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04/01/2020
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Army looks to boost critical-care IT at field hospitals

As some hospitals across the U.S. are overwhelmed with patients, the Army wants to build a network of “virtual critical care wards” that can be spun up for field medical facilities around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The service calls the idea the National Emergency Telecritical Care Network (NETCCN) — “a cloud-based, low-resource, stand-alone health information management system." Its goal is to scale up existing critical-care telemedicine technology in hospitals so it can be linked to the field hospitals. The Army will have between $30 million to $37 million to offer up to six awardees, according to procurement documents released Monday. Jackson Barnett has more from the procurement.


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SBA's cyber 'not effective,' IG says

The Small Business Administration has made recent improvements in cybersecurity oversight of incident response, risk management and contingency planning. Still, its inspector general finds the agency's cybersecurity program to be “not effective," according to the results of its most recent Federal Information Security Modernization Act audit. Independent accounting firm KPMG tested 10 of the SBA's systems against eight FISMA requirements and found the agency only achieved a “managed and measurable” level — denoting effective security — in incident response. “To continue to improve its FISMA effectiveness, SBA needs to proactively update and implement security operating procedures and address the new vulnerabilities identified in this report,” reads the OIG audit released Monday. Dave Nyczepir has more from the audit.


Tech integral in Marines' learning

The Marine Corps is out with a new educational strategy that emphasizes continuous learning using technology. The service's new doctrine focuses on the broad principles of learning that will guide the education of Marines as the U.S. military faces new technological challenges in an era of great power competition. The doctrine is the first major update to the Marines’ learning philosophy in more than 20 years, the corps’ top military official Gen. David Berger wrote. “Projected future challenges for the Marine Corps include the potential for adversaries to achieve technological equivalence or superiority with the United States,” the document states. “That possibility, coupled with Marines’ expeditionary nature, means that the Marine Corps must be a more lethal, thinking force that fosters continuous personal and organizational learning based upon enduring principles.” Jackson has this one too.


GSA loses its longtime CDO

Kris Rowley, the General Services Administration's first chief data officer, has left government. Rowley is now CDO of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. Deputy Chief Information Officer Beth Killoran in the interim has led the CDO and chief technology officer teams since Rowley’s departure on March 13. “Kris has a passion to understand the data culture and took the lead in cultivating and discussing ways to improve information management and data access across the agency,” wrote David Shive, GSA CIO, in an internal note. “He also established and matured GSA’s data governance structure and developed a data science talent management strategy.” Rowley was with GSA since 2013. More on Rowley's departure.


Agencies turn to bots in coronavirus response

Federal agencies are turning to bots to help with response efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. The General Services Administration is one such agency that was able to quickly hand over important work to a bot to automate otherwise manual workflows. The agency's RPA team has developed a national COVID-19 bot to speed up collection of infection count data in counties where it manages federal buildings — one of about 20 new automations across the government tied to the response. Elsewhere, the Department of Homeland Security has built about 500 bots in 36 hours to perform coronavirus-related data analysis. And agencies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to the Food and Drug Administration are working with RPA developers like UiPath to supplement teleworkers focused on mission-critical work. Dave has the scoop on RPA.


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How to achieve integrated network visibility and control

For years, government agencies have been searching for more efficient ways to achieve a common operating picture across their networks. Fortinet’s Jim Richberg says that need has taken on new urgency. Agencies are seeing an increase in data and applications running on multiple environments — on-prem and in the cloud. And the number of devices and applications accessing agency resources continues to go up. A unified platform can be a game changer for cybersecurity as well as data insights. Read more from Jim Richberg.


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