Foreshadowing Major Food Stamp Changes, Feds Ask States for Advice

Governing | December 12, 2017

For years, many conservative states have tried to enact policies that would effectively restrict the number of people using food stamps and how they can use those benefits. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) often blocked those attempts out of concern that they would either be ineffective, too expensive, difficult to enforce or illegal. That’s about to change. The USDA is preparing to give states “new flexibility” in administering food stamps, which is properly called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In a letter to SNAP directors on Nov. 30, a USDA administrator promised increased federal cooperation with states to reduce fraud, promote employment, and improve customer service for food stamp recipients.

Spotlight

Presidents dominate our paper currency and our coins as well. It wasn’t always this way, at least for coins. Twentieth-century designs include the Mercury dime, the buffalo nickel and the Indian-head penny, among others. Today, presidents rule— though one recent exception is our dollar coins.


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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

Aminad and Axiom Sponsor Veteran-Owned Emerging Firms for Public Spend Forum's GovMarket Growth Hub

Public Spend Forum | May 19, 2022

Public Spend Forum (PSF), a market intelligence data, advisory and community platform for public sector buyers and diverse/emerging suppliers, is excited to announce a sponsorship by Aminad Consulting and Axiom Consultants for its GovMarket Growth Hub, specifically focused on Veteran-Owned Firms. Both Axiom and Aminad are fast growing, minority-owned small businesses that serve multiple federal agencies through their expertise driven consulting services in operations and technology. They join a growing list of sponsors and large corporate clients supporting emerging and diverse small businesses through Public Spend Forum's Growth Hub. The Growth Hub is focused on helping diverse and underserved businesses accelerate innovation and growth so they can become more resilient, create more jobs in their communities and drive more impact for government missions. "We're excited to see two amazing small businesses supporting our veterans and giving back through these sponsorships," said Raj Sharma. "They are really setting an example of leadership and how we can all work together to create positive impact for government and small businesses." As part of the sponsorships, up to 20 Veteran-Owned Companies will join Public Spend Forum's Growth Hub and get: Membership into PSF's Open Global Community including its Buyer/Supplier Councils AI-enabled Opportunity and Customer Matching subscription, through PSF's GovShop market intelligence platform Access to strategy, sales and human performance coaching designed to help small businesses accelerate their growth Veteran-owned companies focused broadly within the IT sector, especially bringing AI, cloud computing and cyber solutions are encouraged to apply through a simple, three question application process. Aminad Consulting believes deeply in the power of small business, as well as the high potential of Veteran-Owned businesses. Any opportunity to provide coaching and mentorship to those communities fulfills Aminad's vision of unlocking full potential and making lasting and positive impacts on people's lives." Lido Ramadan, Founder and President of Aminad Consulting "Axiom Consultants believes in Paying It Forward. As we receive mentorship from PSF's network of leaders and experts to help shape us as business leaders and catapult our company to the next level, we would like to pass on our lessons learned and nurture emerging younger companies who have high-potential of growth," said Bhavana Rakesh, CEO of Axiom Consultants. About Public Spend Forum Public Spend Forum (PSF) is a market intelligence data, community and advisory platform to help government buyers and emerging/diverse small businesses connect, collaborate and accelerate impact together. Our purpose is to accelerate impact for government missions while driving growth for diverse and emerging small businesses by lowering barriers, increasing market visibility and enabling access. We do this through AI-enabled market data, growth and market intelligence advisory services, and an open buyer/supplier community. About Aminad Consulting Aminad is an innovative small-business management consulting firm dedicated to generating realistic and implementable change. We work with Federal agencies, with a specific focus on the Department of Defense, and we have a track record of delivering results within the Federal government. About Axiom Consultants To accelerate their mission with actionable insights, organizations must embrace intelligent, tech-enabled systems across every facet of their business. Axiom Consultants thrives in developing purposeful solutions that are customer-focused and mission-driven, modernizing and accelerating innovation for our Federal Customers. Our solutions are based on a culture of quality and continuous improvement. Axiom takes center stage with best-in-class, data-driven solutions. Axiom enables its clients to improve their IT modernization capabilities by rendering top-of-the-line consultancy services to adopt emerging technologies, Cloud, cybersecurity, business transformation, and other solutions.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Red River Names Industry Veteran Brian Roach as Chief Executive Officer

Red River | May 21, 2022

Red River, a technology transformation company serving government and enterprise customers, announced that Brian Roach has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective May 31. Roach joins Red River from SAP North America, where he led the Regulated Industries practice in the United States. He oversaw the business’ strategy, operations, and customer relationships, partnering with federal, state, and local governments, as well as organizations in the higher education, aerospace and defense, healthcare, and utilities industries. “Brian is ideally suited to lead Red River into the future. He is an accomplished industry veteran with a deep understanding of our clients and markets. He also has a strong track record of building partnerships and bringing people together. This combination of experience and leadership is just what Red River needs in its next chapter of expanded growth.” Nana Banerjee,Red River Chairman Prior to SAP, Roach spent six years with Juniper Networks, where he led the National Government business unit, selling and delivering high-performance networking and security systems to U.S. government agencies. He has also had leadership roles at Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, and Unisys during his more than 20-year career. “This is an exciting time to join Red River,” said Roach. “Technology integration and modernization has never been more critical to organizations and Red River’s unique ability to combine cutting-edge solutions with unmatched engineering expertise has made it a distinct leader. I look forward to working with this talented team and our ecosystem of partners to deliver solutions tailored to customers across all segments.” Red River is a portfolio company of Cerberus Capital Management, a global leader in alternative investing. “Red River continues to meet the evolving needs of government agencies and businesses with its market-leading capabilities,” said Michael Sanford, Cerberus Senior Managing Director. “With the company’s exciting growth trajectory, it’s great to welcome Brian to this strong management team as Red River builds on its more than 25 years of leadership.” About Red River Red River brings together the ideal combination of talent, partners and products to disrupt the status quo in technology and drive success for business and government in ways previously unattainable. Red River serves organizations well beyond traditional technology integration, bringing more than 25 years of experience and mission-critical expertise in security, networking, data center, collaboration, mobility and cloud solutions.

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CYBERSECURITY

New Black Kite Research Reveals Top 100 U.S. Defense Contractors at Risk for Ransomware Attack

Black Kite | May 26, 2022

Black Kite, the leader in third-party cyber risk intelligence, released Centralizing Supply Chain Cybersecurity: U.S. Federal Government Risk in 2022, which finds cyber risks for top defense contractors are rising. Most notably, 72% of contractors have had at least one leaked credential in the last 90 days – a 71% increase from six months ago. "In today’s geopolitical landscape, the federal sector is under constant threat of cyberattack. There’s a heightened sense of urgency to protect critical infrastructure and the nation -- but hackers across the globe are getting better at flying under the radar. Some of the most critical federal agencies are unprotected, which leaves our country vulnerable and at risk. Our latest research highlights the need for better third-party cyber risk intelligence, and where to start today.” Bob Maley, CSO of Black Kite Black Kite Research analyzed the top 100 U.S. defense contractors’ overall cyber hygiene, including susceptibility to ransomware attacks, and compared the data against its 2021 report. In addition to the alarming increase in leaked credentials, key findings include: The cyber posture of defense contractors in critical technical categories (such as credential management, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) / Transport Layer Security (TLS), and strength and application security) is dangerously low. Nearly half (46%) of defense contractors are three times more likely to experience a cyber breach than those with “A” technical ratings (on a scale from A to F). 32% are vulnerable to ransomware attacks such as phishing – and 20% of agencies examined in last year’s report are still vulnerable, meaning quick improvement is critical. 17% utilize out-of-date systems, creating a critical vulnerability for ransomware attacks. According to a survey of government organizations by Sophos, 40% of central government and 34% of local government organizations experienced a ransomware attack in the past year. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cyber Division recently issued Private Industry Notification finds “ransomware attacks against local government entities are especially significant due to the public’s dependency on critical utilities, emergency services, educational facilities, and other services overseen by local governments.” With the government being one of the largest holders of personal identifying information (PII), these entities are desirable targets for cyber criminals. “Government agencies are prime targets for hackers due to the sheer amount of data they possess. It’s a virtual candy store for those with malicious intent,” said Jeffrey Wheatman, SVP and Cyber Risk Evangelist (CRE) of Black Kite. “Understanding third-party susceptibility to cyber threats must come first as contractors look to reduce their risk. At Black Kite, we’re committed to helping the most critical agencies safeguard their data – and in doing so – safeguard the information of all citizens.” Black Kite provides third-party cyber risk intelligence from a technical, financial, and compliance perspective to eliminate false positives and ensure a holistic approach to vendor risk management. In addition to Centralizing Supply Chain Cybersecurity: U.S. Federal Government Risk in 2022, Black Kite issues an annual Third-Party Breach Report as well as regular risk assessment reports on the automotive manufacturing, energy and insurance sectors. About Black Kite One in four organizations suffered from a cyber attack in the last year, resulting in production, reputation and financial losses. The real problem is adversaries attack companies via third parties, island-hopping their way into target organizations. At Black Kite, we're redefining vendor risk management with the world’s first global third-party cyber risk monitoring platform, built from a hacker's perspective. With 350+ customers across the globe and counting, we're committed to improving the health and safety of the entire planet's cyber ecosystem with the industry’s most accurate and comprehensive cyber intelligence. While other security ratings service (SRS) providers try to narrow the scope, Black Kite provides the only standards-based cyber risk assessments that analyze your supply chain's cybersecurity posture from three critical dimensions: technical, financial and compliance.

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CYBERSECURITY

Darktrace Federal Announces Former U.S Marine and Senior CIA Officer Appointed as CEO

Darktrace | June 09, 2022

Darktrace Federal, Inc., a division of Darktrace plc, a global leader in cyber security AI, announced that it has appointed Marcus Fowler, former U.S Marine and senior CIA officer, as its Chief Executive Officer. Darktrace launched Darktrace Federal in March 2022 and since then has continued to advance its mission to serve the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the intelligence community (IC), federal civilian agencies, and national critical infrastructure to strengthen their defenses with Self-Learning AI. Darktrace Federal will ensure mission resilience, augment and accelerate zero trust implementations, and proactively defend against zero-days, insider threats, and supply chain compromises. In addition to defending on-premise and cloud IT and OT environments, Darktrace's email security technology will be the basis for enabling federal entities to disrupt targeted, socially-engineered impersonation and account hijack attacks. Since its establishment, Darktrace Federal has been focusing on the following key areas: Deploying products based on Darktrace's advanced Self-Learning AI technology on-premise and completing FedRAMP certification for email security and cloud deployments. For FedRAMP, Darktrace Federal is in the process of establishing Impact Level-5 and GCC High to protect federal civilian, DoD, and IC environments. Providing technical demonstrations of Darktrace's Self-Learning AI-based approach to cyber security to federal government critical infrastructure agencies. Utilizing the new DoD contract funding vehicle Darktrace has executed to enable rapid deployment with DoD and federal civilian agencies and partners. At such a critical moment in our nation's history, when nation-state cyber-aggressors are actively conducting operations for dominance in cyberspace, we aim to empower the U.S. government to be steps ahead of attackers to neutralize stealthy and sophisticated threats at their earliest stages. I am honored to lead the Darktrace Federal team and bring Darktrace's proven AI technology to federal customers." Marcus Fowler, CEO at Darktrace Federal Patrick Gonzalez, former U.S Air Force and U.S. Space Force contracting officer, who is a member of the Darktrace Federal advisory board and brings with him a wealth of experience in government acquisition and contracts, commented: "Following a lengthy career in this space, I am thrilled to see such a high level of interest so soon after the launch of Darktrace Federal. I am proud that we are taking the necessary steps to do business with the federal government and will continue to work hard to meet demand and ensure Darktrace Federal is on appropriate contract vehicles." For Darktrace Federal inquiries or contract vehicle references, please contact Sally Grant, VP of Darktrace Federal Grant emphasizes, "we are standing by to support U.S. government cyber defenses. The speed and scale of modern cyber threats requires AI to augment human cyber defenders. We are here to support cyber analyst teams under attack from machine-driven cyber warfare." About Darktrace Federal, Inc Darktrace Federal, Inc. is the U.S. Federal Division of Darktrace plc (DARK.L). Darktrace plc is a global leader in cyber security AI, delivering world-class technology that protects over 6,800 customers worldwide from malicious threats. Darktrace Federal applies Darktrace's Self-Learning AI to enable unsupervised machine learning to defend and respond to nation-state attacks.

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Spotlight

Presidents dominate our paper currency and our coins as well. It wasn’t always this way, at least for coins. Twentieth-century designs include the Mercury dime, the buffalo nickel and the Indian-head penny, among others. Today, presidents rule— though one recent exception is our dollar coins.

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