The National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force – a Federal advisory group authorized by Congress in 2020 to explore creating a national resource for AI research and development – issued a new report this week that lays out the beginnings of vision for how a national infrastructure could be established to meet the needs of the U.S. AI research community.

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The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on May 25 approved a bill that would direct the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to develop a national strategy for the research and development (R&D) of distributed ledger technologies.

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While many cybersecurity officials strive to achieve “no risk” when it comes to cyber risk management, officials from NASA this week explained that’s just not possible and suggested that agencies instead focus on managing risks that are important to the mission.

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The creation of a new police misconduct database, and a further evaluation of the use of facial recognition technologies in law enforcement, are among several foundational elements in President Biden’s executive order on policing issued today on the second anniversary of the killing of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers.

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FDIC
funding

State government IT officials said this week they are working to deploy their share of $1 billion of Federal cybersecurity grant funding approved last November by Congress as part of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

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supply chain
cybersecurity

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said today it is “encouraged” by quick Federal agency responses to its May 18 emergency directive to patch or unplug several vulnerable VMware products from agency networks, but did not provide any hard figures on whether agencies met CISA’s May 24 deadline to take action.

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MerITocracy 2021

Can technology innovation – coupled with the boldest kind of leadership – work together to start fixing the most intractable problems facing America? On July 21 – we’re going to find out. The countdown to MerITocracy 2022: American Innovation Forum is on.

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While concern in some quarters of the tech world continues to grow about how to keep pace with  growing data storage demand, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in a new report that exotic alternatives – think options like synthetic DNA – to fill the gap are probably still years away.

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Experts from the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology sectors said today they are watching with deep interest for the outcomes of a Biden administration executive order issued in March on the risks and benefits of digital assets in order to gauge the whether the Federal government and Congress will undertake meaningful regulatory changes that would benefit the sectors.

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As both Federal chief information security officer and the deputy National Cyber Director, Chris DeRusha has a lot of visibility into Federal efforts to boost cybersecurity. At the AWS Summit in Washington, D.C., today, DeRusha expressed both pride in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Zero Trust strategy, while also acknowledging that the policy represents only the beginning of zero trust implementation across Federal civilian agencies.

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ransomware

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters, D-Mich., along with the committee’s Democratic staffers, released a report today taking the Federal government to task for gathering insufficient data on ransomware attacks, and the use of cryptocurrencies as payments in those attacks where a ransom has been paid.

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Customer experience CX-min

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its Medicare.gov website, creating an optimized customer experience (CX) and making it easier for millions of Americans to find providers and health and drug coverage plans.

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A dozen civil rights advocacy organizations led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Fight for The Future told the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors that consumer privacy and anonymity must be a paramount concern in any move by the government to create a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

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Zeroing in on Application and Data: 2022 Federal Zero Trust Maturity

Join MeriTalk and Merlin Cyber on June 1 at 10 a.m. for our complimentary Zeroing in on Application and Data webinar, where government and industry IT experts will put the spotlight on the data and application pillars of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Zero Trust Maturity Model.

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According to the results of The Office of Personnel Management’s 2021 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, federal workers’ engagement and satisfaction with their jobs has decreased from 2020. In an accompanied report, OPM predicted that some of the declines in engagement and satisfaction might be due to the fact that agencies were preparing – or had already begun – efforts to move Federal workers back to traditional work sites.

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DoD Pentagon Military

The Department of Defense (DoD) has taken steps to fully implement cybersecurity requirements for controlled unclassified information (CUI), however, none of the DoD components were fully compliant on that front as of January 2022, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

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cybersecurity
MerITocracy

The in-person forum – at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C., from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. – will host bipartisan leaders from Congress, the Biden administration, and America’s tech industry to examine the most pressing problems facing citizens in our democracy, and map out creative solutions from the nexus of policy and technology. Request your invitation today by emailing meritocracy@meritalk.com.

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MeriTalk research – executed in partnership with RSA Conference, underwritten by Cofense, Keeper Security, Recorded Future, Secureworks, and SentinelOne, and capturing the viewpoints of 100 Federal and 100 private-sector security experts – shows that a whopping 93 percent of respondents believe that public-private partnerships are “vital” to national cyber defense.

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NSF

Federal agencies are balancing evolving security requirements while defending against persistent threats, and the increased use of cyber threat intelligence and information sharing is helping government organizations make faster, more informed decisions to combat malicious activity, according to a National Science Foundation (NSF) technology official.

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Security information sharing between the Federal government and private sector has been on the rise recently – whether it’s through the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, or various Information Sharing and Analysis Centers across the government, to name just a few – and a National Security Agency (NSA) official said this week that increased collaboration is being driven by mission demand and a higher degree of trust between organizations.

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) flagged 13 open recommendations for improvement for the State Department as of May 2022 in an annual report on the agency, including recommendations for improving data quality and cybersecurity.

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Chris DeRusha, who wears the dual hats of Federal Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Deputy National Cyber Director for Federal Cybersecurity in the Office of the National Cyber Director, charted some near-term policy goals on the security front during a keynote address on May 19 at MeriTalk’s Cyber Central May 2022 – Mission: Cyber Resilience in-person conference.

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As President Biden’s cybersecurity executive order (EO) stretches past its first year, Federal agencies are at varied points in their progress on the EO’s orders. Federal leaders say it is important for agencies to approach the EO’s zero trust components strategically and understand their networks as they make the move to a zero trust architecture.

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The House Committee on Financial Services on May 17 voted to approve an amended version of H.R.7022 – the Strengthening Cybersecurity for the Financial Sector Act of 2022 – and send the bill to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

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Cybersecurity

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