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Pentagon testing waters for accreditor of contractor cybersecurity assessments

The DOD is adopting a new set of cybersecurity standards that all contractors must adhere to if they hope to do work with the department. Part of that process — a big, big part of it — will be certifying that contractors meet a certain level of the new standards before they can enter into a contract with the DOD. The department issued an RFI last week seeking feedback on its plan to join into a partnership with a nonprofit accreditation body that will manage the assessment and certification of contractors' cybersecurity maturity. Billy Mitchell has more on the RFI.

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TSA releases updated cloud strategy

TSA wants to do a better job screening passengers, and it believes that improving its use of cloud is a key part of that journey. The agency released its Cloud Strategy 2.0 last week, adopting a “Cloud First” approach for all new information technology services and a “Cloud Smart” approach for existing applications. “TSA’s plans to implement Advanced Passenger Screening capabilities are dependent on the ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data,” reads the strategy. “Therefore, elasticity of storage and computing capability available through cloud solutions is essential to success.” Dave Nyczepir has more.

Some USDA Centers of Excellence set to expire

A bit of an update to a previous story — USDA's partnership with GSA's Centers of Excellence isn't completely over just yet. Work on three of the CoE lines of effort will end while the others will continue, according to the agencies. USDA had previously told FedScoop that the CoE teams would be departing USDA “between Sept. 30 and Oct. 15.” Now, USDA and GSA say that “three of the CoE workstreams were completed by the end of FY 2019.” Tajha Chappellet-Lanier has more on the update.

Are agencies like Energy funding quantum technology wisely?

China is sitting on the encrypted data it exfiltrates, waiting for a quantum computer capable of cracking it. Post-quantum cryptography is one way to protect time-sensitive information, while some technologists are rooting for quantum key distribution. Dave has this one too.

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