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Cyber incidents down again in 2019

For yet another year, the White House is reporting a decrease in cybersecurity incidents across government. That's the highlight of the latest annual Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) report to Congress, which shows an 8% drop in incidents over fiscal 2018. Senior administration officials told FedScoop the progress is a result of improved risk management as 73 federal agencies now meet the highest rating of “managing risks” in their CIO-assessed FISMA posture. That’s up from 62 agencies the year prior and 33 in 2017. Additionally, the officials said, agencies are doing a better job taking advantage of the tools and resources provided by the Office of Management and Budget and its partners at the Department of Homeland Security. Billy Mitchell has more

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Big money, new name for the NSF

The National Science Foundation would receive $100 billion over five years to research areas like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and 5G wireless, under a new bipartisan proposal on Capitol Hill. The Endless Frontier Act proposes rebranding the agency as the National Science and Technology Foundation and appointing a second deputy director to oversee research funding in areas of global strategic importance. Currently, the NSF receives $8.1 billion annually — a budget no longer tenable as U.S. leadership in scientific research has “eroded,” according to Charles Schumer of New York, the Senate's top Democrat and lead bill sponsor. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., are also pushing the legislation. Among their main concerns: the rise of China's tech sector. Dave Nyczepir checks out the proposal.

Army seeks automation for 'operational problems'

The Army is expressing interest in acquiring artificial intelligence and other automation solutions for “practical business or operational problems.” A new sources sought document is light on the details, but it broadly calls for ways to better analyze information and use the massive amount of data the Army generates, from business systems to combat operations. It's all connected to the service's interest in using data as a "strategic asset." Other parts of the military, including the Air Force, have started down a similar path. Jackson Barnett has more.

CISA doubles down on protecting coronavirus research

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency bills itself as “the nation’s risk adviser,” and tries to lead by example. Right now, one of the critical risks facing the country is foreign hackers targeting institutions researching a coronavirus vaccine. A top CISA official, Bryan Ware, recently assured industry executives that his agency was doing everything it could to protect those institutions during the pandemic. “I just want you to know that we have stepped up our protections" of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ware said. Sean Lyngaas has more at CyberScoop

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