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06/30/2020
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Tech groups call for emergency IT modernization funding

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, with some areas seeing new spikes in positive cases, a group of tech associations wants the Senate to address IT modernization and federal cybersecurity in any of its potential upcoming relief packages. The Technology Modernization Fund and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation are two specific programs that could most effectively use funding, the associations wrote in a letter Monday to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and others. The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI), BSA | The Software Alliance, the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), the Center for Procurement Advocacy, Internet Association (IA), and the Cybersecurity Coalition signed the letter. Billy Mitchell has more.


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Two more QSMOs get official nod

The Office of Management and Budget formally designated two more quality services management offices (QSMOs) on Monday. The Department of the Treasury and General Services Administration will operate federal marketplaces for core financial management services and civilian human resources transaction services, respectively. QSMOs are essentially the federal government’s core providers for shared services. “Core financial management and civilian HR transaction are key services that are integral to the operations of every agency,” said Federal CIO Suzette Kent in the announcement. “Offering a robust marketplace where we can innovate and leverage expertise, contracts, and solutions to improve the federal landscape is a win.” Dave Nyczepir has more on the new QSMOs.


Marine Corps launched network-defense battalion

The Marine Corps has created a battalion of cyberwarriors activated to defend and modernize the enterprise network that supports the service and its command and control operations. The new force, called the 1st Network Battalion, was activated in early June, marking “the beginning of the Marine Corps Enterprise Network (MCEN) Command and Control (C2) modernization implementation plan," the service says. The unit is "responsible for providing all aspects of security, operations, and protection for Department of Defense Information Network from the enterprise at the service level, down to each individual warfighter throughout the entire Western Region,” said Lt. Col. Juliet Calvin, the battalion’s inaugural commander. More from Jackson Barnett.


An exit interview with Essye Miller

Essye Miller is set to retire at the end of June as the Department of Defense's deputy CIO. But before she packs up and walks out of the Pentagon one last time as one of the highest-ranking civilian IT officials in the DOD, we invited Miller to join Let’s Talk About IT for an exit interview. We discuss Miller’s career, her decision to retire and what’s next — and we also spend a good deal of time on the DOD’s IT response during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly telework and how important it’s been over the past three months to keep the federal workforce connected remotely and securely. Listen now.


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Thinking strategically: zero trust is a long game

The idea of zero trust is much discussed but not always well understood. Yet, spurred on by growing cloud adoption and the need to support remote work, agencies have a renewed sense of urgency to improve their security posture. Palo Alto Networks simplifies the approach to zero trust and lays out some guidelines for thoughtful planning to evolve the architectural approach over time. Read more.


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