A new survey of several hundred cybersecurity professionals reveals that nearly two-thirds of their organizations are considering alternatives to virtual private network (VPN) infrastructure for providing remote access because of the technology’s vulnerability to sophisticated cyber attacks. At the same time, the vast majority of those organizations are moving to adopt zero trust security architectures to improve security.

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FITARA
TMF

Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana told House lawmakers today that she envisions promising payoffs over the next year from Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) investments spurred by Congress’s $1 billion cash infusion into the fund last year. 

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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) new zero trust strategy outlines 90 capabilities that will help the department bring to bear its “targeted” zero trust framework across the entire department, said DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) John Sherman.

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MerITocracy 2021
The Pentagon is a very large building that houses a lot of the authorities for the U.S. Military. It's big. This photo doesn't do it justice, but they're kinda rightly concerned about people flying drones around there.
General Services Administration GSA

Lawrence Hale, who recently took over as Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Category Management, Office of Information Technology Category at the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service, explained today that his office’s fiscal year 2023 priorities focus on helping Federal agencies work toward easier cloud service adoption and continued progress in zero trust security migration. 

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Both vendors and Federal officials said today they want more visibility into the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) process, which certifies the security of cloud technologies for Federal government use and is operated by the General Services Administration (GSA).

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FedRAMP

Brian Conrad, acting director of the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), explained at an FCW event today how ongoing improvement efforts are charting a path for the program over the next five to ten years.

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Randy Resnick, Director of the Zero Trust Portfolio Management Office within the Defense Department’s (DoD) CIO office, laid out the broad strokes of DoD’s zero trust security plans during a presentation on August 23 at the 930GOV event organized by Digital Government Institute.

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DISA

As Federal agencies continue to build out zero trust architectures, they are increasingly focused on a critical component of any zero trust strategy: identity, credential, and access management (ICAM) solutions.

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cybersecurity

The Federal government has come a long way with implementing zero trust security architectures, but Federal chief information officers (CIOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs) hope the future of zero trust is “instinctive,” and something that is naturally baked into agencies’ programming.

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Cloud Computing Brainstorm 2019 - Sean Connelly

A senior Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) official provided an update this week on agency-level activity in their migration toward zero trust security architectures mandated by President Biden’s 2021 cybersecurity executive order and subsequent guidance documents issued by CISA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

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The cultural and mindset shifts required to advance the migration by Federal agencies to zero trust security architectures are proving to be among the more stubborn areas of change in that sweeping effort, according to Angel Phaneuf, Chief Information Security Officer, at the U.S. Army Software Factory.

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The Federal government’s march toward zero trust security architectures is well underway with guidance documents from several agencies. And while that guidance is crucial, Federal agencies cannot confine themselves only to the practices described in them, Federal experts said during an ATARC event on August 9.

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FedRAMP

Gerald Caron, chief information officer (CIO) and assistant inspector general (IG) for information technology at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said this week that sustainability and continuous authentication are two of the keys to creating a robust identity and access management (IAM) strategy as part of how Federal agencies move to comply with President Biden’s 2021 cybersecurity executive order that requires migration to zero trust security architectures.

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The Chips and Science Act approved by the House and Senate last week – and expected to be signed by President Biden next week – has generated a lot of headline news on the chips side of the legislation, including $52 billion of government funding to incentivize semiconductor makers to build new plants in the United States.

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Cybersecurity

Angelica Phaneuf, Chief Information Security Officer at the Army Software Factory, explained some of the steps that her organization has been taking to meet the needs of zero trust security mandates at an August 2 event entitled Securing Identity in a Zero Trust Environment and hosted by Federal News Network.

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TMF

The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) today announced over $26 million of new project funding to the Department of Labor (DoL), AmeriCorps, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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FITARA

The focus on Federal agency cybersecurity scores in the 14th edition of the FITARA Scorecard released last week – and the lack of enough data from the government to allow the House Oversight and Reform Committee to get a good fix on how agencies performed on cybersecurity during the first half of 2022 – caught the eyes of private sector technology executives who said the government needs to do more to help agencies boost security.

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John Roese describes himself as a “technology optimist.” The Dell Technologies Global Chief Technology Officer illustrated that spirit at the MerITocracy American Innovation Forum on July 21, displaying enthusiasm about a U.S. wireless industry that he acknowledged has fallen far behind foreign rivals.

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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) announced an extension of its Thunderdome Prototype zero trust security project, increasing the total length of the pilot program to 12 months with a new  expected completion date in January 2023.

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A lack of required cybersecurity performance data for the largest 24 Federal agencies over the first half of 2022 left the House Oversight and Reform Committee partly in the dark as it formulated cybersecurity-related grades for the 14th version of its FITARA Scorecard issued by the committee today.

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During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing today to discuss the newly-released 14th installment of the committee’s FITARA Scorecard, several Federal chief information officers (CIOs) agreed the scorecard serves as a useful tool for their agencies to track IT-related performance, but also offered recommendations on how the scorecard could improve.

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FITARA

The latest edition of the FITARA Scorecard released today by the House Oversight and Reform Committee shows a mild trend toward declining agency grades across a range of IT-related performance measures.

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FITARA

The 24 largest Federal agencies trended toward lower grades across several IT-related performance categories on the 14th installment of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s FITARA Scorecard issued by the committee on July 28.

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Barton Phillips, vice president for Public Sector at DocuSign, detailed the Federal government’s relatively slow progress to date in digitizing citizen services – and what agencies need to do to operate seamlessly in the digital landscape – during an address at the MerITocracy American Innovation Forum on July 21.

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