GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Accela Recognizes Leading Global Government Innovators at Annual Accelarate Conference

Accela | October 08, 2021

Accela, the leading provider of cloud-based SaaS solutions for government, announced the winners of its Trendsetter Awards at its annual conference, Accelarate, this week. The virtual conference provided a space for the event's more than 1,800 attendees to engage and learn from state and local government leaders, product experts, and industry changemakers on how cutting-edge cloud solutions can help to solve today's most pressing civic problems.

The theme of this year's conference, which ran from October 4-6, was "Our Path Forward," focusing on the way cities, states, and counties anticipate and meet challenges head-on to create better agency and constituent outcomes. From implementing new digital processes that allow for planning proposals and permit applications to be submitted online, to digitally transforming inspection processes to protect the public health and safety of citizens, to leveraging data for better community outcomes, the award winners demonstrate how state and local government agencies are using Accela's cloud-based solutions to help communities overcome adversity.

During Accelarate, attendees heard from Accela executives and product experts, and gained insight into the cloud solutions and digital strategies that will revitalize communities, improve service delivery, and accelerate recovery.

"With the challenges presented to governments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing recovery efforts, they must reimagine how to deliver essential services while also meeting the consumer-like expectations of their residents. During Accelarate's Trendsetter Awards online ceremony, Accela is proud to recognize the agencies and individuals who are overcoming many of these challenges by leveraging Accela's cloud-based solutions in innovative or collaborative ways to build more resilient futures for their communities."

Jonathon Knight, Accela's chief customer officer

Registered attendees of the Accelarate conference can access all event content, such as the Trendsetter Awards ceremony, on-demand through December 31, 2021.

Accela delivers leading cloud-based solutions to 80% of the top 100 U.S. cities and strengthens communities for more than 275 million citizens globally. For more information about Accela's solutions, click here.

About Accela
Accela provides market-leading cloud solutions that empower the most innovative state and local governments around the world to build thriving communities, grow businesses, and protect citizens. The company works with 80 percent of the largest cities in the United States and more than 275 million citizens globally benefit from Accela's solutions, which are powered by Azure, for permitting, licensing, code enforcement, and service request management. Accela's fast-to-implement Civic Applications, built on its robust and extensible Civic Platform, help agencies address specific needs today, while ensuring they are prepared for any emerging or complex challenges in the future. The company was recognized as a Microsoft US Partner Award winner for Community Response (2021, 2020), and Government Partner of the Year (2021), and was named as one of the Largest East Bay Tech Employers by San Francisco Business Times. Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, California, with additional offices around the world.

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CYBERSECURITY

Splunk and Crowdstrike Executive Chris Hill Joins Horizon3.ai to Lead Federal Strategy

Horizon3.ai | May 24, 2022

Horizon3.ai, a cybersecurity firm focused on autonomous penetration testing, announced the appointment of Chris Hill as the Sector Head for Public Sector, Federal. Hill will execute Horizon3.ai’s vision for creating a better, more secure and cost-effective cyber posture for US and allied Government customers and partners through the deployment of the first autonomous, on-demand, self-service software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that is safe to run in production and requires no persistent or credentialed agents: Horizon3.ai’s award-winning NodeZero. Hill brings deep public/Federal markets experience to Horizon3.ai, having previously held executive leadership roles with top cybersecurity solutions providers such as Splunk, Databricks and CrowdStrike. With over 25 years of dedicated public sector cybersecurity and IT experience, Chris brings a tremendous amount of passion and domain expertise to assisting Horizon3.ai in executing its vision. His dedication to helping secure Federal agencies and organizations and his consistent track record of achievements in advancing that goal make Chris an invaluable asset both to Horizon3.ai and to those we serve and protect.” Snehal Antani, CEO and Co-Founder of Horizon3.ai “Government sector agencies and their industry partners are being constantly targeted by threat actors,” said Chris Hill, Sector Head for Public Sector, Federal, Horizon3.ai. “It is absolutely essential to provide them the means to determine and address those vulnerabilities and areas of exposure that must be immediately addressed, and I am deeply honored and excited to join Horizon3.ai and support its mission to do so.” Chris is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire's Paul Smith School of Business in Economics and holds a master’s in business administration from the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business. Horizon3.ai, Carahsoft Jointly Exhibit at the AWS Summit May 23-25, Washington, D.C. Horizon3.ai also today announced its partnership with Carahsoft Technology Corp., the Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider. Carahsoft supports public sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets, and helps simplify the government procurement process through its agency-specific and government-wide federal, state and local contracts. “As I take the helm of Horizon3.ai’s Federal markets initiatives, we will be establishing and deepening Horizon3.ai’s alliances with those solutions providers whom our governmental agencies and organizations most closely rely upon to deploy and secure its essential information infrastructures,” said Hill. “Carahsoft is among the most respected IT and security distributors with a broad ecosystem of reseller and integrator partnership. This relationship is an important first step in ensuring that those agencies that protect and serve us are provided the cybersecurity insight they urgently need at this critical time.” Horizon3.ai and Carahsoft will together attend the upcoming AWS Summit, May 23-25, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The Summit will focus on how public sector organizations can use the cloud to rapidly innovate and digitally transform, to improve their stakeholders’ lives and deliver on their mission. About Carahsoft Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider, supporting Public Sector organizations across Federal, State and Local Government agencies and Education and Healthcare markets. As the Master Government Aggregator for our vendor partners, we deliver solutions for Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Customer Experience and more. Working with resellers, systems integrators and consultants, our sales and marketing teams provide industry leading IT products, services and training through hundreds of contract vehicles. About Horizon3.ai The mission of Horizon3.ai is to help organizations find and fix attack vectors before attackers can exploit them. NodeZero, an autonomous penetration testing solution, is a true self-service SaaS offering that is safe to run in production and requires no persistent or credentialed agents. NodeZero can help organizations identify ineffective security controls, and ensure limited resources are spent fixing problems that can actually be exploited. Founded in 2019 by industry, US Special Operations, and US National Security Veterans, Horizon3.ai is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and made in the USA.

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CYBERSECURITY

One Year In, Cyber Executive Order Progress is Under Way, But Early Stage

MeriTalk | May 06, 2022

Ninety-one percent of Federal cybersecurity decision-makers say the 2021 Executive Order (EO) on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity has made U.S. data and critical infrastructure safer, but just 28 percent say significantly safer, according to Impact Assessment: Cyber EO Year One, a new study from MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government information technology (IT). The report explores perspectives on progress against Cyber EO goals, identifies what successful agencies do differently, and finds the fault lines where agency cyber leaders say they need more help to succeed. Most Federal cyber decision-makers (78 percent) agree the steps outlined in the Cyber EO are necessary to protect our nation. Implementing software supply chain security and migrating to a zero-trust architecture are the two most important factors for national cybersecurity, the research highlights. And, while just 15 percent have seen tangible improvements because of EO efforts to date, a significant portion expects to see an impact within the next year. Federal cyber leaders confirm initial progress in areas including vulnerability detection, software supply chain security, vulnerability response, and investigative and remediation capabilities. Just over half confirm IT management and staff are placing increased priority on cybersecurity, and just over half are collecting more cyber data than in the past. But, across the board, progress against EO goals is still in the early stages. Fewer than half rate their agencies’ progress against key EO goals as “excellent.” For example, 36 percent rate progress toward creating a formal strategy as excellent; 34 percent rate progress toward investing in endpoint detection and response (EDR) as excellent; and, 33 percent rate progress migrating to secure cloud solutions, as excellent. When asked about the importance of zero trust, 82 percent agree that allocating staff and budget resources to zero trust is vital to national security and almost all, 96 percent, agree the Federal zero trust strategy is somewhat or very helpful. Despite the high priority, just 30 percent of Federal cyber decision-makers rate their zero trust progress as “excellent” and many, 67 percent, say the EO’s three-year window for implementing a zero trust architecture is not realistic. Zero Trust is the gold standard for cybersecurity, so we're encouraged to see the EO is prioritizing that approach. In addition, cloud-native endpoint detection and response capabilities can significantly strengthen the cybersecurity posture for the federal government, especially when integrated with other security capabilities including identity security, threat intelligence, and managed threat hunting. These concepts have become cybersecurity best practices for the private sector’s most technologically advanced businesses, and we encourage the public sector to continue to embrace these technologies and strategies.” Drew Bagley, vice president and counsel for Privacy and Cyber Policy, CrowdStrike “Getting to zero trust is not easy. The detail provided in the multi-step guidance from OMB provides a path, but there is no single box you can buy to meet the varied needs of the five zero trust pillars,” says Stephen Kovac, Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Global Government Affairs, Zscaler. “You need multiple solutions from varying vendors that work together with seamless integration to achieve true zero trust – it is a team sport. OMB has done a good job in helping to define those rules, with rule one being to keep users off the network. If they can’t reach you, they can’t breach you.” Funding is another roadblock. Just 14 percent report they have all funding needed to meet Cyber EO requirements. One-third say they have half, or less than half, of the funding needed. “The sea change is the focus on comprehensive cyber resiliency,” says Nicole Burdette, principal, MeriTalk. “The EO provided direction, and Federal cyber leaders are now doing the hard work. But progress requires sustained funding and resource commitment. The research shows the gaps.” “The U.S. federal government is taking important steps to improve the nation’s cybersecurity posture,” said Dave Levy, Vice President of U.S. Government, Nonprofit, and Healthcare at Amazon Web Services (AWS). “In the Cyber EO, the White House directs federal agencies to adopt security best practices, implement zero trust architectures, and accelerate migration to secure cloud services. Organizations of all sizes should consider similar principles and practices to enhance their cybersecurity and protect employees and sensitive data against cyberattack.” What are the leaders doing differently? Cyber EO champions (leaders who give their agency’s EO progress an A) are predictably more likely than their peers to say they have all the funding they need. They are also more likely to have their chief information officer (CIO) leading their zero-trust implementation (67 percent to 28 percent). When asked for perspectives on what’s needed to achieve cyber progress, the research identified the Federal wish list: Workforce training and expertise Stronger executive buy-in Detailed direction from agency IT leadership Centers of Excellence (COEs) in the government to lend expertise Three-fourths of Federal cyber decision-makers also say the EO should have been more authoritative with private-sector directives. The Impact Assessment: Cyber EO Year One report is based on an online survey of more than 150 Federal cybersecurity decision-makers familiar with their agencies’ cybersecurity initiatives, including zero trust strategies, in March 2022 and is underwritten by Amazon Web Services (AWS), CrowdStrike, and Zscaler. The report has a margin of error of ±7.7 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. About MeriTalk The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Our award-winning editorial team and world-class events and research staff produces unmatched news, analysis, and insight. The goal: a more efficient, responsive, and citizen-centric government. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 160,000 Federal community contacts.

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CYBERSECURITY

CISA, FBI, NSA, and International Partners issue advisory on Demonstrated Threats and Capabilities of Russian State-Sponsored and Cyber Criminal

CISA | April 22, 2022

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), National Cyber Security Centre New Zealand (NZ NCSC), and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-UK) and National Crime Agency (NCA), with contributions from industry members of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, issued a joint Cybersecurity Advisory on Russian state-sponsored and criminal cyber threats to critical infrastructure that could impact organizations both within and beyond Ukraine. It is the most comprehensive view of the cyber threat posed by Russia to critical infrastructure released by government cyber experts since the invasion of Ukraine in February. The advisory provides technical details on malicious cyber operations by actors from the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), and Russian Ministry of Defense, Central Scientific Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics. It also includes details on Russian-aligned cyber threat groups and cybercrime groups. Some of these cybercrime groups have recently publicly pledged support for the Russian government and have threatened to conduct cyber operations in retaliation for perceived cyber offensives against Russia or against countries or organizations providing materiel support to Ukraine. The advisory recommends several immediate actions for all organizations to take to protect their networks, which include: Prioritize patching of known exploited vulnerabilities; Enforce multifactor authentication; Monitor remote desktop protocol (RDP); and Provide end-user awareness and training We know that malicious cyber activity is part of the Russian playbook. We also know that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks against U.S. critical infrastructure. Today’s cybersecurity advisory released jointly by CISA and our interagency and international partners reinforces the demonstrated threat and capability of Russian state-sponsored and Russian aligned cyber-criminal groups to our Homeland. We urge all organizations to review the guidance in this advisory shields-up for continually updated information on how to protect yourself and your business.” Jen Easterly, CISA Director "The FBI is focused on exposing and disrupting malicious cyber activity by Russia against our allies and our own networks," said Bryan Vorndran, FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director. "We are working alongside our federal and international partners to quickly share information that helps private industry as well as the public to better protect and defend their systems from these threats. We will continue to investigate these malicious threat actors through our unique authorities and hold them accountable for their actions.” “Threats to critical infrastructure remain very real," said Rob Joyce, NSA Cybersecurity Director. "The Russia situation means you must invest and take action.” “Recent intelligence and historic instances of destructive cyber attacks indicate now is the time for organisations to improve their cyber security posture,” said Abigail Bradshaw, Head, Australian Cyber Security Centre. “In particular, critical infrastructure organisations should act now to raise defences, not wait until being attacked. The ACSC stands ready to support its critical infrastructure partners in responding to the threats we face - by raising their awareness of the threat, sharing indicators of compromise, and providing technical mitigation advice.” “Russia has significant cyber capabilities and a demonstrated history of using them irresponsibly, and state-sponsored malicious cyber activity is a real risk to organizations around the world,” said Sami Khoury, Head, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. “By joining alongside our partners in releasing today’s joint advisory, the Communications Security Establishment and its Canadian Centre for Cyber Security continue to support making threat information more publicly available, while providing specific advice and guidance to help protect against these kinds of risks.” “We are currently seeing an increased potential for cyber-attacks on critical infrastructures which may have a serious impact, even for countries and organisations not directly targeted,” said Lisa Fong, Director of New Zealand’s National Cyber Security Centre. “Organisations should take the opportunity to consider their security posture, understand their critical systems and risks – including across their supply chain – and exercise readiness. This joint advisory with our partners provides organisations with important information which will help them to build their cyber resilience by identifying and mitigating risks they face.” “In this period of heightened cyber threat, it has never been more important to plan and invest in longer-lasting security measures,” said Lindy Cameron, NCSC CEO. “It is vital that all organisations accelerate plans to raise their overall cyber resilience, particularly those defending our most critical assets. The NCSC continues to collaborate with our international and law enforcement partners to provide organisations with timely actionable advice to give them the best chance of preventing cyber-attacks, wherever they come from.” “Cyber attacks have evolved and increased in scale and severity over recent years, with the criminal groups behind them targeting the critical infrastructure of countries around the world,” said Rob Jones, NCA Director General for Cyber. “The NCA leads the UK law enforcement response to this threat, working with a range of international partners to investigate cyber criminals and disrupt the services they rely on. It is vital that organisations help bolster this response by enhancing cyber resilience and reporting any incidents of cyber crime to the authorities, to allow timely mitigation of further attacks.” Because evolving intelligence indicates that the Russian government is exploring options for potential cyberattacks, the cybersecurity authorities are providing this robust advisory with several resources and mitigations that can help the cybersecurity community protect against possible cyber threats from these adversarial groups. Executives, leaders, and network defenders are urged to implement recommendations to prepare for and mitigate the varied cyber threats listed in the Cybersecurity Advisory here. All organizations should share information about incidents and unusual cyber activity with their respective cybersecurity authorities. When cyber incidents are reported quickly, it can contribute to stopping further attacks. About CISA As the nation’s cyber defense agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) leads the national effort to understand, manage, and reduce risk to the digital and physical infrastructure Americans rely on every hour of every day.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Cardinality.ai Expands Executive Leadership Team with addition of New Chief Growth Officer & Chief Administrative Officer

Cardinality.ai | May 09, 2022

Cardinality.ai, a data technology company helping government agencies achieve better outcomes through data-driven automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and built-for-purpose solutions, announced that Peter Allen and Anna Harper join Cardinality's executive leadership team as Chief Growth Officer & Chief Administrative Officer, respectively. As CGO, Peter will collaborate with the executive leadership team and be responsible for accelerating growth by driving a go-to-market strategy that aligns with Cardinality's vision of impacting one billion people globally by 2024. An accomplished leader of sales and marketing teams across technology firms of diverse sizes, Peter led global sales and marketing for CSC, delivering over $15B in annual bookings, and has also led the growth functions for smaller companies serving specific industry segments, most recently serving as the senior vice president for sales & marketing at Benefitfocus, a $300M/year SaaS leader in employee benefits enrollment and administration. "Cardinality is earning a remarkable position among progressive government agencies for modernizing the ways citizens are served through social programs which improve quality of life. That's both the mission and momentum that I am honored to join," commented Allen. Anna, in her role as CAO, is responsible for overseeing operational budgets, key performance indicators and staffing across Cardinality's global operations to ensure clients & employees have a seamless and positive experience. She has been serving as the Vice President of Operations for Cardinality for the last year and has established a strong foundation supporting the company's plans to scale. "It's a privilege to serve as a leader in an organization whose mission aligns with your personal goals. The opportunity to apply my expertise to an organization supporting government agencies to improve the lives of citizens has purpose and meaning", shared Harper. Peter & Anna are tremendous additions to our executive leadership team. Their experience and mastery in their respective fields complements the deep technology leadership and public sector domain expertise of our other leaders. We are looking forward to leveraging their expertise to enhance our growth & execution strategy and help us continue our journey to make it easier and faster for U.S. government workers to serve their constituents." Thiag Loganathan, Cardinality's CEO Over the past year, Cardinality has added three new state agencies to the growing roster of customers, secured outside investment from Attain Capital Partners, added industry leader Greg Baroni to its Board of Directors, confirmed Thiag Loganathan as CEO, appointed Kevin Jones to the Chief Operating Officer role, focusing on product engineering, customer activation and support, and the functional roadmap for the Cardinality platform. "We are executing our plan to fulfill our mission of improving outcomes for vulnerable populations in America, and globally, by enhancing the executive leadership that will serve us with expert steering," concluded Loganathan. About Cardinality Cardinality is a data technology group helping government agencies achieve better outcomes by eliminating friction and improving the experience of citizens and government workers using Artificial Intelligence (AI) SaaS Solutions. Founded in 2017 by four serial entrepreneurs and a team of data specialists, the company has one goal: impact a billion lives. And it's already on its way—Cardinality solutions are being used by multiple agencies in the states of Indiana and Maryland. The company's suite of solutions was built specifically for workforce, health, and human services leveraging modern AI Case Management, CRM, ERP, RedBird AI, and Low-Code platform, so that agencies can modernize existing systems up to 50% faster than other low-code platforms and 200% faster than custom or unproven solutions.

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