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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.

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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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Highlights from RSA 2014

IMG_1155This week I had the opportunity to attend the RSA Conference in San Francisco.

The theme for the conference this year was “Share. Learn. Secure” with a focus on recent breaches, surveillance programs and DDoS attacks with:

  • Hundreds of educational sessions with insights, best practices and real implementation case studies
  • Live keynote speakers
  • Two expos featuring hundreds of solutions including Cisco and Sourcefire booths featuring threat-centric security solutions to reduce complexity, provide visibility, continuous control, and advanced threat protection

Cisco’s Chris Young, SVP, Cisco Security Business Group, and Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, delivered the keynote “The New Model of Security” sharing our vision and strategy Intelligent Cybersecurity for the Real World.

If you did not attend RSA  in person, starting March 3 you can view an on-demand webcast of the keynote.

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National Cybersecurity Center for Excellence: A Promising Fortress

It is one thing to recognize cyber threats and their potential to disrupt entire companies, agencies and institutions. It is another thing to do something about it. In light of recent threats we cannot sit still and wait for the next one.

On February 18, I was honored to join Governor O’Malley, Senator Mikulski, NIST director Pat Gallagher, and Montgomery County Chief Executive Ike Leggett in the partnership agreement signing ceremony to expand the National Cybersecurity Center for Excellence in Montgomery County.  Federal and Maryland officials signed the agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg to develop new cybersecurity technology and educational opportunities. Read More »

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User Behavior and Training Critical to Secure Mobility

Worker mobility has become an essential practice for government agencies. From teleworking on the road to accessing critical data on your smart phone, mobility increases productivity and employee satisfaction. And the trend toward mobility is growing. In fact, the Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices worldwide by 2017. With the increased proliferation of mobile devices comes the need to ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place so agencies can take advantage of increased capabilities while still maintaining high levels of security.

By and large, government agencies are doing a good job of balancing the need for mobility with security requirements. However, according to a new study by Mobile Work Exchange, which was commissioned by Cisco, 41 percent of government employees are putting agencies at risk with secure mobility habits. Clearly, there is some room for improvement. MWEhotzone

The study used the Secure Mobilometer, an online self-assessment tool, to capture data from end-users and agencies. The tool ranked their mobility habits based on practices of user inputs, password protection, data loss prevention, mobile device policies and security training.

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