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The Byte

The Internet of Things might be getting more secure — at least lawmakers want that to be the case.

A group of U.S. senators on Tuesday introduced a bill that would require vendors who supply the federal government with IoT devices “to ensure that their devices are patchable, do not include hard-coded passwords that can’t be changed, and are free of known security vulnerabilities, among other basic requirements,” according to a statement

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The General Services Administration on Tuesday announced the names of the 10 contractors that will administer its $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract

In a notice on FedBizOpps, GSA said the winning contractors are AT&T, BT Federal, Qwest Government Services, Core Technologies, Granite Telecommunications, Harris, Level 3 Communications, Manhattan Telecommunications, MicroTech and Verizon. GSA noted that EIS has a five-year base period with two five-year options, and the vehicle has a ceiling value of $50 billion.

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The White House wants more agencies to move their applications to the cloud and claims that failing to do so would be a detriment to productivity.

“Too few federal agencies have basic collaboration tools such as real-time document sharing or videoconferencing,” documentation accompanying the president’s 2018 budget request states. “In many cases, the tools being used by agencies are more than a decade old and run on legacy systems with growing maintenance costs. This situation is a hidden tax on productivity: It wastes time, creates missed opportunities, and slows coordination and creativity.”

Spending on legacy infrastructure now makes up about 70.3 percent of federal IT spending, up from 68 percent three years ago, the budget notes.  

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Transparency and access to information are key tenets of democratic governments. Today, federal agencies accomplish those goals via the cloud. However, before they publish open data in the cloud, IT leaders should contemplate these steps:

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The recent cyberattacks that targeted U.S. nuclear power plants and other energy facilities emanated from Russia, according to U.S. government officials, and the Energy Department is helping power firms shore up their defenses against further incursions

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Former Defense Department CIO Terry Halvorsen heralded the end of the Common Access Card more than a year ago, and testing of new ways for DOD personnel to access IT systems began about six months ago. In late June, one of the companies that might provide more flexible authentication methods announced it is working with an arm of the DOD to test its technology.

Plurilock Security Solutions, an artificial intelligence authentication technology company based in Victoria, British Columbia, said it is working with the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), to test its BioTracker technology.

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Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray will leave his post next month and become the leader of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's new Office of Ventures and Innovation, NGA Director Robert Cardillo announced Monday. In a speech at the GEOINT 2017 Symposium in San Antonio, Texas, Cardillo said Bray is "a true change agent," and that he expects "big things from him."

The new office will be tasked with driving innovation, both internally at NGA and with the intelligence agency's commercial partners, Cardillo said. The NGA is in charge of collecting, analyzing and distributing geospatial intelligence, especially through satellite imagery, for national security officials. 

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