Weekly News Kickoff: OMB Releases FITARA Guidance - (Archived)

It looks like federal CIOs are getting their Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act guidance sooner than anticipated. The impact this guidance will have on IT acquisitions remains to be seen. What do you think? And mark your calendars for a May 19 webinar on how to manage federal information records. Welcome to the weekly news kickoff. Enjoy these highlights.

Webinar: Driving Mission Value from Your Agency’s Information
Information security. Information governance. Information access. Information value. Checking these boxes may seem straightforward, yet few agencies can confidently do it. Complying with applicable federal records management laws and regulations is critical not only to safeguarding information, but also to enabling/ensuring access to the right information at the right time. On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT, Iron Mountain will host a webinar on how agencies can make the most of one of their most valuable assets and minimize the costs and risks connected to records and information. Register for the webinar.

OMB Says New CIO Authorities Won’t “Bottleneck” IT Planning, Acquisitions
There are new rules for federal agency IT acquisitions, FCW reports, and the bottom line appears to be that the CIO job is about to get a lot more powerful, and potentially a lot more interesting. Last week the Office of Management and Budget released new proposed guidance for the implementation of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, the IT reform package that was signed into law in December 2014.

VA Sees Jump in Cyber Attacks, but Drop in Veterans Affected
Although the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) experienced an increase in the number of attempted cyber attacks between February and March, the number of veterans affected fell, FierceGovernmentIT reports. In March, VA’s defense-in-depth approach to cybersecurity blocked almost 360 million intrusion attempts, compared with 4 million the month before, according to the department’s February (pdf) and March Information Security Monthly Activity Report (pdf). Also, malware detections or containments in March were about 1.2 billion, up from 930 million in February, and the number of suspicious or malicious email messages that were blocked rose from 68 million to 81 million, month to month. Despite the increases, the report states, about 500 fewer veterans were affected.

New Budget Proposal Drops Federal Benefit Cuts
Congress has dropped proposals to increase federal retirement contributions and cut tens of thousands of employees from the federal workforce, according to a compromise budget unveiled April 29, Federal Times reports. The budget also calls for about $496 billion in cuts to non-defense spending over 10 years, starting in 2017. The Defense Department would see large increases in spending over that same period, to the tune of about $187 billion.

DoD’s Cyber Evolution, Four Years Later
Last week, the Defense Department released a much-needed update of its 2011 Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, Defense Systems reports. The new version, while hitting on many of the same general points — sharing information, bolstering alliances in the cyber realm and protecting DoD infrastructure, to name a few — clearly reflects the evolution and escalation of threats and cyberspace operations over the past four years.

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