SECURITY: How the Internet of Things Got Hacked. There was once a time when people distinguished between cyberspace, the digital world of computers and hackers, and the flesh-and-blood reality known as meatspace. Anyone overwhelmed by the hackable perils of cyberspace could unplug and retreat to the reliable, analog world of physical objects. But today, cheap, radio-connected computers have invaded meatspace. They’re now embedded in everything from our toys to our cars to our bodies. And this year has made clearer than ever before that this Internet of Things introduces all the vulnerabilities of the digital world into our real world. Read more

HACKS: The Most Innovative and Damaging Hacks of 2015. Not a week went by in 2015 without a major data breach, significant attack campaign, or serious vulnerability report. Many of the incidents were the result of disabled security controls, implementation errors, or other basic security mistakes, highlighting how far organizations have to go in nailing down IT security basics. The year’s most significant attacks highlight how hackers are changing tactics — and how security must evolve in the year ahead. Read more

JUNIPER HACK: Researchers Say The Juniper Hack Could Be The Work Of Government—But Which One? As researchers uncover more about two vulnerabilities recently patched in some Juniper Networks firewalls, the security community continues to speculate about who inserted what Juniper called “unauthorized code” into the company’s firewall operating system ScreenOS. Security experts suggested that one of the security holes in particular, which Juniper warns could allow eavesdroppers to decrypt VPN traffic to some of its NetScreen firewalls, could be the work of the National Security Agency or another spy agency overseas. Read more

PREDICTIONS: Federal Tech Predictions for 2016. From DevOps to cloud computing, the speed at which the technology sphere is currently evolving is only going to increase in the coming year. It is important for agencies to accept this and welcome it into their daily work. That’s according to Joel Dolisy, chief
information officer and chief technology officer for technology company SolarWinds. Dolisy’s advice for federal agencies navigating the IT space in 2016? Embrace the change. Read more


CYBERSECURITY: Efficient Continuous Monitoring – Third Party Products & Resources. At Blue Mountain Data Systems, we define continuous monitoring as real-time security monitoring rather than the periodic reviews conducted weekly or monthly for compliance purposes. When providing security support for our
clients, we have activities that we look at and test periodically. Read more

IT MANAGEMENT: 16 Ways to Retain Technical Staff. A recent study indicates that companies in the IT industry (amongst the Fortune 500) experience the highest turnover rate (SOURCE: PayScale). Good employees quit because they feel undervalued, underwhelmed, underpaid, or overworked. As a result, employee turnover is costing your organization more time and money than you think. Believing that technical employees are “replaceable” may appear to be satisfactory to some firms. In the long term, however, you may sacrifice more than money; customer satisfaction, business knowledge, and team morale. Read more

MICROSOFT: 12 Ways to Empower Government Users With the Microsoft Business Intelligence (MBI) Stack. Are your organization’s Federal IT resources under constant pressure, with no end in sight? Your agency is not alone. With limited access to dedicated information technology resources, non-technical end users often play the waiting game, relying on IT staff to do simple tasks like generating custom queries and embedding them within applications. Your department’s need to generate on demand, ad hoc reports gets pushed to the back burner while IT resources respond to more pressing matters. Implementing a self-service approach alleviates your IT staff from such tasks, affording them more time to focus on solving high impact problems. Read more

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT: 18 Ways to Secure Your Electronic Documents. Are your organization’s document management security inefficiencies leaving you open to legal and economic repercussions? Compliance with mandates such as the Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, HIPAA and the Sedona Principals for e-discovery and disclosure are causing ongoing concern within government agencies and corporations…and increased need for solid document security. Read more


APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT: Blue Mountain Data Systems is dedicated to Application Development and Systems Integration for Federal Civilian Agencies, Document Management Systems that help in the preparation, scanning, indexing, categorizing and quality control of millions of pages of paper documents to electronic format and the Automation of Workflow Processes. Call us at 703-502-3416.


FYI: Federal & State CTOs CIOs CISOs: Daily Tech Update – December 29, 2015

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