

*** The U.S. Air Force is committing to using open source and centralizing ethics in its pursuit of artificial intelligence capabilities, according to an unclassified summary of its AI strategy released Sept. 12. The service outlined its key AI focus areas, including the need to utilize publicly available algorithms and "enhance public trust" in military use of AI. The strategy also highlights data asset prioritization, making AI ubiquitous across the force and bolstering its technical workforce.

Posted on Sep 16, 2019 at 2:21 AM


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