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DOD's telework improvements will have lasting impact

The Department of Defense has taken rapid measures to deliver better network capabilities to its teleworking workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. And now that those measures are in place, many of them are here to stay, a pair of top DOD IT officials said Monday. “The way we work has changed dramatically,” said DOD CIO Dana Deasy. He later added: “There is going to be an enhanced teleworking capability that will be sustained at the end of COVID-19.” Deasy and Lt. Gen. Bradford Shwedo, CIO for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered updates on the military's move to telework Monday, highlighting how quickly the large department has been able to rise to the occasion. “It is a different type of war, but it is war none the less,” Shwedo said. Jackson Barnett has more from the DOD.

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Is a Coast Guard JEDI in the works?

The head of the Coast Guard is tuned into the Pentagon's rollout of its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract. Despite the contract's constant state of protests and delays, Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz said the Coast Guard intends “to derive some learning and potentially fall in on” the JEDI contract. That said, Shultz has had his eye on JEDI for quite a while now. Back in August 2018, long before the contract was awarded to Microsoft, he expressed interest in the learning from DOD’s action around the commercial cloud. Shultz's latest comments came as his guard looks to the cloud to try to bring its outdated IT systems back from the "brink of catastrophic failure." Jackson has this one also.

The House balks at remote voting

Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., remains opposed to remote hearings and voting during the coronavirus pandemic. With social distancing in place, it means the House's legislative efforts have effectively skidded to a halt. The chamber continues to hold twice-weekly, in-person pro forma sessions while the larger body is on recess. But those meetings do not allow official House business, and are attended by only a handful of members or less. That said, Pelosi did recently welcome staff members to begin electronically submitting all floor documents to a “dedicated and secure” email system for the chamber's consideration. Dave Nyczepir has more.

NIH updating governmentwide IT contract

The National Institutes of Health is working on the next iteration of its governmentwide IT contract. The Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) is a best-in-class, governmentwide acquisition contract with a $40 billion ceiling. Along with the General Services Administration’s IT Schedule 70 and NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP), it’s one of the federal government’s main vehicles for acquiring commoditized IT products and services. Dave has more on the solicitation.


Defending teleworkers from enterprise cyberattacks

An increase in remote workers offers adversaries more opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities from home networks. But DNS security tools can help agencies stem attacks at the edge, says security expert Patrick Sullivan. The length of time workers will be home is unknown, so agencies need to be more vigilant to protect their operations and their data against phishing, ransomware and domain name system exfiltration attacks. Listen to the podcast

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