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The Byte

A 2010 cloud-first policy required federal agencies to default to secure, reliable, cost-effective cloud-based solutions when evaluating options for new IT deployments. Since then, agencies have moved numerous systems to the cloud, including email, help desk functions and web hosting. As agencies move more sensitive data into the cloud, questions about security, management and disaster recovery capabilities remain. CDW•G can help.

CDW•G’s latest ebook, available for download through the Technology Insights app, offers practical guidance for working through these issues and achieving financial and operational efficiencies in the cloud.

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More than a decade has passed since Congress approved comprehensive legislation for securing government systems. Federal cybersecurity has come a long way since then, but agencies must continue to evolve as cyberthreats persist.

December 2002:

Congress passes the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, requiring agencies to develop, document and implement an information security program.

January 2008:

President George W. Bush launches the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative to help secure the U.S. in cyberspace.

February 2013:

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The Office of Personnel Management surveyed nearly 400,000 federal employees across 82 agencies about their job satisfaction and workplace culture. OPM asked feds about their agencies’ telework programs and how often they work remotely. Here’s what they learned:

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A new report released by Sen. Edward Markey's office found that "security measures to prevent remote access to vehicle electronics are inconsistent and haphazard." Many drivers depend on wireless capabilities and navigation tools, but these technologies could be vulnerable to hackers seeking to steal drivers' personal data or alter the operation of their vehicles. 

“Drivers have come to rely on these new technologies, but unfortunately the automakers haven’t done their part to protect us from cyberattacks or privacy invasions,” Markey told The New York Times.

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Dan Tangherlini will step down as head of the General Services Administration next month.

In a message to GSA staff, Tangherlini praised employees for their work to introduce new technologies, smarter acquisition platforms and innovative workspaces at the agency. Tangherlini came to GSA from the Treasury Department in the wake of a conference spending scandal that led to the 2012 resignation of former Administrator Martha Johnson. At Treasury, he served as assistant secretary for management, chief financial officer, and chief performance officer

“Much has changed at GSA since I arrived here in April of 2012 as a result of your hard work, Tangherlini said in his message. “Today, GSA is stronger, more efficient, and better able to serve our partner agencies and the American people.”

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On Tuesday, the Defense Department released updated security requirements for hosting military data in the cloud.

The Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) builds on Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) standards and applies to both commercial and DOD cloud service providers. The document incorporates feedback from industry and DOD stakeholders and is expected to be updated quarterly, according to a Jan. 12 memo about the new requirements developed by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

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The new U.S. chief technology officer Megan Smith has a direct line of communication to President Barack Obama, but there’s a few things she lacks: a budget and authority over other agencies.

“The problem, technology experts say, is that the mandate of the chief technology officer has been nebulous since Mr. Obama created the job five years ago, not least because it does not come with a substantial funding stream, a crucial source of power in the government,” according to a recent New York Times article.

Whether this will impact Smith’s ability to get work done is yet to be seen. 

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The maker movement is in full swing at the White House, and even President Barack Obama is getting involved. He recently became the first sitting president to have his likeness recreated in a 3D portrait. Check out this behind-the-scenes video below to see the full process from start to finish. The final product is on display at the Commons Gallery of the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, D.C.

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If you're an IT professional working for a state, local or federal agency, we want to hear from you.

FedTech wants to know what’s on your Christmas wish list this year. Smartphones for all field employees? A cloud-based solution or continuous monitoring tools to enhance security? It doesn’t have to be technology. Your wish may be for greater collaboration with the agencies you serve, a new BYOD policy or for employees to stop using the same password for multiple systems.

Email your wish-list items to, along with your name and title. You can also respond in the comment section below.

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