Lawmakers urge U.S. government to tighten export controls to China on security fears

Reuters | November 19, 2019

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Cotton on Monday urged the U.S. government to swiftly issue rules to make it harder to export sophisticated technologies to China that Beijing can use to boost its military. A letter by the two, seen by Reuters, was addressed to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The Commerce Department has been tasked by a 2018 law with drafting regulations to toughen export controls for cutting-edge technologies.

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The U.S. Postal Service recently announced that it would study approximately 3,700 postal retail facilities which are candidates for consolidation. Many policymakers and Postal Service customers have expressed concern over the effect these potential consolidations will have on access to postal services and as well as the social life of rural communities where the local post office acted as a gathering point for the community.


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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

SES Government Solutions Expands Leadership Team with Key Appointments

SES | September 14, 2022

SES Government Solutions (SES GS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, announced today the final series of leadership appointments. The newly-appointed leadership team positions the organization for its next phase of growth and transformation as a leader in integrated multi-orbit, multi-band SATCOM network solutions. The expanded leadership team is an extension of SES GS’ continued integration after the recent DRS Global Enterprise Solutions (DRS GES) acquisition. The newly-appointed SES GS leadership team members are: Scott Galus, Senior Vice President of Operations Scott is a seasoned leader with more than 20 years of federal contracting sector experience. Scott began supporting government programs when he joined SAIC in 1997 and later served as a Project Control Manager for the Athens C41 program, an IT security contract with the Government of Greece. Since joining SES GS in 2009, Scott has led both finance and sales departments where he was responsible for the company’s financial planning, analysis & management, legal, contracts, procurement and financial/cost accounting and reporting functions. In his new role, Scott will provide strategic and operational leadership overseeing the organization’s operating divisions. Nitin Bhat, Senior Vice President of Engineering Nitin holds over 30 years of experience designing and developing wireless, terrestrial, Information Technology (IT), and cyber solutions for the U.S. Government and military. The former DRS GES Vice President, Engineering and Technical Operations brings an extensive technical background in designing end-to-end solutions for mission-critical, large-scale Department of Defense tactical networks. In his new role, Nitin will lead a diverse and skilled team of engineers focused on aerospace, terrestrial, cyber, networking, advanced technologies, Network Operations and Security Center (GNOSC), and software development. Luz Martinez, Senior Vice President of Finance Luz has 20 years of experience in finance and accounting, including service in the United States Army for eight years. Luz joins SES GS after 12 years at DRS GES, most recently as the Vice President, Finance & Accounting. Luz will lead the company’s financial planning, analysis & management, procurement, financial/cost accounting, and reporting functions. “I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Scott, Nitin and Luz to our leadership team. These new Senior Vice Presidents are exceptionally qualified leaders who are bringing expertise and forward-thinking direction in the key areas that enable us to efficiently serve our customers, These new appointments will energize our organization and enable us to deliver best-in-class integrated solutions and state-of-the-art multi-orbit satellite networking capabilities to the U.S. Government.” -David Fields, President and CEO of SES GS. About SES Government Solutions: SES Government Solutions (SES GS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions, and is exclusively focused on building, managing, and supporting the most advanced satellite network solutions for the US Government. SES GS leverages a proven multi-operator network integration and management capability, an extensive global terrestrial network, as well as access to SES’s multi-orbit satellite fleet. It also offers US Department of Defense customers the essential tools in cybersecurity for mission-critical operations, coupled with a proven track record in governance and compliance. SES GS operates under a proxy board, enabling it to support classified projects, and it has been present in the US Government satcom market for over four decades. 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 ~8,000 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 366 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

iOffice + SpaceIQ Pursues FedRAMP Authorization for Workplace and Asset Management Technology

iOffice + SpaceIQ | August 17, 2022

iOffice + SpaceIQ, the global workplace technology company, today announced its intent to seek authorization from the U.S. Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) for its Integrated Workplace Management System Archibus. FedRAMP facilitates adoption of secure technologies across U.S. government agencies by standardizing assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring of cloud-based products and services. The federal government owns and leases 130,000 properties — approximately 885 million square feet and $21B in annual operational expenditures — representing the largest real estate portfolio in the United States. With nearly 7% of government-owned properties underutilized or unused, iOffice + SpaceIQ's solutions address the critical need for space optimization, cost reduction, and enhanced decision-making capabilities for federal facilities. "There's been a major push to modernize operations and ramp up digital transformation efforts within the federal government, FedRAMP authorization will accelerate our ability to supply much-needed solutions to highly regulated government agencies and continue serving our existing federal customers." -Chief Dan DeRosa, Product Officer, iOffice + SpaceIQ. iOffice + SpaceIQ is already authorized to operate on secure high-side networks for several government agencies. The company has a robust federal distribution, reseller, and service provider network, meeting demand for centralized management of facility operations, maintenance, and occupancy while ensuring data security. iOffice + SpaceIQ's infrastructure is purpose-built to increase customers' resiliency against existing and future cybersecurity challenges. The business meets the highest standards for service and accessibility, including compliance with SOC 2 and a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template for Archibus. About iOffice + SpaceIQ: iOffice + SpaceIQ empowers how tomorrow will work, helping employees and companies adapt and thrive to produce better outcomes for the world. Our smart workplace technology enables over 10,000 organizations in 85 countries to improve business performance through intuitive, people-first space planning and operations. More than 2M end users rely on iOffice + SpaceIQ platforms to optimize more than 2B square feet of space valued at more than $64B, maintain mission-critical assets, and enhance how people interact with the workplace.

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CYBERSECURITY

Keeper Security Announces FedRAMP Authorization

Keeper Security | August 25, 2022

Keeper Security, the leading provider of zero-trust and zero-knowledge cybersecurity software protecting passwords, secrets, and connections, today announced that the company has obtained FedRAMP Authorization at the Moderate Impact Level for its Keeper Security Government Cloud (KSGC). The KSGC password management and security solution has successfully completed the rigorous FedRAMP accreditation process. This highly sought-after and difficult to attain designation sets KSGC apart from its competitors as the best in class zero-trust and zero-knowledge security solution for government agencies to protect their passwords, data, and secrets. KSGC is hosted in AWS GovCloud (US), designed to host sensitive data, regulated workloads, and address the most stringent U.S. government security and compliance requirements. To receive FedRAMP Authorization, organizations must implement controls from 17 different control families that originate from National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53. This alone can take organizations months or years, depending on the complexity of the system. Authorization can only be pursued by an organization through partnering with a federal agency or the Joint Authorization Board (JAB). Additionally, the system must be evaluated and assessed by an authorized independent third-party auditor prior to submitting for final review and authorization by the FedRAMP Program Management Office. "Keeper is proud to bring its password management and cybersecurity platform to FedRAMP Authorized status," said Darren Guccione, CEO and Co-Founder of Keeper Security. "This authorization demonstrates Keeper's longstanding -- and, some would say, fanatical -- commitment to the highest standards of internal security controls and encryption. Keeper is prepared to help federal agencies protect their digital assets against ransomware, data breaches and other password-related cyberattacks." "As a FedRAMP Authorized password management and security solution, KSGC will enable Carahsoft and our reseller partners to help federal agencies better secure their sensitive information and protect against password related breaches, Keeper's zero-knowledge, zero-trust architecture solves compliance and regulatory enforcement requirements, providing a trusted, reliable solution that meets government needs." -Steve Jacyna, who leads the Keeper Security team at Carahsoft. Today's attackers are advanced at using any breached username and password combination to run through analytics and bots to find any use or similar use combination. By leveraging password managers, a constant health check can be maintained for password diversification and security, said Jean-Paul Bergeaux, Federal Chief Technology Officer of GuidePoint Security. Enterprises cannot assume users are doing this and KSGC provides a way for government security teams to maintain password security while also significantly improving user experience throughout their work life. The FedRAMP Authorized KSGC follows a White House Executive Order mandating zero-trust architecture and strong encryption, along with a draft memorandum by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) mandating all federal agencies adopt a zero-trust security architecture by 2024. The memorandum specifically calls out password security requirements that KSGC facilitates, including strong password policies, the removal of a deprecated requirement to require special characters and regular password rotation, and the ability to compare user passwords against weak and breached data. Keeper provides government agencies with a human-centric cybersecurity solution that promotes adoption of password best practices, like the use of MFA, by employees and contractors. Keeper also promotes secure collaboration with encrypted record sharing that allows system administrators to regulate privileged access to files, as well as masking credentials. Keeper's zero-knowledge system architecture provides the highest levels of security and privacy. Encryption and decryption of data always occurs locally on the user's device, and only the encrypted ciphertext is stored in KSGC. About Keeper Security: Keeper Security, Inc. ("Keeper") is transforming the way organizations and individuals protect their credentials, secrets, connections and sensitive digital assets to significantly reduce the risks of identity security-related cyber attacks while gaining visibility and control. Keeper is the leading provider of zero-trust and zero-knowledge security cloud services trusted by millions of people and thousands of organizations for password and secrets management, privileged access, secure remote infrastructure access and encrypted messaging. Keeper's products are the highest-rated in the industry across G2, Trustpilot, PCMag and U.S. News & World Report. For the last several years, Keeper has received several InfoSec Awards from Cyber Defense Magazine for its cyber security enterprise software. Keeper is SOC 2 and ISO 27001 certified, and FIPS 140-2 validated, and Keeper is the only FedRAMP Authorized enterprise password management solution. Keeper is backed by Insight Partners, a leading venture capital and private equity firm with $90b AUM. About Carahsoft: Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, supporting Federal, State and Local Government and Education and Healthcare. As the Master Government Aggregator® for its vendor and reseller partners, Carahsoft delivers solutions for Cybersecurity, MultiCloud, DevSecOps, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Open Source, Customer Experience and Engagement, and more. About GuidePoint Security: GuidePoint Security provides cybersecurity solutions and services that help organizations make better decisions. GuidePoint Security's holistic approach enables organizations to identify threats, optimize resources, and integrate solutions that mitigate risk.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,CYBERSECURITY

U.S. Government Agencies’ IT Networks May Be Unprepared for Return to Office

Riverbed | August 24, 2022

More than half the federal government IT employees responding to a recent survey say they are worried their IT systems will struggle to deliver good user experiences as more agency employees return to working in offices instead of remotely, according to a new survey released today by Riverbed® and Swish. Among survey respondents who are concerned with end-user experience in a hybrid work environment, 52% of those are concerned that their legacy IT architectures and on-premises network infrastructure will struggle with the increased usage of collaboration tools such as Teams and Zoom as workers return to the office, and 44% are concerned that the end user experience on-site won’t be as good as at home. These concerns arise as the concept of “government from anywhere,” whether in an on-site or hybrid capacity, is becoming widely accepted. Of those surveyed, 47% expect hybrid work environments (teleworking 2-4 days a week) to continue for the long-term, while only 30% expect that a majority of employees will return to the office fulltime in the next six months. The survey of IT employees across the U.S. federal government, from both civilian and defense agencies, was conducted by research firm Market Connections. Survey respondents also reported that they rely on reactive, manual methods to quantify problems with user, infrastructure, and application experiences. While 100 percent of respondents agree that it is at least somewhat important to measure end user experience and productivity capability, 87% claim their agency is still reactively responding to help desk tickets and 51% rely upon user phone calls as a primary means of quantifying issues. “These survey findings point to the importance of utilizing proactive monitoring tools that provide complete network visibility to improve the user experience and network performance across an agency’s entire IT environment, As agencies balance their various work environments and collaboration tools, they should seek to implement an observability platform that multiple teams can use to proactively identify and contextually analyze user issues and leverage automation to solve them quickly.” -Craig McCullough, Senior Vice President of Public Sector for Riverbed. According to the survey, most agencies surveyed (59%) aren’t effectively measuring the impact of change in their IT environment, and are not examining business transaction productivity in terms of labor cost, latency impact, or rate of success. Issues of user experience and productivity and IT network performance can be successfully addressed by utilizing a single-platform, proactive, monitoring tool that provides end-to-end network visibility. With full visibility, IT and agency leaders can quickly identify, mitigate and resolve issues across a variety of endpoints through one integrated system. “This is significant because without a single performance platform, agencies don’t have consolidated incident-centric end-to-end context, root cause analysis, or automated response, Unified observability should be at the forefront of agency thinking and we and our partners, like Riverbed, are working to support this mentality shift which will ultimately benefit the government for years to come.” -Monty Deel, Chief Executive Officer for Swish. About Swish: Swish is a provider of technology solutions and engineering services to the U.S. Federal Government with a focus on high-quality outcomes for customers. Experienced and certified engineers research and evaluate the most innovative technologies on the market and then develop full life cycle solution offerings to ensure that customers realize maximum operational value. Since 2006, Swish has delivered high-performance solutions and services to the Federal Government market ensuring that customer’s digital service capabilities, performance and security exceed expectations and requirements. Swish is a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned and HUBZone certified Small Business. About Riverbed: Riverbed is the only company with the collective richness of telemetry from network to app to end user, that illuminates and then accelerates every interaction, so organizations can deliver a seamless digital experience and drive enterprise performance. Riverbed offers two industry-leading portfolios: Alluvio by Riverbed, a differentiated Unified Observability portfolio that unifies data, insights, and actions across IT, so customers can deliver seamless, secure digital experiences; and Riverbed Acceleration, providing fast, agile, secure acceleration of any app, over any network, to users anywhere. Together with our thousands of partners, and market-leading customers globally – including 95% of the FORTUNE 100 –, we empower every click, every digital experience.

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Spotlight

The U.S. Postal Service recently announced that it would study approximately 3,700 postal retail facilities which are candidates for consolidation. Many policymakers and Postal Service customers have expressed concern over the effect these potential consolidations will have on access to postal services and as well as the social life of rural communities where the local post office acted as a gathering point for the community.

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