White House report embraces 'big data', privacy rules

Grazed from Virtualization.net. Author: Agence France Presse.

A study ordered by US President Barack Obama and released Thursday concludes that analysis of “big data” can help society in many ways, from improving health care to spurring economic growth. But the report also said the vast expansion of computer analytics of large data banks creates new threats to privacy, and recommended updated rules and laws to protect stored information.

“The big data revolution presents incredible opportunities in virtually every sector of the economy and every corner of society,” said John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff who led the Big Data and Privacy Working Group. Podesta, in a blog post accompanying the report, said “big data is saving lives” by helping analyze trends in disease, infection and caring for babies born prematurely, among other things...

Pentagon Plays Catch-Up with Cloud Computing

Grazed from TheFiscalTimes. Author: Timothy R. Homan.

The Defense Department, considered the most technologically advanced agency throughout the federal government, is still playing catch-up with its civilian counterparts in one critical area: cloud computing. Despite accounting for about half of U.S. discretionary spending each year, the Pentagon has been outpaced by civilian agencies in the last five years in issuing contracts for cloud services.

Since 2009, the Defense Department has spent about $750 million on cloud contracts, compared with about $21 billion by other U.S. departments and agencies, analyst Alexander Rossino told C4ISR & Networks. The principal research analyst at Deltek also said that defense spending on cloud services will surge to $2.6 billion in 2018, up from $414 million last year...

Govt should adopt 'cloud first' policy

Grazed from CIO. Author: Byron Connolly.

The Federal Government should follow other sectors like banking and adopt a ‘cloud first’ policy for all low risk, generic IT services. This was the first of two cloud-related recommendations made by the National Commission of Audit today. The commission said this policy could help reduce IT costs over the next three to five years as cloud computing becomes the default option.

“The Commonwealth Government has been slow to adopt cloud computing. A reliance on bespoke, legacy systems, concerns about security and privacy of placing public data in the cloud, and general risk aversion all impede progress,” the commission said. The second recommendation was to establish a whole-of-government cloud computing provider panel...

Lawmakers Want Pentagon to Clarify Cloud Security Standards

Grazed from NextGov.  Author: William Matthews.

Two House members are proposing legislation they say would ease the way for cloud computing vendors to sell services to the Defense Department.   The Defense Cloud Security Act would require department officials to set clearer security requirements for cloud storage and other cloud services “and give vendors an opportunity to meet those standards,” said an aide to Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Mass. Tsongas and Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., are expected to introduce the legislation April 28.

Although the Defense Department already buys cloud services from a number of private vendors, Tsongas and Kilmer say that more companies could be providing more cloud services if the military had clearer security requirements...

Federal Agencies Strive to Make the Cloud Secure

Grazed from FedTechMagazine. Author: Steve Zurier.

Cloud computing has become such a way of life at NASA over the past five or six years that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory IT team thinks of most cloud-based services as just another node on the network, say Tom Soderstrom and Jonathan Chiang, chief technology and innovation officer and IT chief engineer, respectively. In fact, Soderstrom says that whether it’s Amazon Web Services or Windows Azure, “we think that using the cloud applications can be even more secure than what we do internally.”

“Every service we sign on with has to be vetted by FedRAMP [the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program], so we know if they are on the list that they comply with the NIST 800-53 security specifications for federal installations,” Soderstrom explains. “And these vendors spend a lot of money on IT security; they are constantly patching.”...

Cloud Computing: Infographic Top 5 Tools for Government Tech

Grazed from SmartDataCollective. Author: Zach Taiji.

Over the past few years, cloud computing has become an increasingly popular technology for businesses around the world because of its ease of access from remote locations - removing the need for locally installed software. Cloud computing and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) tools can be great solutions for local and state-level governments with limited resources, since most solutions are affordable, scale to specific needs and allow employees to access secure data from anywhere.

As governments get larger in size (federal), there are even custom-built and propietary solutions. Below are 5 SaaS tools for local and state governments that cover everything from managing citizen relationships to tracking government funds and finances...

To view infographic and read more from the source, visit http://smartdatacollective.com/zach-taiji/196361/5-top-tools-government-tech

Cloud Computing: Vitesse Achieves Federal FIPS Security Certification

Grazed from BusinessWire. Author: PR Announcement.

Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of advanced IC solutions for Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, announced that its SynchroPHY™ 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and 10GE PHYs with Intellisec™ IEEE 802.1AE MACsec technology are the world’s first to achieve Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 197 256-bit AES encryption certification.

FIPS 197 is a de facto benchmark encryption standard issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which specifies the approved cryptographic algorithm to protect electronic data. 256-bit AES offers exponentially better data protection and is required by the U.S. National Security Agency for highly sensitive data. The FIPS certification validates solutions correctly implementing the AES algorithm, enabling OEMs to dramatically accelerate end product qualification and entry into markets with stringent security requirements, including military, government, secure industrial, financial, and HIPAA-compliant IT infrastructure...

Federal Cloud Migration: Challenges Bring Opportunities For VARs

Grazed from BSMInfo. Author: Megan Williams.

While migration to cloud platforms presents unique challenges for VARs working with federal agencies, it also offers business opportunities in addressing issues unique to the government sphere. What opportunities does federal migration to cloud platforms provide for you as an IT reseller?  Quite a few. Federal agencies have a long road ahead of them in their migration to cloud computing. Even after the decision to migrate is made, uncertainty looms about the best way to approach the migration for government agencies.

Challenges With Migration

As far back as 2012, the Government Accountability Office was calling for better planning of cloud migration procedures. The implementation (across seven agencies) brought the following common challenges to light...

GSA: Blazing Government's Path To Cloud

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: Wyatt Kash.

GSA's leap to cloud computing began as a billion-dollar real estate problem. As part of its mandate to provide a range of services to other federal agencies, the General Services Administration owns or leases 354 million square feet of office and warehouse space in 9,600 buildings, and it provides workspaces for more than 1 million federal workers. The problem: Half the time, those people are out in the field or working away from their desks. For a government agency that spends roughly $10 billion annually on leasing and construction costs, officials knew there had to be a smarter approach.

They moved toward a hoteling model, whereby employees check in and out of workspaces. However, that move required GSA to overhaul its IT infrastructure, says acting CIO Sonny Hashmi. Enter cloud computing. Beginning in 2010, when cloud computing was still mostly a vision for federal policy-makers, GSA officials, including Casey Coleman, the CIO at the time, crafted a multiyear strategy to migrate core agency systems to the cloud...

Cloud Computing: Feds To Improve Threat Information Sharing

Grazed from InformationWeek. Author: William Jackson.

The government has established an online collaboration called Project Interoperability to help develop tools and technologies for sharing threat information among organizations inside and outside of government. The project, recently launched by the Information Sharing Environment (ISE), a partnership between the defense and intelligence communities, addresses the need to make intelligence useable by many parties to counter increasingly sophisticated threats to national and cyber-security.

The need for better information sharing was one of the primary lessons learned from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Increased dependence on the Internet and the recent emergence -- and convergence -- of cloud and mobile computing to make systems and data accessible anytime from anywhere have stepped up the need for automated collaboration against attacks...