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FCW : June 15, 2015
Trending of websites using HTTPS are vulnerable to Logjam, a 20-year-old Transport Layer Security flaw 8% INK TANK Representatives of several technology groups told a House panel in May that the Department of Homeland Securi- ty’s Science and Technology Director- ate has taken some shaky first steps toward collaborating with industry. Although S&T’s plans to open up to industry are progressing, witness- es told the Homeland Security Com- mittee’s Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies Subcommittee that they had concerns about transparency, return on invest- ments and S&T’s apparent lack of influ- ence over DHS component agencies’ acquisition efforts. “Due to the budget cuts, many mid- to large-size companies lost interest in engaging with S&T because it has had difficulty making an attractive busi- ness case for their involvement,” said Marc Pearl, president and CEO of the Homeland Security and Defense Busi- ness Council. S&T’s revised five-year plan, released in late April, helped clarify some of the directorate’s goals, said Jake Parker, director of government relations at the Security Industry Association. However, Parker said S&T has only slight pull with DHS component agen- cies when it comes to committing to technology acquisitions. “Agencies need to commit to S&T” for acquisi- tions, he said, noting that currently, “they can go elsewhere.” “While a level of disconnect between S&T and its customers is undoubtedly due in part to the fragmented nature of DHS, it is encouraging to see an acknowledgment of this as an issue and several proposals in the strategic plan on how to improve coordination,” Parker added. Subcommittee Chairman John Rat- cliffe (R-Texas) raised concerns about DHS using the Defense Department’s defense industrial base as a model for its relationship with industry. “We need to ensure we are addressing the needs of DHS [and] messaging the needs and direction of its components to the small- and medium-size businesses that are interested in doing business in the homeland security ecosystem,” he said. — Mark Rockwell Making the business case for DHS S&T 6 June 15, 2015 FCW.COM Federal contractors face many of the same nagging questions that their agen- cy customers do in dealing with IT, proj- ect management and cybersecurity, according to a new study by Deltek. The company’s sixth annual GovCon Industry Study states that top IT chal- lenges for federal contractors are IT and data security, budget pressures, and managing multiple systems for their own operations. Almost a quar- ter of the more than 300 companies that responded to the survey ranked IT and data security as their top challenge. Therefore, as federal vendors move applications into the cloud, their initial efforts have focused on less sensitive data such as social media and human resources applications. Like their gov- ernment customers, some contractors are struggling with moving more sen- sitive accounting and finance applica- tions to the cloud, said Kevin Plexico, Deltek’s vice president for research. The study notes that although com- pany executives have been reluctant to put financial data in the cloud, cost savings and other benefits have spurred them on. Project management, procurement and manufacturing applications were at the bottom of their cloud applica- tions list. In addition, more than 50 percent of the companies surveyed had no cloud plan, said Warren Linscott Jr., vice pres- ident of product strategy and manage- ment in Deltek’s GovCon group. That reluctance could be a result of increasing concerns about cybersecu- rity and confusion about cloud defini- tions and services such as third-party hosting and software as a service, Lin- scott said. — Mark Rockwell Contractor IT challenges have a familiar ring 0615fcw_003-011.indd 6 5/27/15 1:54 PM
May 30, 2015
June 30, 2015