Last year brought a great deal of change to Washington, D.C., from a new administration moving into the White House to D.C. United building a new stadium. As 2018 starts up with seemingly limitless IT opportunities ahead, MeriTalk takes a look back on the top Federal IT stories from 2017. […]

North Korea’s persistent efforts on nuclear weapons development and some loose talk about red buttons have raised new fears internationally about the possibilities of nuclear conflict. At home, government agencies also are addressing the questions about what to do in the case of a nuclear detonation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, will hold one of its Public Health Grand Round teaching sessions Jan. 16 on how medical professionals should respond–and although the event has been planned for months, it’s timing suddenly seems to be on the mark.






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With rapid growth in smart devices, exploding data volumes, and the shift to the cloud, it is becoming more and more challenging to protect critical systems and information. Government and industry leaders convened at the Symantec Government Symposium in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to discuss these complex challenges and the solutions needed to address them.






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Kevin Cox is Jon Snow in the war against cyber threats–for the cyber night is here and full of terrors. And, winter isn’t coming–it’s already here. As Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) rounds out phases I and II, our government needs automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to hold back the ugly cyber hoards. AI, ML, and cloud are the dragons, dragon glass, and Valyrian steel that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to combat the hacking white walkers. Okay, so how to separate fact from fairytale?






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The Government Accountability Office found that 62 percent of major information technology software development investments were certified by the agency chief information officer for using adequate incremental development in fiscal year 2017. However, a number of responses for the remaining investments were incorrectly reported due to agency error.






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In the event of a cyberattack, it’s important for information about the attack to be shared with the public in order to prevent further problems. Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security, said that the agency shares timely, accurate information with its partners and constituents so that they can take proper action to protect themselves.






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The Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Program last week held its first data exchange between the Federal CDM dashboard and an agency dashboard. All of the CFO Federal agencies have agency dashboards to comply with the CDM program, and the Federal dashboard is in production.






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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said that he is concerned about the Trump administration’s widespread adoption of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. “The NIST Framework has never been adequately validated,” he said, adding that he wonders whether agencies have accepted it because it’s effective or because “compliance demands so little effort.”






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The White House announced that John Zangardi will serve as the new chief information officer for the Department of Homeland Security. Zangardi is currently serving as the acting CIO at the Department of Defense. He is leaving the DoD to replace Richard Staropoli, who unexpectedly resigned as DHS CIO in August.






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