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FCW : July 30, 2015
Trending more federal employees are required to use two-factor authentication after the 30-day cybersecurity sprint 20% The Defense Department’s full-time out- reach office in Silicon Valley is up and running after Deputy Secretary Robert Work directed that $1.75 million be allo- cated to it in fiscal 2015 and $5 million from 2016 to 2019. The Defense Innovation Unit Experimental will be staffed by a Senior Execu- tive Service official and a handful of reserve officers and civilian employees, among others. According to a USAJobs notice, the SES position involves cultivating relationships with local tech gurus and small businesses, broadening the Pentagon’s access to technologies for use beyond the intelligence community, and serving as a broker between acquisition offi- cials and technology executives. “While the department is beginning to focus on innovation in the commer- cial technology sector, a more concert- ed effort is needed,” Work wrote in a memo. The office’s mission will be “to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones, scout for breakthrough and emerging technologies, and func- tion as a local interface node for the department.” Defense Secretary Ash- ton Carter announced plans for the office while on a trip to Silicon Valley in April. The goal is to tear down what some say is a bureau- cratic wall between the Pen- tagon and innovative startup companies. The Air Force has since revealed that it is setting up its own outreach office. Carter traveled to Sun Valley, Idaho, earlier this month to attend a meeting of technology business leaders and pitch them on the “importance of a strong partnership between private- sector innovators and government,” according to a Pentagon statement. — Sean Lyngaas Pentagon’s Silicon Valley unit gets $1.75M for fiscal 2015 8 July 30, 2015 FCW.COM The Merit Systems Protection Board suffered a systemwide network failure that could result in the permanent loss of some of its data. The lost data had been stored via VMware’s virtual desktop infrastruc- ture. Efforts are underway to recover data from backup tapes as far back as November 2014. However, files dating to late May of this year could be unrecoverable, according to email messages obtained by FCW. The outage began on June 30, the same day that MSPB switched its employees to the virtual desktop interface and deactivated its virtual private network connection. The work of all 219 MSPB employ- ees has been affected. Since the out- age began, they have been able to access the agency’s systems via the Internet version of VMware but not the desktop client. According to an MSPB statement, the outage “was not the result of any external cyber intrusion or hacking.” The agency’s website, MSPB.gov, was down sporadically, and the elec- tronic filing service (e-Appeal Online) was also down, which affected fed- eral employees who were appealing dismissals or suspensions, or filing pension claims. Because of the disruption, people filing with MSPB were eligible for an extension, provided they stated that the outage was the cause of a missed deadline. As of press time, e-Appeal Online was functioning, aalthough users were cautioned to expect some sluggish- ness. MSPB said documents submitted electronically by appellants or counsel in open cases were probably not lost. — Adam Mazmanian MSPB: Hack not to blame for IT failure Robert Work said the new office will be a focal point for DOD’s outreach to startup companies. WIKIMEDIA.ORG INK TANK 0730fcw_004-011.indd 8 7/15/15 11:41 AM
July 15, 2015
August 15, 2015