Healthcare.gov hearing reveals user data was disclosed

The recent breach a Healthcare.gov test server might not have put users’ personal information at risk, but a congressional oversight hearing Thursday revealed that early glitches during the site’s launch did.

The FTC’s expanding cybersecurity influence

As the Department of Homeland Security awaits public comments on its voluntary framework initiative—due Oct. 10—the Federal Trade Commission has been making an aggressive push to expand its authorities and force companies that have lax security programs to bolster their defenses.

Global security association helps translate NIST framework

The Information Security Forum, a U.K.-based association of leading companies from around the world, released a “mapping” document Monday that for the first time helps companies that currently use the ISF’s standard of good practice—known simply as the standard—to guide their information security programs to know if they are in compliance with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s cybersecurity framework.

OPM to cut ties with security clearance contractor

The federal Office of Personnel Management plans to end the government’s relationship with U.S. Investigations Services LLC, the security clearance contractor that suffered a major cyberattack last month leading to the compromise of personnel records belonging to more than 25,000 federal employees.

Did Apple just make itself the biggest target in the world?

By introducing its new mobile wallet technology with the iPhone 6, Apple may have single-handedly blunted the attacks targeting retail point-of-sale systems. And by doing so, the company may also have made itself the biggest target in the world for cybercriminals.

GSA picks Valiant for enterprise IT security contract

The General Services Administration this week awarded Valiant Solutions a $33 million contract to serve as the agency’s first line of enterprisewide defense against cyber attacks.

Rogers sets course for a new era at NSA

His first 100 days as the new director of NSA now complete, Admiral Michael Rogers has planted a series of clear navigation beacons for his employees to follow as they seek to move beyond the Edward Snowden era. And he’ll be damned if one outlaw leaker and a handful of journalists are allowed to write the final chapter of NSA’s storied history.

Standard password protection is dead

With 1.2 billion new passwords stolen, feds should finally consider abandoning standard password protection.

DHS, FBI investigating contractor hack

Federal law enforcement authorities are investigating a hacking incident at a contractor responsible for conducting background investigations for the Department of Homeland Security. Company officials said cybersecurity experts believe the intrusion “has all the markings of a state-sponsored attack.”

NIST announces details of second privacy workshop

NIST is planning to host its second privacy engineering workshop, aimed at providing guidance to privacy engineers who handle personal information.

Is NSA’s PRISM program ruining cloud computing’s growth?

The New America foundation said U.S.-based cloud computing companies are already starting to lose market share due to the NSA spying scandal.

Commerce IG: NOAA needs to better protect its satellite data

A Commerce Department report says NOAA has had data breaches from satellite programs in the past few years.

HHS identity card systems pose security risks

Nearly a decade after a presidential directive mandated that agencies adopt a common personal identification standard for federal employees and contractors, compliance with the directive at the Department of Health and Human Services remains inadequate, subjecting the department to several categories of risk, according to a report released by HHS’s Office of the Inspector General last week.

Significant national security challenges remain 10 years after 9/11 commission report

A decade after the 9/11 Commission issued its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, the threat from global terrorism may be more pronounced than ever, with major new vulnerabilities emerging in cyberspace and a Congressional homeland security oversight system plagued by duplication and turf battles.

Cybercom event explores agency roles in cyber incident response

Cybersecurity and incident response are practices engrained in most every 21st century federal agency. But when it comes to a massive cyber attack requiring the aid of multiple, partnering groups, which agency does what? Last week, the U.S. Cyber Command demonstrated a specific framework for how several critical agencies can play complementary roles in the national cyber incident response process.

Senate defense spending bill slashes IT by half-billion, uplifts cyber

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a fiscal year 2015 Defense Department spending bill Thursday that would cut defense IT spending by a half-billion and reduce President Obama’s military budget requests by $1.4 billion overall.

Threat Matrix: Episode 22—Securing the ‘Google era’ electric grid

In this episode of Threat Matrix, we look at a new report released July 15 by a group of national security experts that calls on Congress to immediately pass legislation that would enable real-time information sharing between the government and the private sector on cyber threats to the nation’s electric grid.

Miller calls on VA to answer for cybersecurity shortfalls

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has called on five senior VA officials, including Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson, to testify at next week’s scheduled hearing on “longstanding information security weaknesses” that have enabled “data manipulation” throughout the agency.

NIST investigates forensic challenges in the cloud

With complications performing forensics in the cloud in mind, the National Institute for Standards and Technology created a cloud computing forensic science working group to enumerate and explore the challenges distinct to the cloud. Monday, NIST released a draft of the challenges discovered by the working group for public consideration. While the draft briefly explores 65 issues NIST’s group found, working group co-chair Dr. Martin Herman, a senior advisor for Forensics and IT at NIST, said the list is in no way exhaustive — just a first look at a very big problem.

‘Google era’ electric grid more vulnerable than ever

A new report released Tuesday by a group of national security experts calls on Congress to immediately pass legislation that would enable real-time information sharing between the government and the private sector on cyber threats to the nation’s electric grid.

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