A new rule could allow one department secretary to ban certain tech buys

The Department of Commerce | November 26, 2019

A proposed rule will allow a government department’s secretary to block the purchase of foreign technology that pose an “undue” risk to the U.S. information and communications infrastructure. The rule, published by the Department of Commerce Nov. 26, establishes procedures for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to “identify, assess, and address” information and communication technology (ICT) transactions he deems risky to national security. The proposed rule stems from an executive order President Donald Trump signed on May 15, which gave the secretary the authority to prohibit or mitigate transactions that involve ICT technology developed or supplied by entities located in adversarial nations.

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The Form FHWA-1273 includes federal requirements applicable to all contractors and subcontractors (hereinafter referred to as “contractor”) that hold federal or federal-aid contracts of $10,000 or more. Pursuant to Form FHWA-1273, contractors must not discriminate and must take affirmative action to assure equal opportunity. Form FHWA-1273 must be physically incorporated in each construction contract federally funded under United States Code, Title 23. To ensure compliance with Form FHWA-1273, the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Office of Civil Rights – Contract Compliance Section (OCR-CCS) conducts contract compliance reviews of contractors in accordance with 23 CFR 230 Subpart D. The OCR-CCS also provides contractors technical assistance on federal equal opportunity (EO) requirements and the contractor compliance review process.

Spotlight

The Form FHWA-1273 includes federal requirements applicable to all contractors and subcontractors (hereinafter referred to as “contractor”) that hold federal or federal-aid contracts of $10,000 or more. Pursuant to Form FHWA-1273, contractors must not discriminate and must take affirmative action to assure equal opportunity. Form FHWA-1273 must be physically incorporated in each construction contract federally funded under United States Code, Title 23. To ensure compliance with Form FHWA-1273, the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Office of Civil Rights – Contract Compliance Section (OCR-CCS) conducts contract compliance reviews of contractors in accordance with 23 CFR 230 Subpart D. The OCR-CCS also provides contractors technical assistance on federal equal opportunity (EO) requirements and the contractor compliance review process.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, CYBERSECURITY

Forcepoint ONE Expands FedRAMP Authorization for CASB to include ZTNA and SWG to Provide a Single Security Service Edge platform

Forcepoint | September 28, 2022

Global security leader Forcepoint announced that the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP®) has approved the Forcepoint ONE all-in-one cloud platform. FedRAMP is a U.S. government-wide program​ that certifies that cloud-based software can be ​trusted to secure and accelerate cloud adoption for federal agencies. Forcepoint’s “Authorized” designation from FedRAMP indicates that Forcepoint ONE meets 325 security controls for NIST 800-53 compliance requirements. “As a trusted security partner and advisor to the government for over 30 years, Forcepoint’s Authorized certification shows how seriously we take our covenant with our federal customers, The FedRAMP authorization process assures agencies that Forcepoint ONE’s security and access controls meet the high standards required to protect government systems and infrastructure. Simplifying security through Forcepoint’s unique Data-first SASE approach gives agency leaders greater confidence that they can easily adopt Zero Trust, control access and data use, and take advantage of cloud transformation efforts without wasting time, effort, and money.” -Sean Berg, President of Global Governments and Critical Infrastructure for Forcepoint. Forcepoint ONE is the converged, cloud-delivered platform for Security Service Edge (SSE, the security component of SASE) that protects agency employees and contractors working remotely as they use web, cloud and private applications. Forcepoint’s all-in-one cloud platform enables security teams to manage one set of policies via a single console for cloud-delivered gateway technologies like Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). Integrated, inline threat protection and DLP provide consistent control for many types of users from government employees to partners, to prevent malware, and stop loss or misuse of sensitive data. CASB provides identity-based access controls so people on managed or unmanaged devices can easily and safely use government-sanctioned cloud apps. Forcepoint’s unique reverse proxy technology also makes it easy to securely connect personal devices of employees, consultants, contractors, and auditors. SWG monitors and safeguards interactions with any website. This includes blocking access to websites based on category, blocking downloads of malware, blocking uploads of confidential data to personal accounts, and detecting shadow IT. Forcepoint SWG features a unified agent that runs locally on Windows and macOS devices to enable smart routing of web traffic, offering up twice the throughput of competitors. ZTNA controls access to private applications hosted behind a firewall from both managed devices and BYOD, without needing VPNs. ZTNA and CASB together deliver identity-based access controls for internal apps and cloud apps seamlessly, providing them side by side through the same SSO page to simplify the user experience. DLP consistently protects sensitive data across the cloud, the web, and private apps, even agentlessly, all from one console. About Forcepoint: Forcepoint simplifies security for global businesses and governments. Forcepoint’s all-in-one, truly cloud-native platform makes it easy to adopt Zero Trust and prevent the theft or loss of sensitive data and intellectual property no matter where people are working. Based in Austin, Texas, Forcepoint creates safe, trusted environments for customers and their employees in more than 150 countries.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, CYBERSECURITY

Avaap and Alation Partnership Help State and Local Government Find, Understand, and Trust Data

Alation | September 27, 2022

Avaap, an industry-focused technology and management consulting firm, today announced its entering into a strategic partnership with Alation, the leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions. The partnership will address the needs of chief data officers and stakeholders at any level that use data to drive business decisions. The addition of Alation to Avaap’s strong list of data and analytics partners, including Alteryx, Cloudera, MuleSoft, Snowflake, Tableau, and others, will provide customers with the best data governance and data cataloging capabilities to improve the experience for data users and deliver a scalable, integrated solution to support customers on their data governance journeys. The Avaap-Alation partnership will catalyze next-generation data fabric and data mesh solutions for state and local governments, public and private sector healthcare organizations, as well as education institutions, nonprofits, and transportation agencies. The benefit is a modern data stack that provides a seamless data analytics solution, regardless of the platform, enabling a data-informed decision-making approach. “The ability to generate data-driven insights from the volumes and variety of data within an organization is a key imperative in both the public and private sector, Our partnership with Alation will bring our customers new and innovative solutions to build their data culture through better data governance, data cataloging, and cloud transformation. We are excited to leverage the partnership to help organizations do more with their data.” -Nehul Vyas, vice president, Data & Analytics, Avaap. Added Scott Woestman, Alation vice president, Public Sector, We are excited to partner with Avaap and leverage their data and analytic experience to help our joint customers develop and integrate the best capabilities into their data and analytics portfolios. Through our connected ecosystem of technology partners, Alation and Avaap will help customers dramatically improve the effectiveness of data initiatives and maximize their analytic investments. About Avaap: Avaap is an industry-focused management and technology consulting firm specializing in Workday, Tableau, and other applications. We offer full life cycle consulting services from strategy and system selection through post-production support and ongoing adoption, including data and analytics and change management services. Government organizations, health systems, higher education institutions, and other organizations have partnered with Avaap for successful transformation.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,CYBERSECURITY

QinetiQ US Completes Acquisition of Avantus Federal

Avantus Federal | November 24, 2022

Lorton, VA and McLean, VA – QinetiQ US, a wholly owned subsidiary of QinetiQ Group plc, an integrated global defense and security company, announced today that it completed its acquisition of Avantus Federal (Avantus) from NewSpring Holdings for an enterprise value of $590 million. The combination of QinetiQ US and Avantus creates a unique platform to offer comprehensive mission-led innovation for the most sensitive and complex challenges intelligence, defense, homeland, civilian, and other government customers face today. This transaction was previously announced August 5, and the transition is expected to be seamless for customers, partners, and employees. This integration will combine QinetiQ’s leadership in robotics and autonomous systems, sensing, protection systems, and next-generation technology services with Avantus’ advantages in strategic planning, operations, and stakeholder collaboration in a host of government operations, including cyber, data, government facility, and outer space solutions. The combination will deliver mission-led innovation in hardware, software, and mission services to the growing needs of defense, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement organizations, along with civilian agencies in the United States and close-U.S. allied nations including the United Kingdom and Australia. “I am delighted that we have completed the acquisition of Avantus today – it is a strategic milestone in our five-year ambition to build an integrated global defence and security company, delivering innovation for our customers’ mission, This acquisition extends our customer base, strengthens our capabilities and builds scale in the largest defence and security market in the world. With a strong track record of 10%+ growth at attractive margins, Avantus is a brilliant strategic and cultural fit and positions us to meet the increasing mission-critical needs of our US defence and intelligence customers with agility and pace.” -Steve Wadey, Group Chief Executive Officer for QinetiQ Group plc. Andy Maner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avantus, said the combination with QinetiQ US is key to providing more opportunities and growth for our people and customers. We started this journey with our great partner, NewSpring Holdings, and now we’re taking a critical step forward that allows our collective team to leverage additional scale and investments across our world class talent, technology, and processes at a pivotal time in our market and geopolitical landscape. “We are thrilled to welcome our Avantus colleagues to QinetiQ US, Avantus’ elite talent, differentiated technology solutions, and dedication to mission complement our innovative culture. I am honored to lead a combined team that shares a focus on performance and a proven ability to be agile in impactful delivery at the speed of our customers’ missions.” QinetiQ is a leading science and engineering company dedicated to protecting lives and securing the vital interests of defense and security customers with distinctive offerings in experimentation and technology; cyber and information advantage; engineering services and support; robotics and autonomous systems; training and mission rehearsal; and, test and evaluation. This is complimented by the Avantus capabilities to leverage a strong consulting force to deliver technology, cyber, data, digital engineering and integration, intelligence analysis, and operations strategy and tactics to its clients, ensuring maximum efficiency and impact. -Shawn Purvis, President and Chief Executive Officer of QinetiQ US. About QinetiQ US: QinetiQ US is a leading defense and security company in the United States providing mission-led innovation at pace. QinetiQ US is a provider of technologically advanced services and products to the US Department of Defence and national security agencies, positioned to deliver key aspects of the modernization required to address our customers’ pivot to counter near peer adversaries. QinetiQ’s engineering services span the DoD and Intel community providing subject matter expertise in the areas of communications, sensor integration and research and development, survivability and unmanned ground combat systems. QinetiQ US operates as the U.S. arm of QinetiQ Group plc (QQ.LSE), an integrated global defense and security company focused on innovation for defense, security and civil customers. QinetiQ US employees are based predominantly in Virginia and Massachusetts and operate under a Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the U.S. Defence Counterintelligence & Security Agency (DCSA). QinetiQ US is creating new ways of protecting what matters most; testing technologies, systems, and processes to make sure they work as expected; and enabling customers to deploy new and enhanced-existing capabilities with the assurance they will deliver the outcomes required. About Avantus Federal: Avantus Federal is a mission-focused data, cyber, and space services and solutions company. As a mid-market powerhouse with an intentional blend of elite talent, infrastructure, and speed to impact, Avantus and its approximately 1,150 highly cleared professionals lead with technical and domain expertise for its Defence, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Federal Civilian customers.

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