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Final thoughts from Roper

As Will Roper departs the Air Force as its top technology and acquisition official this week, he has one final message: Stay agile or lose to China. As a presidential appointee, Roper's time will come to an end with the change in administrations. While he hasn't confirmed what will come next for his career, he leaves behind a legacy of enriching warfighting with data, IT and agility, where winners and losers will be determined by who leans harder into tech. Jackson Barnett spoke to Roper on his way out.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Agencies told to assess if they can end contracts for drones built by foreign adversaries

President Donald Trump signed an executive order asking federal agencies to stop buying drones built by or containing certain software or hardware from foreign adversaries. The order is an attempt to secure the federal drone fleet and airspace by limiting agencies’ reliance on potentially compromised unmanned aerial systems to access, gather and maintain sensitive data during operations like natural disaster relief efforts. North Korea, Iran, China and Russia are named. The order comes just days after the General Services Administration trimmed any drones not vetted by the military from its governmentwide contracts. Dave Nyczepir has the story.

DHS sued over social media surveillance of visa holders

The Center for Democracy & Technology has sued the Department of Homeland Security for failing to release information on how it monitors social media and uses that data to deny immigration and naturalization attempts. The suit comes after Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services both ignored the group's Freedom of Information Act requests for more than a year. Dave has this one too.

$9B for the TMF under Biden?

Behind COVID-19 response and the corresponding economic rescue, IT and cybersecurity modernization are perhaps two of the biggest priorities for the incoming Biden administration. The president-elect's transition team issued a fact sheet last week previewing its plans, calling on Congress to "launch the most ambitious effort ever to modernize and secure federal IT and networks." Under that, the administration wants to fund the Technology Modernization Fund to the tune of $9 billion. Billy Mitchell has more.


Social engineering gains momentum with cybercriminals

Cyberattackers are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis and pose a major security threat for health care organizations. According to Proofpoint’s Ryan Witt, there is an uptick in social engineering techniques as threat actors look for more compelling lures to target people. Leaders need to be more focused on security strategies that provide visibility into who is being targeted in their organization. Read more from Witt.

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