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First CMMC assessors selected

The Pentagon is much closer to hearing from the initial set of assessors who will test its new model for contractor cybersecurity standard certifications during a provisional period. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Accreditation Body selected 73 assessors who will begin training Aug. 31 to participate in the program. Those that pass will be able to participate in assessing companies involved in DOD’s pathfinder contracts — the initial contracts with CMMC language in them that will test the program before it becomes a requirement. “It’s time to get Assessors into the field and test the process. The Provisional Program is designed to do just that,” CMMC-AB Chairman Ty Schieber, said in a news release. Jackson Barnett has the latest.

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Census IT testing running short on time

It's crunch time for the Census Bureau's IT systems. Now that the Trump administration won't allow for additional time to count Americans in the 2020 survey, the bureau has little time left to make sure the critical systems are in good shape to meet the Dec. 31 deadline for delivering apportionment counts assigning states House seats based on population. In a new report, the Government Accountability Office says, "The Bureau must complete remaining IT system and operational testing expeditiously in order to ensure that its systems are ready to fully support this operation under compressed timeframes.” Dave Nyczepir goes inside the time crunch.

Microsoft cloud gets thumbs up for secret-level work across DOD

The entire Department of Defense can now use Microsoft Azure to support secret-level workloads. On July 6, DISA expanded Microsoft’s Azure Government Secret provisional authorization, permitting the company to take on more work departmentwide, Roger Greenwell, DISA CIO and risk management executive, told FedScoop. The accreditation is a key requirement for Microsoft in its work with the DOD under the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). More from Billy Mitchell.

Navy takes on ship rust with cloud, drones, AI

The Navy issued a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research grant to tech giant Google and small business Simple Technology Solutions (STS) to develop AI models supported by drones to cut down maintenance time and costs for ships. Google Cloud will provide the underlying cloud platform and data storage for the thousands of images of ships used to develop a machine learning model, while STS will integrate the use of drones and automated image analysis. Google estimates the AI-enabled technology could end up saving the Navy “billions of dollars.” Jackson has this one.


Reducing workforce and budget constraints with RPA tools

In a new podcast, agency leaders from CBP and DOL discuss their agency’s adoption of robotic process automation tools to meet the mission needs more effectively. The application of RPA is broad, because every component where an employee touches a keyboard can be automated. By offloading mundane business tasks, not only can employees focus on more valuable work, but they can reduce financial risks from fraud and human error. Hear more from the IT leaders.

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