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Paul Austin

Paul Austin, the CTO of EMC’s federal division, recently answered some questions from FedTech managing editor David Stegon about the evolution of hybrid cloud use within the federal government.

FEDTECH: What are the most common government uses for hybrid cloud?

AUSTIN:  Government missions are now demanding more from IT — asking for choice in devices; requiring greater and faster access to infrastructure and applications; and driving new demands about application flexibility, such as where to deploy, for how long and with how many resources. To meet these expectations, government IT organizations must deliver IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) via a well-run hybrid cloud that brings together the trust, control and reliability of private cloud with the simplicity, low cost and flexibility of public cloud, while maintaining interoperability and visibility.

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Steven VanRoekel has left his post as chief innovation officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development, FedScoop reported. Last September, VanRoekel announced he would be stepping down as federal CIO to join USAID's efforts to fight Ebola. President Barack Obama announced last month that Tony Scott, VMware's former senior vice president and CIO, would take the reins as federal CIO.

VanRoekel told FedScoop he wanted to spend time with his family and does not have another job lined up. Read more here.


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The federal government is serious about catching a Russian cybercriminal believed to be the mastermind behind the Game Over Zeus botnet. The FBI announced Tuesday it would pay out $3 million for information that leads to the arrest of Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev, according to Bloomberg. This is the largest reward the FBI has offered.

"Game Over Zeus has infected more than 1 million computers and cost victims over $100 million," CNN reported.

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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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