FedTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Government https://fedtechmagazine.com/rss.xml en 5 Questions to Ask About Buying AI-Enabled Security Software https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/5-questions-ask-about-buying-ai-enabled-security-software <span>5 Questions to Ask About Buying AI-Enabled Security Software</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/22/2019 - 10:34</span> <div><p>Security products <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/02/ai-machine-learning-and-need-innovation-cybersecurity">incorporating artificial intelligence techniques</a> may reduce the workload for human analysts,<strong> </strong>taking over the time-consuming job of <strong>correlating information sources and mining voluminous logs to uncover suspicious patterns of activity</strong>. Vendors, seeing the hype around AI, are quick to slap the label on almost any technology for a cutting-edge veneer. Here are five questions to ask before purchasing an AI-enabled security system:</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/05/gitec-2019-nasa-artificial-intelligence-complements-rocket-science" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Learn more about how NASA incorporates AI into its programs.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. What Data Was Used to Train the AI?</h2> <p>AI and machine learning techniques detect patterns in data and use those patterns to make predictions about the future. But those models are only as good as the data used to train them.<strong> Make sure you understand how the security system’s models were created. </strong>Does the product create a model customized for your organization, or does it use the same model across all types of environments?</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Does the Technology Truly Use Machine Learning or AI?</h2> <p>Some vendors assume that if their product is making recommendations, it’s using artificial intelligence. In reality, some of those products are simply using the same pattern-matching rules that they’ve always used, rather than relying upon more sophisticated data models. <strong>If you don’t understand the answers you receive, that’s a red flag</strong> that should prompt some hard questions.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. How Does the AI Learn and Improve Its Abilities Over Time?</h2> <p>As networks, systems and user behavior change, models must adapt to reflect those changes. How is the model updated? Is it <strong>continuously retrained on your new data as it’s collected</strong>, or does it require product updates from the vendor to improve its abilities? How are those updates delivered?</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/creative-cyberworkers-retain-their-place-workforce" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Find out why creative cybersecurity workers have a leg up. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. Who Owns the Resulting Models?</h2> <p>If the product is using your data to either develop or contribute to broader models, do you have any ownership rights to those models? Is the vendor permitted to use that model with other customers?<strong> Are you able to access details of the model and use them in other security applications? </strong>Read the contract’s fine print to make sure you clearly understand how the vendor will use your data and what rights you retain.</p> <h2 id="toc_4">5. Will the AI Save You Time or Improve Your Security Posture?</h2> <p>You should invest in AI technology only if you truly believe that it will either reduce the amount of time currently spent by security analysts on your team or provide you with insight that you don’t receive from your existing products. As with any business investment, <strong>make sure that the expected ROI justifies the cost</strong>.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="220" src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/CTA_Slides/Digital%20Transformation_IR_2.jpg" width="700" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/mike-chapple"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/mike_chapple_updated.jpg?itok=PSiizevj" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/mike-chapple"> <div>Mike Chapple</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Mike Chapple is associate teaching professor of IT, analytics and operations at the University of Notre Dame. </p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 22 Jul 2019 14:34:52 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42806 at https://fedtechmagazine.com The Tech Behind Apollo 11’s Guidance Computer https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/tech-behind-apollo-11s-guidance-computer <span>The Tech Behind Apollo 11’s Guidance Computer</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 07/18/2019 - 12:53</span> <div><p>Fifty years ago this week, on July 20, 1969, the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle landed on the surface of the moon at the culmination of the <strong>Apollo 11 mission</strong>, and human beings first set foot on the planet’s only natural satellite. </p> <p>The technological feat that enabled Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to bounce around the Sea of Tranquility was <strong>the Apollo Guidance Computer, or AGC</strong>, and the software that powered it. </p> <p>The Apollo space program, and the technical efforts needed to transport astronauts from the Earth to the moon and back safely, helped accelerate technological progress in the United States and the wider world, including the <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/09/how-government-helped-spur-microchip-industry">rise of the semiconductor industry</a>. Although the AGC is antiquated by today’s standards (<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/an-apollo-spacecraft-computer-is-brought-back-to-life-11563152761" target="_blank">one was briefly brought back to life recently</a>) and <strong>modern smartphones have orders of magnitude more computing power,</strong> <strong>the AGC was a marvel for its time</strong>. </p> <p>As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, it’s worth taking a look back at the technology that made the landing possible and how far modern computers have come since 1969. </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 18 Jul 2019 16:53:27 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42801 at https://fedtechmagazine.com Storage Area Networks Keep Information Close at Hand for VA, EPA https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/storage-area-networks-keep-information-close-hand-va-epa <span>Storage Area Networks Keep Information Close at Hand for VA, EPA </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 07/18/2019 - 09:25</span> <div><p>In the nearly 75 years since the end of World War II, American service members have seen their experience with paperwork change — from writing letters sent through the Postal Service to obtain their service records via mail to tapping on a screen to get that data instantly.</p> <p>Stephen Roberts, a Marine Corps veteran who retired in 2008, has seen this evolution firsthand. As director of enterprise storage for the Department of Veterans Affairs data centers, he finds himself <strong>“facilitating the iPhone generation.”</strong></p> <p>The VA holds petabytes of data on the nation’s <strong>19.6 million</strong> living veterans, and runs more than <strong>1,900 hospitals, clinics and benefits centers</strong> around the world, all of which need quick access to data.</p> <p>“We have the Greatest Generation veteran, now able to get information at home online — which, when they were fighting in World War II, they would have never thought possible,” says Roberts. “We have veterans today coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan who <strong>make an appointment online, they’ve got their medical records checked online, they’ve filed for veteran’s status online</strong>.”</p> <p>As vets and their families do this, the data has to keep up. The VA offers such a wide range of services to such a large number of people that their computer systems are doing m<strong>illions of input-­output cycles per second, per terabyte</strong>, and the information needs to be readily available to support that demand.</p> <p>It’s a tall order, but Roberts and his team manage it with a robust<strong> storage area network fabric</strong>.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/hybrid-cloud-infrastructure-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Why the VA Has Invested in SAN Solutions</h2> <p>The VA first turned to a <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/cisco.html" target="_blank">Cisco</a> SAN solution about 15 years ago, during a modernization cycle. The SAN allowed the VA data centers to <strong>consolidate three data storage solutions — mainframe, tape and open-system storage — into a single fabric</strong>.</p> <p>The agency chose to implement a SAN that could meet the demands VA employees placed on it. They needed to be able to access data quickly, in large volumes, from a ­variety of operating systems in locations nationwide.</p> <p>“When it was initiated, it was the most reliable and cost-­effective solution to meet enterprise needs. It’s been <strong>very robust and very reliable</strong>,” Roberts says. “We’re in the process of doing a lifecycle refresh right now.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/jacquelyn-bengfort"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Screen%20Shot%202015-08-24%20at%2010.46.40%20PM.png.jpg?itok=0Wu86nnL" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/jacquelyn-bengfort"> <div>Jacquelyn Bengfort</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=jacib&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Jacquelyn Bengfort is a freelance writer based in Washington, DC. A social anthropologist by training, she writes on topics from education to the military, gender to fictional post-apocalyptic worldscapes.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 18 Jul 2019 13:25:15 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42796 at https://fedtechmagazine.com DOD Releases Digital Modernization Strategy https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/dod-releases-digital-modernization-strategy <span>DOD Releases Digital Modernization Strategy </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 07/18/2019 - 08:49</span> <div><p>The Defense Department on July 15 announced the rollout of its “<a href="https://media.defense.gov/2019/Jul/12/2002156622/-1/-1/1/DOD-DIGITAL-MODERNIZATION-STRATEGY-2019.PDF" target="_blank">Digital Modernization Strategy</a>,” designed to <strong>guide the Pentagon’s IT modernization process for the foreseeable future</strong>. </p> <p>The 72-page document has four key goals: innovate for competitive advantage, optimize for efficiencies and improved capability, evolve cybersecurity for an agile and resilient defense posture, and cultivate talent for a ready workforce.</p> <p>“Through four strategic initiatives, this strategy outlines how the department will increase agility and remain competitive within a constantly evolving digital global threat landscape,” DOD CIO Dana Deasy said in <a href="https://dod.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/1905272/dod-releases-digital-modernization-strategy/" target="_blank">a news release</a>. “The National Defense Strategy makes clear that the character of warfare is changing. Our ultimate goal is to ensure our men and women in uniform maintain strategic advantage on the battlefield.”</p> <p>Notably, the strategy emphasizes four clear priorities for the DOD CIO: <strong>cybersecurity; artificial Intelligence; cloud; and command, control and communications</strong>. “Cloud and cognitive computing will significantly alter warfighting and defense business operations,” the strategy notes. </p> <p><a href="https://www.fedscoop.com/defense-digital-modernization-strategy/" target="_blank">As FedScoop reports</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>Standing up the <a href="https://www.fedscoop.com/tag/joint-artificial-intelligence-center-jaic/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Joint Artificial Intelligence Center</a> is a key strategy that the DOD said will help integrate AI deployment. The JAIC is the DOD’s new <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/software/artificial-intelligence">AI</a> hub that partners across sectors to research and develop military applications for the department.</p> </blockquote> <p>“Cloud is the foundation upon which DoD will <strong>build and scale more effective cybersecurity, advanced analytical capabilities, better command and control, and future enabling technologies</strong>,” the strategy adds. “This foundation will enable the Department to organize massive amounts of data and support rapid access to information for improved decision-making, preserving and extending our military advantage.”</p> <p> </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 18 Jul 2019 12:49:36 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42786 at https://fedtechmagazine.com GSA's Centers of Excellence Provide A Valuable Model of Collaboration https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/gsas-centers-excellence-provide-valuable-model-collaboration <span>GSA&#039;s Centers of Excellence Provide A Valuable Model of Collaboration</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 07/17/2019 - 09:23</span> <div><p>With the announcement that the Office of Personnel Management will become the third agency to participate in <a href="https://coe.gsa.gov/" target="_blank">the federal Centers of Excellence program</a>, the plan to <strong>create more collaboration and cooperation during the government modernization process</strong> continues to set an example.</p> <p>The CoE program, a signature White House initiative administered by the General Services Administration, embeds staff in participating agencies to help with IT modernization efforts. </p> <p>The program focuses on specific areas of transformation, including <strong>cloud adoption, contact center, customer experience, data analytics and infrastructure optimizatio</strong>n.</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/how-federal-it-leaders-can-adapt-accelerating-tech-change" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Find out how federal IT leaders can adapt to accelerating technology.</em> </a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Why Partnership Is Important for IT Modernization </h2> <p>From the beginning, the program has emphasized the importance of working together on IT modernization. One of the program’s five values is <strong>“collaborate for success,”</strong> which GSA defines as the recruitment of the “best and brightest from our customer’s workforce to co-lead modernization efforts and ensure success, and longevity, beyond CoE engagements.”</p> <p>Other values — including<strong> “innovate from within,” “rely on best practices” and “centralize our resources”</strong> — highlight the importance of drawing on existing expertise and infrastructure.</p> <p>There’s a consensus across organizations that collaboration is critical for optimizing IT infrastructure and operations. But collaboration also <strong>breaks down the silos that lead to inefficiencies</strong>. “<a href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" target="_blank">The Digital Transformation Insight Report</a>” by CDW, for instance, found that <strong>19 percent</strong> of respondents were sending members of their IT teams into their business units so that each could get experience in the other’s specialty, much as the government is doing with its CoE program.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">GSA Works to Foster Collaboration in Federal IT</h2> <p>“Forget about rigid business processes and system siloes,” the CDW report states. “Organizations must …<strong> reinvent corporate culture to support enterprisewide digital transformation</strong>.”</p> <p>Joanne Collins Smee, former director of Technology Transformation Services, discussed the need for collaboration before she returned to the private sector.</p> <p>“Bringing in outside expertise and experience is an important part of understanding modernization,” <a href="https://www.gsa.gov/blog/2018/07/31/strengthening-capacity-to-accelerate-it-modernization" target="_blank">she wrote in a GSA blog post</a>. “Solving the most complex problems in IT requires <strong>soliciting a diverse range of skills, perspectives and personnel</strong>.” </p> <p>It’s easy to talk about improved teamwork without taking any action, but <strong>collaboration is actually baked right into the CoE model</strong>. Employees from GSA provide leadership, subject matter expertise, external perspectives and access to cross-government networks. </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11621"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/9233_hrvcc.jpg?itok=fPK48nls" width="58" height="58" alt="Ben Bourbon" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11621"> <div>Ben Bourbon </div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Ben Bourbon is vice president of federal sales for CDW•G.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 17 Jul 2019 13:23:03 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42781 at https://fedtechmagazine.com DOD Tests Biometric Tech for ID Verification https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/dod-tests-biometric-tech-id-verification <span>DOD Tests Biometric Tech for ID Verification</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/16/2019 - 11:59</span> <div><p>Defense Department employees gain entry to secure networks or buildings using a <a href="https://www.cac.mil/Common-Access-Card/" target="_blank">Common Access Card</a> with an embedded chip that holds the user’s personal information and access level — data that tells the system it’s safe to unlock the doors.</p> <p>Once inside, the workers log in to the DOD system the same way that those at most federal agencies do: <strong>with a password on a designated computer</strong>. But as more people work remotely, agencies need better methods to verify an employee’s identity before he or she can use a classified or proprietary network.</p> <p>DOD is testing new technology that includes <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-BuGc9TQc4" target="_blank">continuous multifactor authentication</a> (CMFA) that could enhance the agency’s traditional security methods with <strong>multiple biometric factors such as face/voice recognition or fingerprint</strong>.</p> <p>But it also can read a person’s gait as they walk with a mobile device; detect the location where the person typically works; recognize the person’s typing rhythm; and <strong>even anticipate which apps the person will open</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/06/stay-top-evolving-state-identity-governance" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>How to stay on top of the evolving state of identity governance. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">DOD Gets More Security Through Advanced Authentication </h2> <p>The latest algorithms do this <strong>continuously, checking numerous factors at predetermined intervals</strong>, says Army Maj. Nikolaus Ziegler, military deputy in the Emerging Technology Directorate of the <a href="https://disa.mil/" target="_blank">Defense Information Systems Agency</a>.</p> <p>The technology in development for DOD would incorporate<strong> a “trust score” based on met authentication criteria</strong>, Ziegler says. Those that match a certain number of expectations (giving the ­system more confidence in who they are) would earn a higher score and a higher level of access to data.</p> <p>CMFA adds a layer of protection that <strong>prevents hacking and unauthorized entry</strong> — important for top-level officials who need to retrieve confidential documents while traveling or working at an offsite location, says Dipankar Dasgupta, director of the <a href="https://www.memphis.edu/cfia/" target="_blank">Center for Information Assurance</a> at the University of Memphis.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/cyber-security-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Cybersecurity-report_EasyTarget.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://healthtechmagazine.net/sites/biztechmagazine.com/files/uploads/Cybersecurity-report_EasyTarget.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Image Identification Accuracy Has Increased </h2> <p>The accuracy of image identification has improved exponentially through <strong>AI-driven methods for tagging and classifying visual files online</strong>, says Jonathon Phillips, an electronics engineer who evaluates facial recognition algorithms for the <a href="https://www.nist.gov/" target="_blank">National Institute of Standards and Technology</a>.</p> <p>One of NIST’s latest tests for the FBI, matching mug shot to mug shot, had an accuracy rate of <strong>99.7 percent</strong>, says Phillips.</p> <p>“Considering where the technology was 10 years ago, I’m astounded at the progress that’s been made.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/carolyn-shapiro"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Carolyn%20Shapiro%20headshot.jpg?itok=jAl8Kga-" width="58" height="58" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/carolyn-shapiro"> <div>Carolyn Shapiro</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Carolyn Shapiro is a freelance journalist based in Burlington, Vt., with expertise in covering business and technology, health and science, consumer issues and the food industry.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 16 Jul 2019 15:59:45 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42776 at https://fedtechmagazine.com How to Incorporate DevOps into Your Agency’s Practices https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/how-incorporate-devops-your-agencys-practices <span>How to Incorporate DevOps into Your Agency’s Practices</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/62836" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Elizabeth_Neus_pdwC</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/15/2019 - 09:03</span> <div><p>What do we talk about when we talk about DevOps? Not technology, even though the concept touches application development and operations within a technical system. It’s not quite a mature practice in some segments, particularly the federal sector.</p> <p>Instead, <strong>we talk about people and processes.</strong> DevOps as a practice evolved from agile management, in which the application development process is broken down into multiple components, with deadlines for each. Agile grew from the traditional waterfall practice, where the goal is to hit a final implementation date rather than a series of deadlines leading up to it.</p> <p>DevOps is the latest iteration of project management, <strong>bringing agile practices to bear on both development and operations.</strong> It increases the amount of <a href="https://blog.cdw.com/data-center/embracing-orchestration-and-automation-in-the-data-center" target="_blank">communication and collaboration</a> between the two teams, speeds up the overall process and gets projects to clients faster.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">DevOps Leads to Transformation of the Business Process</h2> <p>With DevOps, <strong>we’re talking about the complete reimagining of an entire business process workflow</strong> for developing, supporting, maintaining and deploying applications. Even the name “DevOps” implies tight integration between the development team and the operations team.</p> <p>A DevOps workflow makes sure <strong>the operations team can build and package infrastructure that the development team can grab as necessary</strong>, knowing the proper governance exists so operations doesn’t have to worry about development overstepping or overspending.</p> <p>The conversation we could be having with customers in <strong>the federal space — where DevOps is still a relatively new idea</strong> — is about how to leverage the new capabilities in the marketplace; how to figure out which applications or application processes are best qualified to work for an initial move into a DevOps mindset. </p> <p>Say, for example, your agency is running on a software framework that’s five years old and operating it on hardware that’s 12 years old. What would it look like for you to build out the system as new? Or, say your agency has built an application using the waterfall method; <strong>how do you shift future upgrades to the DevOps process?</strong> </p> <p>Those are the kind of conversations we want to have — understanding how projects fit into a DevOps process.</p> <p><a href="https://blog.cdw.com/services/devops-brings-it-and-programmers-together-for-seamless-integration-and-collaboration" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Learn how DevOps brings IT and programmers together.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">IRS, Air Force, USCIS Are Working on DevOps Programs</h2> <p>Some agencies are already having those conversations and seeing the results. <strong>The IRS, <a href="https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-19-471" target="_blank">owner of some of the oldest technology in government,</a> moved to a DevOps way of working in late 2016. </strong>Nearly three years later, their results — <a href="https://www.meritalk.com/articles/pandya-highlights-devops-benefits-for-irs-at-atarc-summit/" target="_blank">as outlined by Kaschit Pandya, IRS Enterprise Operations deputy associate CIO</a>, at an ATARC summit in March — are spectacular:</p> <ul><li>Full-integration testing and deployment time has fallen from <strong>500 minutes per project to 30. </strong></li> <li>Package build and deployment time has <strong>fallen from 27 hours to four</strong>.</li> <li>Automated testing time decreased from <strong>15 minutes to one millisecond</strong>.</li> <li>The agency’s ability to deploy releases and upgrades plummeted from <strong>18 weeks to nine minutes.</strong></li> </ul><p>“These are <strong>actual, measurable gain</strong>s that we have seen come out of our DevOps initiatives,” Pandya said at the event. “We are able to demonstrate those achievements that our teams have come up with and use that as our momentum to continue.”</p> <p>In recent months, other agencies sought information and training in DevOps, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; the Office of Personnel Management; and the <a href="https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2019/01/air-force-turns-gsa-pilot-devops-platform/154024/" target="_blank">Air Force</a>, which has turned to the General Services Administration’s <a href="https://fedsim.gsa.gov/index.html" target="_blank">Federal Systems Integration and Management Center pilot</a> for assistance.</p> <p>So, what do we talk about when we talk about DevOps? <strong>We talk about joining the conversation and helping interested agencies bring their programs up to speed</strong> — and we do it now.</p> <p><em>This article is part of FedTech's <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/capital">CapITal blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FedIT" target="_blank">#FedIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p><em><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/capital"><img alt="CapITal blog logo" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/CapITal_Logo.jpg" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11741"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/evan%20doty.jpg?itok=fLv2p7qY" width="58" height="58" alt="Evan Doty" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11741"> <div>Evan Doty</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Evan Doty is a senior field solution architect at CDW focused on hybrid cloud and Microsoft Azure. His areas of expertise include LAN and WAN network design and implementation, Windows system administration, project management, call center management and deployment, and IT vendor management.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11746"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Ken%20Collins.jpg?itok=Im2r4dLa" width="58" height="58" alt="Ken Collins" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11746"> <div>Ken Collins</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Ken Collins is a senior solutions architect for CDW's hybrid cloud practice. He has been with CDW for more than five years, helping customers realize their investment in various cloud-based ecosystems, such as PaaS and SaaS.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 15 Jul 2019 13:03:26 +0000 Elizabeth_Neus_pdwC 42771 at https://fedtechmagazine.com How to Think About Blockchain Security in a Federal Setting https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/how-think-about-blockchain-security-federal-setting <span>How to Think About Blockchain Security in a Federal Setting</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 07/10/2019 - 14:51</span> <div><p>CIOs in and out of government are giving the go-ahead to innovative blockchain projects in a bid to explore the technology and its potential to improve operations and service delivery. But planning for <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/08/cdc-tests-blockchain-tech-keep-track-health-data">a blockchain project</a> is a little bit different than other IT jobs.</p> <p>First, figure out whether the blockchain project is a public or a private one. If the project lets anyone join and participate, it’s known as <strong>a permissionless system and is a public blockchain project</strong>. </p> <p>Federal agencies are less likely to rely on this type of blockchain: while most public projects provide some kind of incentive (such as a share of the cryptocurrency) to join, the government cannot; and agencies would have less control over the project in general.</p> <p>A <strong>private, or permissioned, blockchain</strong> — the kind most likely to be run in a federal setting — has a large network of decentralized systems run by stakeholders and other interested parties who maintain the centralized blockchain. (Cryptocurrencies are the best-known example.)</p> <p>Private projects focus on the blockchain as a <strong>shared and distributed, write-once database</strong>. In these projects, adding to the database — which can’t be changed, only added to — is done only by a set of<strong> trusted and specifically authorized participants</strong>. These projects may stretch around the globe on nonsecure internet infrastructure, but only those who have permission to join the network can participate. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Think of Blockchain as Just Another App</h2> <p>Private permissioned blockchain projects may not be the most interesting, in terms of pure innovation. From that perspective, they’re<strong> </strong><strong>reinventing the wheels of distributed voting algorithms and specialized data structures</strong> that have been studied since the dawn of distributed operating systems in the 1970s. These algorithms and data structures are fundamental to the proper operation of every supercomputer, high-performance database and TCP/IP network today. </p> <p>But blockchain projects are interesting for other reasons; for instance, public record keeping projects, which might have fallen out of favor or gone nowhere with traditional methodology, might be <strong>adapted to blockchain, spurring renewed interest and funding</strong>. </p> <p>In these projects, the key component is the data structure — the blocks of transactions — being maintained on the blockchain. These chunks of data could be anything that needs to be shared but unchangeable, from <strong>public records of transactions to everyday procurement documents</strong>. Without this shared, distributed and persistent data structure, the other components of blockchain are irrelevant. </p> <p>Because blockchain is part of an application, and applications run on IT infrastructure, that means starting from something agencies know and understand very well: <strong>how to run and deploy applications on servers, whether in their own data center or out in the cloud</strong>. </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/joel-snyder"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/author/Joel_Studio_Headshot_180.jpg?itok=TYcy4rmk" width="58" height="58" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/joel-snyder"> <div>Joel Snyder</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Joel Snyder, Ph.D., is a senior IT consultant with 30 years of practice. An internationally recognized expert in the areas of security, messaging and networks, Dr. Snyder is a popular speaker and author and is known for his unbiased and comprehensive tests of security and networking products. His clients include major organizations on six continents.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 10 Jul 2019 18:51:30 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42761 at https://fedtechmagazine.com Intelligence Community to Shift to Multicloud Model https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/intelligence-community-shift-multicloud-model <span>Intelligence Community to Shift to Multicloud Model</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/09/2019 - 11:01</span> <div><p>Five years into the U.S. intelligence community’s use of commercial cloud technologies, the IC plans to <strong>shift from a single-cloud to a multicloud model</strong>.</p> <p>Details are scarce on what that will mean, but the shift was confirmed last month by John Sherman, CIO of the intelligence community, during <a href="https://www.fedscoop.com/cia-confirms-multi-cloud-procurement-c2e-jedi/" target="_blank">the 2019 Cloud Smart Talks summit</a> in Washington, D.C., <a href="https://www.fedscoop.com/cia-confirms-multi-cloud-procurement-c2e-jedi/" target="_blank">as FedScoop reports</a>. He said that the shift will allow intelligence agencies to make greater use of emerging technology capabilities, the publication notes.</p> <p>The IC uses the CIA’s Commercial Cloud Services, or C2S, environment, a private on-premises cloud. According to FedScoop, which cited procurement documents, the new contract will again be<strong> procured by the CIA and could be worth several billions of dollars</strong>. </p> <p>The shift to a multicloud environment likely means that several cloud vendors, such as <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft.html" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> and <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/oracle.html" target="_blank">Oracle</a>, could provide cloud services to the IC. In April, Microsoft indicated it was <a href="https://gcn.com/articles/2019/04/22/microsoft-azure-secret.aspx" target="_blank">taking steps to host classified data</a> in a commercial cloud.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/hybrid-cloud-infrastructure-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">IC Does Not See Its Cloud Approach as Comparable to DOD</h2> <p>Just <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/08/intelligence-community-sees-surge-cloud-use">as other intelligence officials have</a>, Sherman lauded the IC’s shift to the cloud, noting that the IC has found it is able to safely and securely store classified data in its private cloud. <strong>“Some of our most important data is hosting in the cloud,”</strong> he said.</p> <p>Sherman noted that despite the fact that the IC plans to move to a multicloud environment, it is still happy with its current setup. </p> <p>“We have heard some speculation that our intention to move to a potential multi-cloud environment is somehow a repudiation of what we have done with C2S,” he said.<strong> “Nothing could be further from the truth.”</strong></p> <p>The Defense Department expected to award its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract this summer to a single cloud provider, believed to be either AWS or Microsoft. Sherman said the IC’s shift to a multicloud model should not be seen as a rebuke to the DOD’s approach, noting that the Pentagon determined what was best for its own specific circumstances. </p> <p>“We don’t believe it is appropriate for C2E to be used as a yardstick for JEDI as DOD and the intelligence community are <strong>at different places in our prospective cloud modernization journeys</strong>,” Sherman said, according to FedScoop. </p> <p>The intelligence community needed to establish that it could host sensitive, mission-critical data in commercial cloud environment <strong>before it expanded to a multicloud model</strong>, Sherman said, <a href="https://defensesystems.com/articles/2019/07/02/jedi-vs-c2e.aspx" target="_blank">according to Defense Systems</a>. </p> <p>“[DOD] is where we were five years ago,” he said. “Starting with a single cloud is very analogous to where we started.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 09 Jul 2019 15:01:49 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42756 at https://fedtechmagazine.com DARPA Explores How to Automate Software Assurance Assessments https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/07/darpa-explores-how-automate-software-assurance-assessments <span>DARPA Explores How to Automate Software Assurance Assessments </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/08/2019 - 12:36</span> <div><p>The Defense Department wants Congress to <a href="https://fcw.com/articles/2019/05/03/dod-software-simplify-dib.aspx" target="_blank">allow it to make software development a single line item</a> in its fiscal 2020 budget. The department’s research arm is also exploring ways to automate software assurance and <strong>determine if the DOD’s apps meet security standards</strong>. </p> <p>In May, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency unveiled a new program called <a href="https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2019-05-03" target="_blank">Automated Rapid Certification of Software</a> (ARCOS), which is designed to use software assessment evidence and then <strong>automatically figure out software’s level of risk</strong>.</p> <p>As the DOD and armed forces rely more on software <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/air-force-nga-embrace-ai-different-ways">and artificial intelligence platforms</a>, it will be more critical to assure that the software they are deploying is coded correctly and that vulnerabilities are detected quickly. </p> <p>“Software requires a certain level of certification — or approval that it will work as intended with minimal risks — before receiving approval for use within military systems and platforms,” notes Ray Richards, a program manager in DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, in <a href="https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2019-05-03" target="_blank">a press release</a>. “However, the effort required to certify software is an impediment to expeditiously developing and fielding new capabilities within the defense community.” </p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/05/borderless-world-feds-human-centric-security-best-defense" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Find out why human-centric security is the best cybersecurity defense. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">DARPA Wants to Use Big Data to Assess Software</h2> <p>DARPA notes that, currently, the software certification process is “largely manual and relies on human evaluators combing through piles of documentation, or assurance evidence, to determine whether the software meets certain certification criteria.” </p> <p>This <strong>takes a great deal of time, is costly and can result in evaluations of software that do not catch vulnerabilities</strong>, as evaluators bring their own experience and biases to bear, DARPA argues. This makes it difficult to uniformly evaluate software. </p> <p>The ARCOS program is designed to automate the process and “provide justification for a software’s level of assurance that is understandable,” the DARPA release notes. It leverages recent advances in model-based design technology, <strong>“Big Code” analytics, mathematically rigorous analysis and verification</strong>, as well as assurance case languages, according to DARPA.</p> <p><a href="https://defensesystems.com/articles/2014/05/13/darpa-big-code-software-reliability.aspx" target="_blank">As Defense Systems reports</a>, for several years DARPA has been working on “Big Code” analytics through a separate initiative called <a href="https://www.darpa.mil/program/mining-and-understanding-software-enclaves" target="_blank">Mining and Understanding Software Enclaves</a>, or MUSE, which “seeks to leverage software analysis and <strong>big data analytics</strong> to improve the way software is built, debugged and verified.” </p> <p>ARCOS researchers will evaluate “progressively more challenging sets of software systems and associated artifacts,” DARPA says, moving from a single software module to a set of interacting modules and then to a realistic military software system.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 08 Jul 2019 16:36:21 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42751 at https://fedtechmagazine.com