Aug 20 2012

FedBytes: Is Communication the Best Defense Against Cyberthreats?

Hardware, software and tech news from across the government and around the country. This week: cyberthreats.

How is the government handling security? For an answer, check out the best practices offered in a recently updated guide by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. At the top of the list is communication, which is proving to be the best defense against cyberthreats.

That, and a whole lot more, can be found in the latest run of FedBytes.

  • Security experts at Kaspersky Labs identified a new cyberweapon that is mainly targeting information systems in Lebanon. Kaspersky officials said the malware, dubbed Gauss, which is designed to “steal and monitor data from clients of several Lebanese banks,” is related to previous cyberweapons Stuxnet and Flame.

    The malware includes what Kaspersky scientists have said is a kind of “special warhead” that they have been unable to identify due to its encryption. Read more on ABC News.

  • Mobile computing offers a major opportunity to leverage big data, but the data may be difficult to use if it’s not stored properly.

    Mobility expert Benjamin Robbins writes: “Delivering a meaningful experience to the end-user will take bridging the gap between the business and structure of the data.” Read more on remotelyMOBILE.

  • Kathleen Martinez, the Labor Department’s assistant secretary for the Office of Disability Employment Policy, explained how technology can help disabled federal workers do their jobs. In an interview with GovLoop’s Chris Dorobek, Martinez identified cloud computing and screen readers among these technologies.

    “Disability is a natural part of the human condition,” Martinez says in the interview, and the more people with disabilities are able to work, the less of a challenge it becomes to find ways for them to work. Learn more on GovLoop.

  • Cyberthreats are becoming more sophisticated, so organizations must find innovative ways to defend themselves. A recent article published on InfoWorld offers “10 crazy IT security tricks that actually work.”

    Among the advice given: Use honeypots to provide early warning of cyberattacks. There is also info on how to disable Internet browsing on servers. Read more on InfoWorld.

  • IT silos are going away because they create inefficiencies. They’re being replaced by converged data centers, “in which the server, network and storage layers are increasingly aware of each other and work together closely to ensure optimal resource use for predefined applications,” writes Kent Christensen on the Data Center Knowledge blog.

    Data center convergence provides numerous benefits, including “greater resource utilization at a lower cost, faster application provisioning and easier scaling.” Read more on Data Center Knowledge.

  • TechStat, “a face-to-face, evidence-based review of an IT investment,” has saved three large-scale IT projects since its inception in 2010. Projects for Customs and Border Protection, the FBI and the National Archives and Records Administration were nearing disaster but are back on track, thanks to the TechStat program. Read more about how the process works on Federal News Radio.
  • What is the protocol for reacting to a cybersecurity threat? The National Institute of Standards and Technology has just released a guide for government employees. Read more about it and download the PDF on
  • The best defense against cyberthreats is a proactive strategy that focuses on teamwork and collaboration. Read more about the importance of communication architecture on SIGNAL Scape.

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