This Is How Feds Will Protect Sensitive Data in the Cloud

Frank Konkel, Nextgov,  Thursday, January 29, 2015

The so-called high-impact baseline under the Federal Information Security Management Act has been discussed since FedRAMP – the government’s program to standardize cloud security requirements – was created nearly three years ago. But it’s become a major priority because of recent demand from both the Defense Department and civilian agencies, according to FedRAMP officials.

5 Ways Procuring the Government Cloud is Different

Caron Beesley, Business2Community,  Thursday, January 29, 2015

If your agency is making the move to cloud services, it can expect cost-savings, improved service delivery, and all the great things that the cloud brings. But for procurement and purchasing officials whose practices and contracting vehicles were designed to help managers provision hardware and software, not on-demand services like the cloud, it can all cause a bit of a frenzy. But cloud procurement isn’t as problematic as it might first appear. Here are a few quick tips and insights that can help guide you through the solicitation, award and termination phases:

Blog: What's Hot in 2015 for the Evolution of Federal IT

Ed Bender, AFCEA,  Wednesday, January 28, 2015

With 2014 in the rearview mirror, federal agencies now are looking ahead to what the next year will bring. For information technology (IT) professionals working in the U.S. Defense Department and intelligence community, 2015 will be the year of the cloud, application stacks, security challenges and centralization. How will each of these trends develop and impact government information technology infrastructures? Here is a look at a few changes in IT that will affect federal IT pros in 2015.

FedRAMP releases draft for higher security cloud computing authorization, seeks public input

Dibya Sarkar, Fierce Government IT,  Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The federal government Jan. 27 released a long-awaited draft document that establishes a high baseline of security controls for cloud computing service providers, allowing them to host some of the federal government's most sensitive information. The draft was released by the Joint Authorization Board of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, the government-wide program that is standardizing cloud security assessment and authorization. The JAB is made up of the chief information officers of the Homeland Security and Defense departments and the General Services Administration.

Future Forecast: Government technology in 2020

Robert Barkin, American City and County ,  Wednesday, January 28, 2015

At a time when technological change is measured in nanoseconds, experts in information systems are focused on longer-term trends that will position their communities to take advantage of the convenience and efficiency of technology. At the same time, they are working overtime to ensure the safety of their systems and protect vital information from hackers. Regardless of the benefits and potential dangers of technology, everyone agrees that technology in 2020 will only be more important.

Body Worn Camera Sales Spike In Months After Ferguson

Larry Anderson,,  Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I speculated earlier about an anticipated spike in demand for body worn cameras in response to the highly publicised shooting incident in Ferguson, Mo., last August. An analysis of a database of procurement activity and spending plans from more than 80,000 government entities in the United States confirms the continuing impact the shooting is having on the demand for body worn cameras. Reflecting what might be called the “Ferguson effect,” government data firm Onvia reports there were almost six times as many purchase orders issued for body worn cameras and related services in 2014 compared to 2013 – 3,400 purchase orders in 2014 compared to only 533 the year before.

Next step for DoD cybersecurity: Ditch passwords once and for all

Jared Serbu, Federal News Radio,  Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When it comes to compliance with federal mandates for more secure IT access procedures, such as two-factor authentication, the Defense Department has led the way in many respects, including by rolling out public key infrastructure (PKI) across most of its systems. But it has not moved fast enough. As a Pentagon report noted last week, DoD "red teams" — performing the roles of real-world cyber attackers — succeeded in using stolen passwords as one of their main entry points into the networks they were testing. Put differently, an awful lot of mission-critical DoD systems still use authentication procedures that are roughly as strong as an average user's Gmail account.

FTC Recommends Limits on Data Collection Via Internet of Things

Elizabeth Dwoskin, Wall Street Journal,  Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In a much-anticipated report on the so-called-Internet of Things, the Federal Trade Commission laid out on Tuesday steps businesses can take to protect consumers’ privacy. The first is to build security into devices at the outset, rather than as an afterthought. Other recommendations include: vetting partners for how they handle consumer data, taking measures to keep unauthorized users from accessing personal information stored on the network, and monitoring and patching connected devices throughout their expected life cycle.

Pace of IT biggest challenge for agencies moving to cloud

Susie Adams, Federal News Radio,  Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Susie Adams, chief technology officer for Microsoft Federal, sat down with Women of Washington to discuss how the government can leverage cloud computing solutions. On challenges the government faces when transitioning to the cloud, Adams said,"The biggest challenge is the pace of IT for the federal agencies, and the fact that we've moved to the fifth generation of computing at lightning fast speed. And nothing in the government moves at lightning fast speed." Adams explained how government agencies should be looking toward cloud solutions.

A Cautionary Government Cloud Story--UK's G-Cloud. Does The "G" Stand For Gone?

Ben Kepes, Forbes,  Tuesday, January 27, 2015

All would appear, however, to not be well with the G-Cloud. This despite the program seemingly proving very effective. Indeed total G-Cloud sales amounted to £270m by the end of September 2014, averaging £22m a month. That’s more than double the £120m sales predicted by 2014/15 by the inaugural program director, Denise McDonagh, back in 2012. Despite this success however the initiative is being rebranded as a “Digital Marketplace” and the rebrand includes an overhaul of the back end platform that powers the marketplace. It seems that the pressure is on to morph G-Cloud into a much broader digital services store – perhaps a noble idea but one which will take the focus away from the simply, but highly effective, G-Cloud.