Posts By Nicole Blake Johnson

5 Takeaways from the OPM Breach Hearing

It’s highly likely that sophisticated hackers stole sensitive data from Office of Personnel Management systems containing Social Security numbers and other personal records of current and former federal employees, government officials testified on Tuesday. Although OPM has not determined the full scope of not one, but two recent hacks against its IT systems, Director KatherineRead… Read more »

Your Burning Questions About the OPM Hacks May Soon Be Answered

There are far more questions than answers about the massive Office of Personnel Management breach that exposed the personal data of millions of current and former federal employees. In the wake of OPM’s June 4 announcement that some 4 million people were affected by the cyber hack, new reports have surfaced that create a much bleaker pictureRead… Read more »

How Feds Implement the Nation’s First Open Data Law Is Key

It’s one thing for Congress to pass what has been dubbed the nation’s first open data law. It’s another thing for agencies to have the necessary resources to implement that law, along with the backing from senior leadership to fully embrace it. “How you implement legislation, how you follow through, is every bit as important,Read… Read more »

Here’s Why the DATA Act Is a Big Deal

Tracking federal spending is not for the faint of heart. For starters, the system doesn’t cater to curious citizens or concerned feds, who want to track spending from appropriations in Congress to contract and grant awards. Part of the problem is different agencies use different systems to compile data, and there isn’t a consistent wayRead… Read more »

12 Things You Should Know About the OPM Breach

There is no shortage of information on the interwebs about the massive Office of Personnel and Management breach that left computer systems and data exposed to hackers. The hard part is cutting through the jargon and speculation to understand what happened and what this hack means for you, especially if you’re one of the 4Read… Read more »

Is Federal Information Security Better or Worse off Than a Year Ago?

That’s the question (ISC)2, a nonprofit education and certification organization, posed to more than 1,800 federal security professionals for its 2015 global workforce study. Nearly half of those surveyed — 47 percent — said government information security has not improved. A small but growing number of professionals —17 percent — said federal security is worseRead… Read more »

10 Ways FITARA Guidance Empowers CIOs — Equally

Nowadays, everyone has an opinion about federal information technology — how projects should be managed and whether chief information officers have adequate authority to do their jobs. The truth is that all CIOs are not empowered equally. Many argue the culprit is not the nearly 20-year-old law that created the position but rather inconsistent implementationRead… Read more »

What the Army’s Cloud Computing Strategy Really Means

Nearly three years after the Defense Department released its cloud computing strategy, the Army is setting the stage to speed adoption of cloud technologies within its ranks. The Army’s cloud computing strategy, released last month, complements the DoD’s 2012 document but also embodies the Pentagon’s evolving views on the benefits of cloud and how bestRead… Read more »

Continuous Monitoring Must Include Continuous Sharing

It’s hard to manage what you don’t measure. We’ve all heard the saying in various contexts, but this is especially true on the cyber front. In fiscal 2014, agencies reported spending $3.8 billion to monitor federal networks for internal and external malicious cyber activity and another $3.1 billion to detect, analyze and mitigate intrusions, accordingRead… Read more »