The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has awarded $203.6 million in an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity Application Development Support Services Contract (ADSS) as part of the agency’s IT modernization effort, according to a notice on SAM.gov.

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When NASA needed to land a probe on Mars, the landing sequence was the riskiest part of the multi-year, multi-billion-dollar mission-critical program. Prior to launch, NASA simulated the process under all potential weather and environmental conditions. Leaving nothing to chance, they used DDN storage solutions to fuel the artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced machine learning applications. After the successful landing on Mars, DDN was further entrusted with the data that made the 91-million-mile journey back to earth for analysis and other simulations.

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cybersecurity

The late-day warning on Monday from President Biden and White House national security officials that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure targets appeared to turn many heads in the Federal cybersecurity community that is by now long-used to receiving and generating cybersecurity advisories.

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Proving that there is no substitute for good timing, TaxBit – a provider of automated tax and accounting services for virtual currencies – opened up its new Washington office earlier this month amid growing policy and legislative action that may end up wrapping cryptocurrencies more tightly into “traditional” economic models.

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FEMA

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded AT&T four Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contracts to modernize the agency’s telecommunications and transition FEMA off the Networx contracts, AT&T announced.

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General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) President Amy Gilliland talked about the vital role that system integrators play for Federal agencies, along with growing agency appetite for zero trust security technologies, during an address to the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) on Jan. 14.

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Former Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd – who was a leading voice on technology issues during his three terms in Congress and now advises on similar issues as a managing director at Allen & Co. – said this week that a national data privacy standard is needed to put ground rules in place for wider use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

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Oracle

Software and cloud services provider Oracle Corp. said today it agreed to buy Cerner Corp., a provider of digital information systems for the health care provider market, in a deal valued at $28 billion.

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Cloud

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) confirmed today that it plans to sunset its milCloud 2.0 cloud services contract by May 2022, but offered little in the way of firm detail on how it plans to migrate to comparable services the existing customer roster of milCloud 2.0, which is managed for DISA by General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT).

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General Services Administration GSA

The General Services Administration (GSA) announced it will be pushing back the release of requests for proposals (RFP) for its Polaris Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicle until January 2022, the agency announced on its interact GSA blog.

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The Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded Verizon two digital communications modernization contracts totaling $34.6 million, utilizing the General Service Administration’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract vehicle, the telecommunications company announced Dec. 1.

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workforce federal workers industry-min
cloud

Long-time Federal government IT and cybersecurity leader Karen Evans is heading to the Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI) – a New York-based nonprofit that aims to advance the cyber readiness of small and medium-sized businesses in order to improve the security of global supply chains – as the organization’s managing director.

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cybersecurity

Microsoft is warning that it has seen Nobelium – the Russian nation-state threat group responsible for the SolarWinds software supply chain hack – trying to recreate the same approach that allowed it to gain access to Federal government systems, according to an Oct. 24 blog post from the company.

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The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) released a new paper on October 25 that details what it calls onerous implementation requirements of the government’s Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Program, and offered eight recommendations to improve the program.

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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

Dominic Sale, who for years helped lead Federal government IT modernization efforts at the General Services Administration (GSA), left government service earlier this month for a new position with Dynamic Integrated Services (DIS), a provider of IT, enterprise, and communications solutions to government and other customers.

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At the highest levels of the Federal government and the private sector, officials have recognized that cybersecurity is a national security issue. A series of policy and technical documents and high-level meetings this year have reinforced this notion. Chief among them is President Biden’s cybersecurity executive order (EO), which outlines a wide-ranging and ambitious series of actions Federal agencies must take to better secure government operations. MeriTalk recently talked with Jim Richberg, field chief information security officer at cybersecurity firm Fortinet, who is uniquely qualified to assess the potential impact of the cybersecurity EO and the actions that agencies must take to realize its promise. Prior to joining Fortinet, Richberg was the senior federal executive focused on cyber intelligence within the U.S. intelligence community. He helped build the discipline of cyber threat intelligence analysis and is an innovator in measuring cyber performance, risk, and return on investment. 

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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

Wireless service provider T-Mobile USA today increased its reported totals for customer accounts affected by a cyberattack that the company disclosed earlier this week.

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Wireless service provider T-Mobile USA confirmed reports that hackers succeeded in gaining unauthorized access to some of its data, but said it was too early to tell whether that involved any “personal customer data.”

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security
VA
Cybersecurity

While the steady performance of most large Federal agencies on the latest version of the FITARA Scorecard drew notes of praise from leaders of the House Government Operations Subcommittee at their July 28 hearing to review the grades, the central focus on the hearing – cybersecurity and IT modernization – got the most attention from private sector tech leaders.

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capitol washington dc senate house congress-min

Senate-approved legislation that would boost Federal funding for U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturing and provide the National Science Foundation (NSF) with another $52 billion over five years for research initiatives received strong endorsements from private sector witnesses at a July 15 Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing.

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US tech

With many more people teleworking in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cyberattack surfaces changed and expanded, and as many worked from home with Internet of Things (IoT) devices abandoned at the office, threat actors took advantage. Part of the fallout from those realities, according to two Zscaler studies, was that malware attacks on IoT devices connected to corporate networks increased by 700 percent year-over-year in 2020, compared to the firm’s 2019 study.

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