Defense is Embracing Robotic Process Automation But It’s Not Yet Scaling It

Nextgov | April 23, 2020

Defense agencies deploying robotic process automation are hitting technical and cultural issues as they explore scaling the tools across the enterprise. “There are a few agencies, I think, that have some pretty robust RPA implementations. The challenge I’ve seen in terms of scale is that we need to solve for a shared services model before we're able to accomplish the kind of scaling we’ve seen like in the commercial industry,” Rachael Martin, a Joint Artificial Intelligence Center mission chief who focuses on improving business processes through AI and automation, said during a webinar held by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.

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The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) welcomes the opportunity to present our pre-Budget submission for the 2018-19 financial year. We look forward to working with the Government as it sets its economic agenda in the year ahead and in a constantly changing environment.


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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

National Tech Industry Association Pleased to See Serious Investments on Cyber and Digital Government in Federal Budget 2022

Technation | April 11, 2022

Technation, Canada’s leading technology association, is pleased to see increased investments in cyber and digital government in 2022 Federal Budget. The Association has long advocated for government to significantly enhance federal investments in cyber security as Canada’s current level of investment is not sufficient to secure our economy, critical infrastructure, or government enterprises. Technation is pleased to see the commitment of $875.2 million over 5 years to address cyber threats. Cybercrime (ransomware) and nation state actions are the two most prevalent threats to our country right now. The need to prioritize cyber security measures – for government, businesses and individuals alike – is critical. This additional funding will help the Government of Canada secure its own enterprise and lead by example. However, the Government of Canada must also improve collaboration with Canada’s tech sector, infrastructure, and reporting mechanisms. Just spending money will not be enough; Government also needs to mobilize the innovation potential of our strong domestic industry, especially leading-edge Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in cyber. While we appreciate the Budget 2022 proposes to provide $17.7 million over five years for the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to establish an academic research programs on cutting-edge technologies, the tech sector would rather see a program to allow Canadian scale-up cyber companies to supply the government. Contracts are more important to our cyber industry than grants. While we appreciate the commitment to accelerating and expanding digital government services to Canadians and COVID-19 has demonstrated this is critical, we do have concerns over the continued expansion of the Canadian Digital Service (CDS). We look forward to clarification of CDS’s responsibilities with respect to the services it provides, especially relating to other jurisdictions in Canada. We are pleased to see $30 million over four years for the Coordinated Accessible National Health Network (CAN Health Network) for made-in-Canada technologies, building upon the CAN Health Network and the expansion to Quebec, the Territories, and Indigenous communities. While we are pleased to hear the additional measures to help bring high-skilled immigrants to Canada, the tech sector needs workforce development as a national priority. This includes a meaningful focus on the talent crisis that exists now; clearly identified ways to recruit international tech talent; and investment into remote learning opportunities. Finally, a focus on ensuring the development of leading-edge tech like cybersecurity and AI talent as a strategic priority. We are pleased to see both the additional funding to the innovation clusters as well as the new innovation agency. Canada’s tech sector is an economic engine that will create jobs of today and tomorrow. However, for both the clusters, the new agency as well as initiatives to grow the semi-conductor capacity in Canada, it is critical that industry is at the table with government and especially the design of this new agency is done in a collaborative approach that includes tech industries of all sizes. However, we do have some concerns including the continued introduction of a Digital Services Tax. Canada has seen increased threats of action from Washington and should not be surprised if this comes to fruition. This can be avoided by working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) multilateral process. Canada must have the right digital, data, and technology-driven policies in place that can support Canadian businesses and ensure they succeed in the new global economy. The Government of Canada needs to enhance engagement with industry-experts to develop a focused approach for industry/ government collaboration and tech policy co-creation. The government should aggressively target growing Canada’s digital and data-driven economy through a clear, integrative national strategy. This means a coherent approach that combines Canada’s digital transformation agenda with an economic development lens fueled by Canada’s innovative technology businesses that are creating the jobs of today, and tomorrow. Given the uncertain times Canada and the world is facing right now, it makes sense that this Federal Budget has focused on key issues like increasing defence spending or bolstering the rising housing crisis. We are pleased that this Budget saw significant cyber investment that will help keep the nation secure. However, we must not underestimate the critical role the technology sector is and will continue to play in managing the uncertainty.” Angela Mondou, President & CEO, Technation

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

SES Adds Third Satellite from Thales Alenia Space to Extend Services across Europe, Africa and Asia

SES | March 28, 2022

SES announced it has ordered SES-26 a fully software-defined geostationary (GEO) satellite from Thales Alenia Space, joint venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %). SES-26 will maintain and expand the wide range of content delivery and connectivity services to broadcasters, media companies, telco operators, internet service providers and governmental organisations across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. The digital satellite with both Ku-band and C-band frequencies will replace SES’s NSS-12 satellite at 57 degrees East, one of SES’s longest-held and most valuable orbital positions. From this key location at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, SES will continue to deliver content and connectivity solutions to some of the world's fastest-growing markets. Facilitating connections from the heart of Europe across Africa and the Middle East, SES-26 will be an important platform to support government communications solutions in the region and is synergic with the company’s recently-announced definitive agreement for the acquisition of DRS GES. The position is also home to the Ethiosat platform, a diverse free to air neighborhood supporting a growing community of 10 million TV households across Ethiopia The order forms part of a three-satellite commitment to Thales Alenia Space and incorporates two satellites that will be deployed at SES’s first and most important orbital location, 19.2 degrees East from which SES serves 118 million TV households across Europe. Underlining its philosophy of sustainable innovation and its commitment to the European space industry, SES is the first commercial customer for Thales Alenia Space’s Space Inspire (INstant SPace In-orbit REconfiguration), an innovative product line allowing seamless telecommunication mission and services reconfiguration, instant in-orbit adjustment to the demand and outstanding flexibility for video broadcasting and broadband connectivity services. For over 20 years, satellites at 57 degrees East have been at the centrepiece of our connectivity network bridging Europe to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. From broadcasting video content across Europe and Africa to delivering connectivity services for aviation, maritime and government, SES-26 underlines our commitment to the growth of our business and to our customers. We are delighted to work with our long-term partner Thales Alenia Space to push the boundaries of next-generation satellite capabilities and deliver the flexible innovation that enables us to stay ahead of our customers’ evolving needs.” Steve Collar, CEO of SES “We are honoured that SES has renewed its confidence in Thales Alenia Space and our Space Inspire software-defined solution. This new contract follows the recent order to build Astra 1P and Astra 1Q and strengthens the strong partnership between SES and Thales Alenia Space. Once again, I’m happy to share this new success with the French and European space agencies – CNES and ESA – who contributed to making it possible thanks to their support,” said Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. The procurement of the satellite remains within SES's previously announced Capital Expenditure outlook for 2022-2026 and is fully compliant with the company’s financial policy. About SES SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries 8,400 channels and has an unparalleled reach of over 361 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content.

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CYBERSECURITY

Intelligent Waves Partners with Horizon3.ai’s NodeZero to Empower Special Operators with Next-Gen Cybersecurity Resilience in DevOps

Intelligent Waves | May 13, 2022

Intelligent Waves (IW), a leading IT integrator that provides mission-focused, multi-domain operational expertise and innovation to the Federal Government, announced a strategic collaboration with Horizon3.ai to support next-generation cybersecurity protection in DevOps for the DoD special operations community. Intelligent Waves will utilize Horizon3.ai's NodeZero autonomous penetration testing platform to validate architecture deployments and ensure customer environments are secure and operationally ready for users. The partnership between IW and Horzon3.ai has enabled the mitigation and prevention of malicious actors trying to gain or deny access to critical networks that support Department of Defense missions. The inclusion of NodeZero into Intelligent Waves’ DevOps pipeline has significantly reduced the overhead and decreased deployment validation time while simultaneously improving security insight into customer environments through continuous monitoring. Intelligent Waves is honored to include Horizon3.ai's NodeZero into our ultra-secure tool suite for DevOps for special operations. In these challenging times, with rogue actors constantly on the prowl for vulnerabilities, this solution provides the warfighters with an effective, battle-tested solution." John Hammes, Chief Strategy Officer at Intelligent Waves Horizon3.ai’s NodeZero acts as a force multiplier, helping preserve or increase margins by enabling Alliance Partners to cover more accounts with a smaller team. It continuously assesses an enterprise’s attack surface to identify ways a skilled attacker could chain together harvested credentials, misconfigurations, dangerous product defaults, and exploitable vulnerabilities to compromise systems and data. NodeZero quickly identifies exploitable attack vectors and ineffective security controls, so Alliance Partners’ resources are spent fixing what matters most. This new collaboration between Intelligent Waves and Horizon3.ai will be showcased at The Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) on May 16th - 19th, 2022, in booth 304 at the Tampa Convention Center. SOFIC provides special operations and industry partners the opportunity to reexamine SOF policies, investments, and activities, find ways to augment existing SOF capabilities, foster rapid future capability development and employment, and leverage relationships with allies and partners. “Threat actors create threat vectors that you never would imagine to be exploitable by chaining together network misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, harvested credentials, and dangerous product defaults,” said Snehal Antani, CEO and co-founder of Horizon3.ai. “Our partnership with Intelligent Waves allows us to provide APTaaS to customers, helping them understand their cybersecurity risk profile so they can harden their security postures with penetration tests that can be run as often as they want.” About Intelligent Waves Intelligent Waves delivers mission-focused multi-domain operational expertise & innovation to the Government through high-impact technology solutions in cybersecurity, data science, enterprise network engineering, software development, & platform mission support. Always ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Any domain. About Horizon3.ai Horizon3.ai's mission 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. Organizations will see their enterprise through the eyes of the attacker, identifying ineffective security controls and ensuring 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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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

GovOS Announces New Partnership with the Vermont Short-Term Rental Alliance

GovOS | May 17, 2022

GovOS, a leading provider of digital transformation solutions for local governments, announced it is partnering with the Vermont Short-Term Rental Alliance (VTSTRA), a nonprofit business association for vacation rental owners and short-term rental (STR) hosts operating in Vermont. The partnership will support both organizations in their ongoing efforts to encourage responsible renting through expanded access to resources and software solutions that promote healthy STR communities. "The VTSTRA is dedicated to helping make vacation rentals a responsibly-operated and reasonably-regulated part of Vermont's culture, economy, and way of life," said Julie Marks, Founder, Director, and Board President of the VTSTRA. "GovOS has extensive experience helping local governments improve engagement with STR communities in their jurisdiction. That experience combined with our own expertise and educational resources will help us build a stronger, more sustainable lodging ecosystem throughout Vermont." VTSTRA's mission is to establish standards that protect the well-being of Vermont's STR hosts, guests, neighbors, and communities, while also supporting policies that incentivize smart growth development to correct the deficiency in the state's housing supply. The VTSTRA advocates for the use of STR registration systems to help ensure operators are aware of and adhere to legislation at the state and local levels. GovOS is aligned with VTSTRA's desire to support STR hosts and the communities in which they operate. From its inception, GovOS has taken a holistic approach to offering solutions that have a positive impact. By supporting local governments and the communities they serve, we have fundamental insight into what citizens, businesses, and government agencies need to achieve their goals. Our companies' shared interest in advocating for more awareness, understanding, and cooperation is what makes this partnership so valuable." Kevin Lafeber, President, GovOS Chosen by communities across the U.S., the GovOS STR solution helps local governments understand and mitigate the impacts of STRs on their community and the local economy. In addition to the identification and compliance components, GovOS STR provides an industry-leading registration system for local communities that require STR operators to apply for a license. The solution also supports tax collection (including both state and local lodging taxes, where applicable) as well as a 24/7 bilingual complaint hotline for local residents. The system is designed to provide a comprehensive solution that helps improve engagement between STR operators and their government agencies. About the Vermont Short-Term Rental Alliance (VTSTRA) The VTSTRA is a nonprofit business association for vacation rental owners and short-term rental hosts operating in Vermont. The VTSTRA works collaboratively with state and municipal lawmakers to craft regulatory solutions that will effectively mitigate potential negative impacts on Vermont communities while protecting the vital economic opportunity that the STR industry brings to Vermont. About GovOS GovOS is the leading digital transformation platform for local governments. Headquartered in Austin, TX, GovOS serves government agencies of all sizes across the United States. Through its secure and integrated suite of cloud-based solutions, governments can automate and streamline operations, provide seamless access to resources and information, and deliver cutting-edge digital services to businesses, residents and agencies.

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Spotlight

The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) welcomes the opportunity to present our pre-Budget submission for the 2018-19 financial year. We look forward to working with the Government as it sets its economic agenda in the year ahead and in a constantly changing environment.

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