GovConJudicata Weekly Debrief (1/24–28)
This week's Weekly Debrief covers the EPA's efforts to secure the water sector against cyberattacks, the Government's quest for biometrics – your selfies, DoD and Israel working on cloud defense, FTC sues to block $4B Lockheed, Aerojet deal, DISA's $7M zero trust award, and OPM announces $15 per hour minimum wage for federal employees.
"The Biden administration is extending an initiative to improve the cybersecurity of industrial control systems to the water sector. It will be executed by the Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and private-sector leaders."
"IN NOVEMBER, THE Internal Revenue Service launched an online security system that uses face recognition to confirm a person’s identity. Public attention to the project last week triggered an outcry. The ACLU called the project “deeply troubling,” saying face recognition “has been shown to be less accurate for people of color.” Some IRS functions, like scheduling payments—but not filing taxes—now require first-time users to verify their identity with Virginia startup ID.me, which also works with 27 state employment agencies and the Veterans Administration. The process involves photographing a government-issued ID and uploading a video selfie so algorithms can match face and document."
"An Air Force cyber squadron recently lent its expertise in cloud defense to improve the skills of international partners and the other services, conducting a cyber exercise in a cloud-based simulation where operators had to protect the medical data of fictional citizens from malicious attacks."
"Today, the Federal Trade Commission sued to block Lockheed Martin Corporation’s $4.4 billion proposed vertical acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc, the last independent U.S. supplier of missile propulsion systems. Aerojet supplies advanced power, propulsion, and armament systems, which are critical components for the missiles made by Lockheed and other defense prime contractors."
"The Defense Information Systems Agency issued a multimillion dollar award Tuesday to start building the foundations of what could become an entirely new cybersecurity and network architecture for the Defense Department, starting to move DoD toward the concept of zero trust. DISA said it chose Booz Allen Hamilton for the $6.8 million zero trust prototype project, which the agency calls Thunderdome. The company will spend the next six months building the first testbed implementation of a zero trust reference architecture DISA first published nearly two years ago."
"The Office of Personnel Management has announced a $15 minimum wage for federal civilian employees, a move the office said will affect 67,000 workers. “As the largest employer in the country, how the federal government treats its workforce has real impact,” said OPM Director Kiran Ahuja in a Jan. 21 statement. “The Biden-Harris Administration believes that the federal workforce should be treated with dignity and respect. Raising pay rates across the federal government to a minimum of $15 per hour reflects our appreciation for the federal workforce and our values as a nation.”"
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