CDM – Concentrating on the How of Cybersecurity

The Department of Homeland Security's Continuous Diagnostic Mitigation Program (CDM) was developed as a guideline process for agencies to fortify their ongoing cybersecurity plans and tactics. Agencies have worked through the stages of the program, first identifying what and who is on their network and then looking at what is happening on the network - really identifying the who, what, when, and where. Today, the focus is to put all that information to work in developing plans that address the "how" of secure networks including:

  • Reduce agency threat surface
  • Increase visibility into the federal cybersecurity posture
  • Improve federal cybersecurity response capabilities
  • Streamline Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) reporting

According to a recent survey, in the seven years since its inception, the CDM program has met its mission of making government IT systems more secure. But this success does not mean the work is done. Legislation has been introduced that will make CDM permanent and expand its reach to meet the ongoing cyber threats that face government agencies. Moving forward, the CDM will help agencies focus on taking what has traditionally been a piecemeal approach to cybersecurity and creating a more integrated approach that ties to the an overall cyber strategy.

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Department Spotlight: Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be the newest cabinet-level department, but it is still facing the same modernization challenges felt across government. The agencies pulled under the DHS umbrella in 2002 came with legacy systems. While a good deal of integration and modernization happened while DHS was being formed, systems have to keep evolving to keep up with the ever-changing threat landscape and the technologies used to threaten the homeland.

Cybersecurity, as it relates to the protection of the national infrastructure and government systems, is a huge focus for DHS. In fact, The DHS Secretary recently said that nation-state adversaries "are at the highest levels since the Cold War, largely but not exclusively due to leveraging cyber to conduct espionage and influence operations and disrupt services." As part of their efforts to strengthen their cybersecurity posture, the Department is leading the Continuous Diagnostic Monitoring (CDM) efforts across government to provide capabilities and tools to identify cybersecurity risks on an ongoing basis, prioritize these risks based on potential impacts, and enable cybersecurity personnel to mitigate the most significant problems first.

With a broad mandate to support election security, DHS has been collaborating across the government to ensure the security of machines and records for national elections. New technologies such as Albert sensors, technology designed to detect suspicious IP addresses and malware signatures, will be in place in 90% or more of voting machines used in November. Continue reading

Behind the Curtain: International Wireless Communications Expo

The International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Over the years, IWCE has stayed true to its roots in two-way radio communications, keeping attendees abreast of the evolution of technology from mobile radios to push-to-talk integrated cellphones to today's coordination with IoT devices. But what IWCE is even more excited about is what the next 40 years hold for the communications technology industry.

As the core technology and devices have evolved, the audience at IWCE is increasingly moving toward a more public sector crowd with public safety, utilities, and transportation sectors highly represented. At the show, attendees meet with vendors showcasing the latest technologies, discuss policy, and receive training on new tools, policies, and techniques.[Tweet "Behind the Curtain: International Wireless Communications Expo | March 27-31 #GovEventsBlog #IWCE"]

Show Director, Stephanie McCall, shared some insights into what to expect at this year's show happening March 27-31 in Las Vegas, NV. Continue reading

The Treats of Cybersecurity Month

The scariest thing in the month of October used to be Halloween. Since first being recognized as cybersecurity awareness month in 2004, October has served to educate the public about the very real threats in cyberspace.[Tweet "The Treats of Cybersecurity Month - Protect yourself from the threats in cyberspace #GovEventsBlog"]

Spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the cyber events held nationwide throughout October serve to engage and educate public and private sector partners and raise awareness about cybersecurity. These events aim to provide tools and resources needed to stay safe online, increasing the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident. DHS has organized the weeks of the month around themes to help direct this education. This year's themes are:

  • Week 1: October 3-7, 2016 - Every Day Steps Towards Online Safety with Stop.Think.Connect.™
  • Week 2: October 10-14, 2016 - Cyber from the Break Room to the Board Room
  • Week 3: October 17-21, 2016 - Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime
  • Week 4: October 24-28, 2016 - Our Continuously Connected Lives: What's Your 'App'-titude?
  • Week 5: October 31, 2016 - Building Resilience in Critical Infrastructure

We wanted to highlight a number of the events taking place across the nation throughout the month of October that will tackle these tough and important topics.[Tweet "Take a look at some of the events taking place during Cybersecurity Month. #GovEventsBlog"] Continue reading

DHS Sketches the Tech Future

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:

Originally posted on FCW

Reginald Brothers will probably be out of his job in another two years or so. But he's making policy plans for the next three decades.

This week, Brothers -- Homeland Security undersecretary for science and technology -- laid out an ambitious, though very general, long-term agenda for DHS's tech-development arm that concentrates on developing a seamless cybersecurity infrastructure, networked threat detection technology, and speedier traveler and cargo security detection capabilities.

Brothers unveiled the goals for the Science and Technology Directorate after consultation with a number of stakeholders. Continue reading