Interesting articles


I always like when blogs post links to interesting articles and comment on them. So, if it’s ok with yall, I’d like to do that here from time to time.

Government apps: Learning from industry


Government agencies have had mixed success in the mobile app arena. We asked three private sector app developers to rate the overall effectiveness of a dozen federal agency apps, and developed this interactive graphic to describe their findings. Their ratings offer insight into what agencies are doing well and where they need to improve.

Fascinating look into what government has done well and not-so-well in mobile application development.

GAO: Federal network security breaches spike 650 percent


During the past five years, the number of reported events has grown from 5,503 in 2006 to 41,776 in 2010.

I posted this because I think you should all be very cognizant of this trend. Why? Well, when I sat down with our Chief Information Officer (our resident iPad/Google/IT/internet czar) some months ago to make the case for opening VA’s IT security and do things like allow us to use Google Docs (which we currently cannot), these were the numbers I was hit with. It’s bad and getting worse. Does that mean we should not have access to Google Docs, especially someone like me who has no access to any sensitive information whatsoever? Absolutely not. But, if you want to make the case to your agency to open up, you need to be able to have an answer for the security dilemma they face.

Fortunately, there are plenty of them out there, which all boil down to one concept — carefully targeting your security requirements and policy and avoiding overbroad, knee-jerk reactions. Like banning Google Docs.

Andre Castillo is a Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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