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CyberPatriot Competition Kicks-Off with a Bright Start

The sixth season of the National CyberPatriot Competition kicked off back in November, and the National Finals are coming up: March 26th -- 29th. Conceived by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot is a premier Internet defense competition designed to excite, educate, and motivate the next generation of network defenders, which are critical to our nation’s security. It is the largest high school cyber defense competition in the United States, with two divisions:

  • Open Division -- Open to an accredited public or private institutions, registered home school associations, and community organizations like the Boy Scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
  • All Service Division -- Open to students in Junior ROTC programs, Civil Air Patrol squadrons, and Naval Sea Cadet units. Read More »

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Highlights from AFCEA Homeland Security Conference: Remaining Ever-Vigilant

AFCEA Homeland SecurityLast week I had the opportunity to attend the AFCEA Homeland Security conference in Washington, D.C.

Eleven days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security was appointed leading to the combination of 22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified, integrated cabinet agency when it was established in 2002.

The Department has a vital mission to secure the U.S. from many threats with capabilities that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity to chemical facility inspections.

The three day conference focused on a number of important topics including:

  • Mobility and Interoperability
  • Information Sharing and Fusion Centers
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Role of Laboratories and Scientific Research in Homeland Security
  • Cybersecurity Education and Continuous Diagnostics and Monitoring

Read More »

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Building Bridges for the Future of Technology

Technology in the public sector has revolutionized the way government agencies deliver services, conduct operations and secure sensitive information. Last week, I had the pleasure of learning from several prominent government leaders about how smart, visionary leaders have harnessed the power of new technology to transform the way they fulfill their respective missions.

We started by visiting the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) in Rockville, Maryland, which is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). When complete later in summer 2015 the NCCoE facility will be the epicenter of cybersecurity education, strategy and technology for government, academia and private industry and corporations such as Cisco. Now more than ever, such public-private partnerships are imperative in recognizing and thwarting common enemies who can wreak havoc by compromising sensitive information. This center will allow the top thinkers, practitioners, IT professionals and educators to collaborate and develop strategies to keep our sensitive information protected. Donna Dodson, director of the Center, hopes it will evolve into a hub for cyber solutions derived from government and private-sector tools. Read More »

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Mobile Government and Telework Week 2014

rpodEach year I pledge to telework along with thousands of others for the annual Telework Week.  Today, I worked from my rpod parked in front of my house.  My rpod is my personal smart work space and provides me everything I need to work at home or on the road with secure mobility capabilities that allow me to access all my meetings, applications, and collaboration tools to do my job.

In fact, I could have worked from anywhere and have been teleworking for the past several years.

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (Act) was signed into law on December 9, 2010. The objective is to achieve greater flexibility in managing the workforce through the use of telework. Telework programs  and best practices provide agencies a valuable tool to meet mission objectives while helping employees enhance work/life effectiveness to:

  • Improve Continuity of Operations to help ensure that essential Federal functions continue during emergency situations including snow storms
  • Promote management effectiveness when telework is used to target reductions in management costs and environmental impact and transit costs
  • Enhance work-life balance and allows employees to better manage their work and family obligations

This year, Telework Week 2014, was the fourth-annual global effort to encourage agencies, organizations, and individuals to pledge. A total of 163,495 pledges collectively saved $14,003,872 in commuting costs and spared the environment 9,066 tons of pollutants.

Read More »

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IoE’s Promise for the Public Sector

Internet of Everything (IoE) is touted as the next big thing in 2014. Tech pundits, Silicon Valley executives, entrepreneurs and government officials predict that Internet of Everything will be a “multi-trillion dollar business,” which has the potential to transform our physical world with a variety of remotely operated objects. Cisco predicts some 25 billion devices will be connected by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020.

Within the public sector, IoE has the capacity to reveal new ways to manage infrastructure, reduce operational costs and improve the lives of citizens with innovative service offerings. This includes public safety initiatives involving first responders, physical  security and fleet management in municipalities. For example, IoE helps keep first responders in constant communication with dispatchers, traffic management systems, and other agencies.  It can also provide  greater situational awareness with onsite video surveillance access and other environmental sensors.   Similarly, IoE also provides greater safety and convenience for passengers and drivers with real-time monitoring of vehicles, GPS data mapped to schedules and interactive onboard services. Read More »

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