Federal IT leaders are shifting focus from trying to secure every system to prioritizing the systems that need the most security controls. “We realized that no matter how much we protected our systems, something could happen,” said Thresa Lang, deputy director of the Navy Cybersecurity Division, at CISQ’s Cyber Resilience Summit on Oct. 19. […]

Federal agencies are focusing on ways they can leverage new technologies, such as automation, to improve IT service management and streamline cybersecurity processes, as they work to keep up with a threat landscape that changes constantly. ServiceNow’s Bob Osborn said that ServiceNow is integrating artificial intelligence capabilities into its platform so that agencies can use the newest automation technologies as they become available.






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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Oct. 18 that he has found it impossible to talk to anyone from the Department of Justice about cybersecurity legislation. Whitehouse said during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that intelligence officials have told the committee that the election systems could be hacked by foreign actors. Whitehouse is interested in working with different agencies to develop legislation on cybersecurity.






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The Department of Defense is recognizing National Cybersecurity Month by expanding cybersecurity education to families of service members. “This is not just an IT issue,” said Essye Miller, deputy CIO for cybersecurity and chief information security officer for DoD. “Everyone that’s operating on the network has a responsibility.”






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The FBI needs access to encrypted files in order to protect the nation against cyber crime, according to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “Encryption is essential,” Rosenstein said “It is a foundational element of data security and authentication. It is central to the growth and flourishing of the digital economy. We in law enforcement have no desire to undermine encryption. But ‘warrant-proof’ encryption poses a serious problem.”






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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, is working on the text of his bill to create the Cyber National Guard, a scholarship program that will help train students for cybersecurity jobs in the Federal government. Students who apply for the Cyber National Guard would receive scholarship money for cybersecurity training programs. Once the students graduate, they would spend the same number of years working for a Federal agency as they did receiving scholarship money to attend school.






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With the new focus on innovation in Federal IT, agency CIOs said they will modernize whether they like it or not. The increased conversations about modernization have changed the way agency CIOs talk to their leadership about IT, according to Pamela Dyson, CIO of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).






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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation collection of personally identifiable information was hacked 54 times between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 1, 2016, according to an Inspector General report.






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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Oct. 6 that the Federal government needs to classify cyberattacks on the United States as acts of war. Clinton referred to the Russian hacks on the Democratic National Committee as a reason for the U.S. to retaliate against such breaches.






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Industry experts told Congress on Oct. 3 that regulations are necessary to secure the Internet of Things. “Is the industry doing enough to ensure the security of IoT devices?” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., asked at the IT Subcommittee hearing on the Cybersecurity of IoT.






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