Video service Zoom taking security seriously: U.S. government memo

Zoom | April 07, 2020

Video conferencing company Zoom has been responsive to concerns over its software, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a memo recently distributed to top government cybersecurity officials and seen by Reuters. The memo - drafted by DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, which screens software used by government bodies - sounded a positive note about the teleworking solution, which has been beset by security worries since the coronavirus outbreak drew in a flood of new stay-at-home users.

Spotlight

In 2013, the California legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA). PEPRA lowers pension benefits for new members of most public retirement systems and requires some public employees to contribute more toward funding their defined benefit (DB) pension plans. DB plans have been, and continue to be, an important component of public employee compensation. PEPRA changes California public employees’ overall compensation by reducing benefits, which should lower employer DB plan contributions. This paper: Explains components of public employee compensation and retirement benefits. Compares California state and local government salaries and retirement expenditures to other states. Uses hypothetical scenarios to estimate: » The monetary value of DB plans and Social Security » PEPRA benefit formula impacts Compensation and retirement benefits To attract and retain quality employees, government employers balance salaries, pensions and other benefits. While salaries provide immediate compensation, retirement benefits provide deferred compensation. The deferred nature of retirement benefits allows employers to offset present-day salaries by leveraging long-term investment returns for compensation in retirement.


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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

LexisNexis Risk Solutions Hires National Interoperability Leader Kelly Hoover Thompson to Lead New Government Health Team

LexisNexis Risk Solutions | March 10, 2022

LexisNexis Risk Solutions announced it has hired Kelly Hoover Thompson, a national healthcare executive, to lead the new Government Health Team. Thompson is ideal for the role, drawing on her federal and state government service and decades of healthcare leadership. The addition of Thompson, who has spent the past several years advancing interoperability across the nation and serving as an advisor on health information technology, bolsters the company's commitment to the nation's public health needs and advancing interoperability. Thompson will work to build out the Government Health Team at LexisNexis Risk Solutions where she will partner with government leaders across federal, state, and local governments. Thompson is ideal for the role, drawing on her federal and state government service and decades of healthcare leadership Thompson is well-suited to lead the Government Health team given her prior experience as a state regulator and agency head in multiple health and human services agencies in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as her time as chief executive officer of the start-up Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC). Thompson adds to her experience as a healthcare advocate and legal counsel, serving in various legislative and healthcare association leadership roles. She has dedicated her career to improving healthcare for patients, families, and those who provide their care across the continuum. "I'm excited about the opportunity," said Thompson. "It gives me a new way to impact our healthcare industry and the much-needed work across our nation." LexisNexis Risk Solutions continues to invest in our government health business by attracting stellar talent, like Kelly Thompson, with deep subject matter expertise and industry-leading experience. We also continue to innovate with actionable, best-in-class data, linking, and analytics. Our strategic vision to provide the next generation of government health solutions drives us to provide innovative solutions that provide a precise and complete picture of people as they engage across disparate agencies and services. This interoperability will continue to promote transparency and efficiency for healthcare consumers. Kelly Thompson's policy expertise and depth on knowledge of interoperability and the government's role in data sharing will further allow us to meet the needs of the industry today and prepare for the emerging challenges of the future. The addition of Kelly to our government health team demonstrates our strong commitment to attracting top talent and leverage key relationships between the public and private sector to produce better healthcare outcomes for all Americans." Haywood Talcove, CEO of the government business at LexisNexis Risk Solutions Thompson serves as an international leader, advisor and speaker on interoperability and health policy. She serves on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Board of Scientific Counselors, the National Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Technical Committee, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (IUPMC) Patient Safety Committee, and volunteers at her local YWCA, school, and community. About LexisNexis Risk Solutions LexisNexis Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. We provide data and technology solutions for a wide range of industries including insurance, financial services, healthcare, and government. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

SDI Presence Announces Enhanced Advisory Services Delivery Model and Practice Leadership Promotions

SDI Presence LLC | May 16, 2022

SDI Presence LLC (SDI), an IT consultancy and managed services provider (MSP), announces the update of its technology-focused delivery model to best meet the changing needs of its government technology clients. These new positions – along with a new team structure and expanded delivery methodologies – will allow SDI to better share our depth of knowledge in government enterprise technologies by leveraging our broad experience working with municipalities, special districts, counties, and state government agencies." Jonathan Gair, Vice President of Operations at SDI Presence SDI's shift toward a horizontally focused practice model is designed to best position the firm's subject matter expertise to directly impact customer value. Issues with designing, configuring, and testing systems tend to re-occur across technology partners, leading to frustration, inefficiencies, and sometimes flawed deployments. With its new model, SDI is positioning its expert Practice Leads to deliver industry-specific and well-honed methodologies, content, test cases, and design planning services, supported by the SDI consultant team. "SDI is growing," Jonathan Gair added. "We did not want to lose sight of what makes us unique: our local presence. Now, our directors will be more available to help clients improve services, while our practice leads maintain ownership of the day-to-day project oversight role." To lead this enhanced Advisory practice, SDI has promoted four experienced SDI personnel to the newly created positions of Practice Leads, with each serving as the leader of a specific technology area: IT Strategic Planning: Project Manager Lee Curtis will build on his over 40 years of experience leading over 50 IT Strategic Plans and Assessments, and previous experience as a public sector IT Director and CIO. Land Management Systems (LMS): Project Manager Rick Keyes, a 30-year veteran who specializes in IT and vendor management with state governments and holds PMP and Prosci OCM certifications, will lead the Land Management System (LMS) practice. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Project Managers David Gougis and Wendell Yacur will co-lead SDI's ERP practice, building on their combined half century of experience working as advisors to the public sector space. Wendell Yacur is a 30-year IT professional with a focus on management consulting for state governments, while David Gougis has more than 30 years of experience in both technology and finance consulting and as held Lead roles for public sector agencies. Supporting each Lead will be a regionally focused Director of Operations that is dedicated to client success. "I truly believe that Rick, Lee, David and Wendell represent one of the strongest, most experienced teams available to organizations," said Hardik Bhatt, President and Chief Growth Office of SDI Presence. "Their backgrounds in procurements, implementations and strategic planning make them subject matter experts in systems that often touch all departments within an organization, meaning they can help facilitate even the toughest, most challenging projects." These promotions occur as SDI Presence is seeing substantial growth in its government and utilities practices. Seasoned cloud and IT managed services industry leaders Hardik Bhatt, Prasad Alavilli, and Sunil Thomas recently joined SDI, as the firm aggressively builds out legacy IT modernization solutions. In 2021, SDI announced that the firm secured an infusion of private equity capital with Abry Partners, a Boston, Massachusetts-based private equity firm, to fund its growth. About SDI Presence LLC SDI Presence LLC is an IT consultancy and managed services provider (MSP) that leverages its strong team presence to advance our clients to a secure digital enterprise. With a 25-year corporate resume, SDI delivers strategic managed services, IT consulting, and hybrid infrastructure solutions to optimize our clients' technology environments. SDI is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), with a portfolio of clients that includes some of the nation's largest airports, utilities, commercial real estate portfolios, and government agencies.

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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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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Israel's Ministry of Defense Selects Anjuna Security Software to Lockdown Sensitive Data in Public Clouds

Anjuna | February 17, 2022

Anjuna Security Inc., the Confidential Cloud company, today announced that Israel's Ministry of Defense (MOD) has entered into the public cloud for the first time with Anjuna's software, which offers the strongest data security available. With Anjuna Confidential Cloud software, the MOD can leverage Confidential Computing features available in cloud servers that eliminate exposure of data in use to insiders, malicious software and bad actors. Sensitive data and applications remain fully encrypted with Anjuna– without the need for any software modifications–and stay isolated and in full control of the MOD. The decision from the Israeli MOD represents a critical milestone for far greater adoption of the public cloud by organizations in regulated industries or those with highly sensitive data. To date, many companies and government organizations have held back from the public cloud because of security concerns and control issues. The stringent testing and subsequent selection by the MOD signals that with the widely available Confidential Computing technology already in cloud infrastructure and software from Anjuna, the public cloud is now secure enough for organizations with the strictest level of security and regulation. "With Anjuna Confidential Cloud software, we are able to leverage Confidential Computing to achieve public cloud scale, agility and economics and maximum data security immediately, without having to recode or refactor applications," said the Infrastructure Cloud Group Leader for the IMOD. "This will allow us to quickly move important workloads across public clouds without compromising the high level of security necessary to achieve our mission." Confidential Computing is the hardware-based capability that public cloud vendors, including Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, have added to their servers to enable customers to secure data at runtime when it would otherwise be exposed. Protecting data and applications during execution closes a gap that effectively shuts out unauthorized personnel and creates a trusted environment within the public cloud that is under the control of the customer. Israel's MOD, which oversees most of the Israeli security forces and is responsible for the overall security of the Israeli nation, including the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), assigned a red team to conduct a thorough evaluation of the Anjuna Confidential Cloud software, using compute-intensive AI workloads as the initial application. Test considerations included the ability to secure against rogue or accidental insiders, third parties, criminal hackers and nation-states. The solution also had to be commercially available now, run across multiple cloud platforms and make both migrating applications and administration simple. In addition to fully securing workloads in public clouds without modification, the Anjuna Confidential Cloud software is attractive to the MOD because it provides a single, uniform encryption platform that protects all three states of data: storage, transit and execution. With Anjuna, organizations do not need to rely on the many different encryption schemes for each application and system, which causes undue confusion and complexity. The Confidential Cloud software provides a consistent data perimeter that also eliminates the risk of exposing encryption keys during runtime. "Israel's Ministry of Defense is among the most advanced and stringent security organizations in the world, so it is a tremendous advantage for them to now be able to turn public clouds into fully trusted environments capable of securely processing sensitive data. With Anjuna, it is both feasible and practical to make the public cloud at least as secure as private infrastructure. We are proud to add the IMOD as a customer." Ayal Yogev, co-founder, and CEO of Anjuna Anjuna Confidential Cloud software makes the use of Confidential Computing transparent to applications and operations, enabling their use without modification. It supports all applications, regardless of size or computational task. With Confidential Computing, companies can secure highly sensitive data, such as state secrets, AI code, intelligence and security details, personally identifiable information (PII), financial information and intellectual property. About Anjuna Anjuna Security makes the public cloud secure for business. Software from Anjuna Security effortlessly enables enterprises to safely run even their most sensitive workloads in the public cloud. Unlike complex perimeter security solutions easily breached by insiders and malicious code, Anjuna leverages the strongest hardware-based secure computing technologies available to make the public cloud the safest computing resource available anywhere. Anjuna is based in Palo Alto, California.

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Spotlight

In 2013, the California legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA). PEPRA lowers pension benefits for new members of most public retirement systems and requires some public employees to contribute more toward funding their defined benefit (DB) pension plans. DB plans have been, and continue to be, an important component of public employee compensation. PEPRA changes California public employees’ overall compensation by reducing benefits, which should lower employer DB plan contributions. This paper: Explains components of public employee compensation and retirement benefits. Compares California state and local government salaries and retirement expenditures to other states. Uses hypothetical scenarios to estimate: » The monetary value of DB plans and Social Security » PEPRA benefit formula impacts Compensation and retirement benefits To attract and retain quality employees, government employers balance salaries, pensions and other benefits. While salaries provide immediate compensation, retirement benefits provide deferred compensation. The deferred nature of retirement benefits allows employers to offset present-day salaries by leveraging long-term investment returns for compensation in retirement.

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