This week's Weekly Debrief falls on the first Friday of the new fiscal year––FY2020! In this edition, we begin with a heavy dose of cybersecurity (after all, it is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month), and cover other interesting topics such as the CIA's new acquisition communications platform (Gray Magic), DHA's new generation of managed-care healthcare contracts, and cloud infrastructure initiatives at Army Futures Command.
"NCSAM 2019 will emphasize personal accountability and stress the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. This year’s overarching message – Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. – will focus on key areas including citizen privacy, consumer devices, and e-commerce security. The NCSAM 2019 Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to make it easy for you and your organization, regardless of size or industry, to engage and promote the core theme and critical messages leading up to and throughout October. Use the guide and the resources below to help you engage your stakeholders and promote positive, lasting cybersecurity habits."
" Being cyber smart is an ongoing battle for federal agencies and industry, not to mention the general public. The prevalence and sophistication of new technologies means individuals have to be more proactive when using devices or sharing personal information. Luckily, October is also National Cybersecurity Awareness month — a joint effort between the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Cyber Security Alliance."
"Cyber criminals are significantly expanding and diversifying their attacks on major players in the technology, telecommunications and professional services sectors, and state-sponsored hackers remain a persistent threat to those industries as well, according to cyber experts. In a report published Tuesday, researchers at the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike said some 61% of the malicious campaigns they uncovered during the first half of 2019 were conducted by cyber criminals, while the other 39% were launched by state-sponsored actors. That represents a sharp spike from last year, when online criminals were responsible for only about one-quarter of targeted intrusion campaigns, they said."
"The General Services Administration offered e-commerce platforms the first opportunity to formally participate in plans to provide the government with its own online marketplace, as the agency released its formal request for proposals on the project Oct. 1. The RFP is part of GSA’s planned proof of concept for an e-commerce platform, so the agency can start small in determining if such a platform would work in the federal space and what the best structure for that platform will look like."
"The Defense Health Agency (DHA), which manages the Pentagon’s health care system, is kicking off acquisition planning for a new generation of managed-care contracts, according to a Sept. 25 announcement. The new contracting structure will govern much of the nearly $15 billion DHA spends on contracts for health care services every year."
"The CIA is looking to hang up the fax machine and communicate with vendors via email, under a program dubbed Gray Magic, the spy agency's CIO said Oct. 2." If you do work with the CIA, you should already have applied for an account with Gray Magic" to communicate with the agency about IT acquisition and innovation, Juliane Gallina said at a FedScoop event."
"Army Futures Command is interested in bringing in an industry partner to further develop its cloud infrastructure for enabling better data-driven decision-making across the service. The command — launched in 2018 with the focus of modernizing the Army in six priority areas — issued a request for information this week to conduct market research on potential vendors to support its Unified Data Environment (UDE)."
"The Office of Personnel Management on Tuesday handed off its National Background Investigations Bureau to the Defense Department, leaving the Pentagon in charge of conducting the vast majority of government’s security clearance investigations. At midnight, NBIB officially ceased to exist, and its operations and more than 2,900 employees were subsumed by the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency. The agency, formerly known as the Defense Security Service, is now charged with adjudicating roughly 95% of the background investigations for the federal government."