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03/27/2020
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The latest on CMMC

The disruption caused by the coronavirus won't stop the progress of the Pentagon's new cybersecurity standards and certification process — the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). The nonprofit board that leads training of third-party assessors under CMMC signed a memorandum of understanding with the DOD this week that “formalized” its authority to certify those cybersecurity assessors, the board’s chairman Ty Schieber said during a virtual event Thursday. Despite the closure of government buildings to many nonessential employees, the team behind CMMC is plugging along virtually to make sure the program's rollout doesn't miss a beat. “Work does continue,” Katie Arrington, the CISO to the undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment, said. “We are working a tremendous amount in the virtual environment.” Jackson Barnett has more on CMMC.


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Cybersecurity training opportunities during COVID-19

Despite the disruption to the workforce during the pandemic, some are positioning it as a time to boost training on cybersecurity fundamentals. The massive transition to telework provides agencies the rare chance to transform how employees learn using the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework, said Rodney Petersen, NICE director within the National Institutes of Standards and Technology. Agencies can take the opportunity to audit their employees and determine where there are cyber skills gaps that remote learning can fill. “The discussions I’m hearing at the moment are less about the training needs and more about how the entire learning ecosystem could be fundamentally changed,” Petersen said. “And cybersecurity could become the pilot for how that is implemented and rethought in this current environment.” Dave Nyczepir reports.


Pentagon: Be wary of 'adversarial' foreign investors

Now is not the time for companies who do work with national security and defense to look abroad for investments, the Pentagon warned this week. “It’s critically important that we understand that during this crisis the [Defense Industrial Base] is vulnerable to adversarial capital, so we need to ensure companies can stay in business without losing their technology,” Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters. The coronavirus pandemic and economic downturn “presents a greater attack surface” for malicious foreign actors “as there is uncertainty especially with small businesses as to whether their contracts will continue,” Lord said. “So we want to basically mitigate that uncertainty.” Billy Mitchell has more from Lord's press conference.


Former deputy U.S. CTOs pitch-in for COVID-19 tech response

A network of more than 1,000 data scientists, user-design experts and civic-minded technologists — called the U.S. Digital Response for COVID-19 — formed last week to aid state and local government agencies in the fight to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The group, led by several nationally known civic-technology leaders, including former Deputy U.S. CTOs Jennifer Pahlka, Ryan Panchadsaram and Cori Zarek, will offer aid on everything from logistics and data visualization to back-end development. “A lot of resources are focused on the federal government, as they should be, and that sometimes leaves state and local leaders without as much direct coordination and opportunity to work together,” Zarek said. More on StateScoop.


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