A new survey released by MeriTalk and Splunk finds that public sector IT decision makers are increasingly planning around zero trust security concepts, with that thinking driven by current and future requirements for telework capabilities, among other security management needs. However, agencies face challenges in migrating to zero trust, including the need to invest in foundational technologies, according to findings from the survey of 150 Federal IT decision makers and 150 state, local, and higher education (SLED) IT decisionmakers on their agencies’ efforts around zero trust.

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The Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI), a Washington-based trade group known for its advocacy for Federal government IT modernization, released a new set of recommendations Dec. 17 for the Biden administration and incoming Congress to improve Federal tech capabilities by learning from some of the lessons of the government’s rapid turn to telework during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cloud

Senior executives with Google Cloud emphasized at their first Public Sector Summit on Dec. 8 the work that the company has been doing with a variety of public sector organizations during the coronavirus pandemic, and one emerging silver lining to the health crisis: a big leap forward in IT modernization that will help government and academia during the recovery.

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While larger Federal government agencies had the resources necessary to facilitate a shift to large-scale telework earlier this year, some smaller agencies had a more difficult time mounting similar efforts, a State Department official said at a Dec. 9 AFCEA Bethesda webinar.

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The National Security Agency (NSA) released a cybersecurity alert on Dec. 7 warning that state-sponsored hackers based in Russia have been attacking remote workspaces and exploiting a vulnerability in a suite of VMware products.

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Army

A senior Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) official said today that the coronavirus pandemic may turn out to have one silver lining – it has helped the agency and the Defense Department (DoD) to be more innovative and flexible with their use of technology to accommodate dislocations including telework requirements.

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DoD Pentagon Military

The Department of Defense (DoD) issued a November 20 memo to component agencies that will allow civilian employees with kids to continue working remotely until at least June 30, 2021, extending the COVID-related telework flexibilities issued by DoD in March.

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identity management-min

As Federal agencies continue to keep a majority of their workforces teleworking – and may continue to do so for the longer term as the coronavirus pandemic heats up again – keeping identity management practices a top priority has been a key ingredient in Federal agency cybersecurity efforts.

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Now that much of the Federal government workforce has eight months of pandemic-driven telework under its belt, government officials are examining how that experience has changed the future landscape of providing service to citizens, and how to incorporate lessons learned for what may be the longer haul of remote work.

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Sean Connelly, who heads the TIC Program Office at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said today that his office is aiming to release a remote-user use case for the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) 3.0 security initiative that will build on interim TIC guidance the agency issued earlier this year to help Federal agencies migrate quickly to large-scale telework.

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The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) component is looking for technology to enable remote exam proctoring, according to a Nov. 16 solicitation post on Beta.Sam.gov.

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The Pentagon plans to continue use of its commercial virtual remote (CVR) capability – that has helped enable telework for the military during the coronavirus pandemic – until June of 2021, a senior Defense Department (DoD) tech official reaffirmed today.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) successful shift to telework at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic allowed the department to meet the mental health needs of veterans with its Veterans Crisis Line (VCL).

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Air Force
Pentagon Military Defense DoD

The Department of Defense (DoD) is working on a “more enduring” version of the Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) environment technology that it ramped up earlier this year to support telework for more than one million DoD personnel during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a senior Pentagon technology official.

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telework
IT workers workforce technology federal employees-min

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has released results of a two-part survey that found most GPO employees were satisfied with IT support and top leadership’s communication in keeping them informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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