US Department of Homeland Security directive requires federal agencies to fix critical flaws within 15 days

Computing | May 02, 2019

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a new binding operational directive (BOD) for federal agencies, ordering them to patch critical security flaws discovered on their internet-accessible systems within 15 days of first detection. And the countdown to remediate security flaws will start as soon as they are first detected during CISA's weekly cyber hygiene vulnerability scanning. The order cuts in half the deadline for patching critical flaws from 30 days. Flaws deemed "high" in severity still have a 30 day deadline for fixing.

Spotlight

Immigration and the state of the American workforce historically go hand in hand. Today, that is as true as ever. America is in a workforce crisis. While the Trump administration is leading efforts to revitalize the American workforce, many job openings remain unfilled 6 million, according to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, an assertion that would be confirmed anecdotally by the vast majority of large companies.

Spotlight

Immigration and the state of the American workforce historically go hand in hand. Today, that is as true as ever. America is in a workforce crisis. While the Trump administration is leading efforts to revitalize the American workforce, many job openings remain unfilled 6 million, according to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, an assertion that would be confirmed anecdotally by the vast majority of large companies.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Germany to Create Its First Quantum Computing Business Cloud

Germany Trade & Invest | November 14, 2022

Germany's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) has contracted software company QMWare and cloud specialist IONOS, together with the University of Stuttgart and the Fraunhofer FOKUS research institute, to construct a platform for quantum computing applications for German industry. The cloud will be the first of its kind in the country. The project, called SeQenC, will run for three years and is part of the ministry's "Digital Technologies for Business" support program. The ministry will be investing tens of millions of euros, although no exact figure was named. During the project's three-year span, selected partner companies from industry and the wider economy will be invited to test out applications in sectors such as telecommunications, logistics, finance, automotive and energy. The project is the latest in a series of quantum computing initiating to come from the BMWK. In late September, the ministry announced that it would put EUR 14 million into a quantum processer prototype developed on the basis of photonic systems. The BMWK has pledged to invest EUR 740 million in quantum computing as a whole. "The German government's investment indicate how serious it is about quantum computing in Germany, Such initiatives not only create superior conditions for businesses active in Germany. They also show that niches are arising for international quantum computing businesses to come to Europe's largest economy and profit from this exciting transformation." -Asha-Maria Sharma, computing industry expert at the German government agency Germany Trade & Invest. Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) is the economic promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. GTAI supports German companies setting up in foreign markets, promotes Germany as a business location and assists foreign companies setting up shop in Germany.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

New York tolling authorities select TTEC Government Solutions to provide enhanced customer contact solutions across tri-state area

TTEC | September 23, 2022

TTEC Government Solutions LLC, a subsidiary of TTEC Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEC), a leading global customer experience (CX) technology and services innovator for end-to-end digital CX solutions, has been awarded a broad contract to manage operations for the Customer Contact Center (CCC) of some of the largest tolling authorities in the New York-New Jersey area. Agencies that comprise the contracting authorities include New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). Under the terms of the contract, TTEC will also provide services for the New York State Bridge Authority (NYSBA), the Buffalo Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (operator of the Peace Bridge), and the Thousand Island Bridge Authority (TIBA). TTEC began work with the CCC this summer on the implementation phase. Design, development, testing, and commissioning is expected to be completed in 2023 with an anticipated go-live date of January 2024. The contracting authorities oversee the largest tolling operation in the United States. "TTEC appreciates the faith that the tolling authorities have placed in us to deliver exceptional service to all the New York agencies and motorists who depend on the E-ZPass transportation network, We look forward to working with the agencies and their technology partners to apply our many years of experience in electronic tolling environments to enhance customer care operations for the authorities." -Anna Van Buren, senior vice president, TTEC. With decades of public sector expertise augmented by the recent acquisition of the public sector assets of Faneuil Inc., TTEC will offer a wide range of business processing services, including provisioning of the New York Customer Service Center's (NYCSC) primary and alternate customer contact facilities, integrating and deploying the telephony and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technical solution, account management, customer contact and case management services, customer satisfaction surveying, interfacing with collections agencies, support for courts and tribunals, and financial management. The NYCSC was established on behalf of the public authorities that collect tolls from customers through multiple methods, including a transponder-based electronic toll collection (ETC) system known as E-ZPass, and cashless, image-based license plate tolling known as Tolls by Mail. "Customer service is a top priority for the Thruway Authority. We believe this new contract will offer new technology-based solutions and an improved focus on providing a streamlined and easy-to-use payment system for our customers. We look forward to working with them through the transition and ultimately go-live operations phases to provide our customers with the service and support they deserve." -Michael Perrotto, acting E-ZPass program manager, NYSTA. About TTEC: TTEC Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTEC) is one of the largest global CX (customer experience) technology and services innovators for end-to-end, digital CX solutions. The Company delivers leading CX technology and operational CX orchestration at scale through its proprietary cloud-based CXaaS (Customer Experience as a Service) platform. Serving iconic and disruptive brands, TTEC's outcome-based solutions span the entire enterprise, touch every virtual interaction channel, and improve each step the customer journey. Leveraging next-gen digital and cognitive technology, the Company's Digital business designs, builds, and operates omnichannel contact center technology, conversational messaging, CRM, automation (AI / ML and RPA), and analytics solutions. The Company's Engage business delivers digital customer engagement, customer acquisition & growth, content moderation, fraud prevention, and data annotation solutions. Founded in 1982, the Company's singular obsession with CX excellence has earned it leading client NPS scores across the globe. The Company's nearly 60,000 employees operate on six continents and bring technology and humanity together to deliver happy customers and differentiated business results.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY, CYBERSECURITY

Viasat & Inmarsat Receive UK Government Approval for Proposed Combination Under National Security & Investment Act

Inmarsat | September 17, 2022

Viasat Inc., (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, and Inmarsat, a leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, today announced the receipt of approval of the proposed combination of their businesses by the UK Government under the National Security & Investment Act. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that the transaction does not pose a risk to the UK's national security. In March 2022, the companies committed to economic undertakings with BEIS, which underlined their pledge to strengthen and advance the UK's National Space Strategy. The economic undertakings include an expansion in the number of highly skilled jobs in key areas and a 30% increase in overall research and development spending in the UK. "The combination of Viasat and Inmarsat creates a leading global communications innovator with enhanced scale and scope to affordably, securely and reliably connect the world. The UK Government's clearance of Viasat's proposed acquisition of Inmarsat under the National Security and Investment Act is another important step forward on the road to closing the deal, and we would like to thank the UK Government for their close collaboration throughout the process. Viasat has been a trusted partner of the UK's defence and national security communities for more than a decade, including in the provision of its market-leading encryption products. The combined company, whose global international business headquarters will be situated in the UK, will build upon the strong UK relationships that Viasat and Inmarsat already enjoy and allow us to deepen our contribution to the UK's National Space Strategy." -Mark Dankberg, Executive Chairman and CEO of Viasat. Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, added: Inmarsat is proud of our decades of close work with the UK government. Today's approval brings us closer to delivering the new jobs and investment to the UK that have been committed by both Inmarsat and Viasat. Together, we will be well-positioned to compete in a robust market that has both well-funded new entrants and other industry players in the process of consolidating. About Viasat: Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For over 35 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. About Inmarsat: Inmarsat delivers world leading, innovative, advanced and exceptionally reliable global, mobile communications across the world – in the air, at sea and on land - that are enabling a new generation of commercial, government and mission-critical services. Inmarsat is powering the digitalisation of the maritime industry, making operations more efficient and safer than ever before. It is driving a new era of inflight passenger services for aviation, while ensuring that aircraft can fly with maximum efficiency and safety. Furthermore, Inmarsat is enabling the rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and enabling the next wave of world-changing technologies that will underpin the connected society and help build a sustainable future. And now Inmarsat is developing the first-of-its-kind, multi-dimensional communications network of the future, ORCHESTRA. In November 2021, Inmarsat and Viasat announced the planned combination of the two companies, to create a new leader in global communications. The deal is scheduled to close in the second half of 2022.

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