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CMMC opens up

Got questions about the Pentagon's new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)? If so, you're not alone. Even the team behind the program acknowledges the process is “very complicated” and a massive undertaking. But the Accreditation Body (AB) that is overseeing the third-party cybersecurity assessments of contractors wants to help answer any lingering concerns. The body has released new videos and requests for information that shed light on how assessors will be trained and credentialed. Jackson Barnett has the latest on the CMMC.

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Is Karen Evans the next DHS CIO?

Sources say a familiar face could be the CIO of the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump could appoint Karen Evans to the role in the coming days. Evans would officially replace John Zangardi, who left DHS last fall for a senior vice president role with Leidos. Prior to the official creation of the Federal CIO role during the Obama administration, Evans served as administrator of the Office of Electronic Government and Information Technology, President George W. Bush’s equivalent of the role. Billy Mitchell has more.

U.S. wants to stick it to Chinese AI

The U.S. entered into the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence on Thursday to focus on coronavirus response and recovery. After initially steering clear of the G-7 group, the White House appears to have taken a place in it mainly to contrast its vision of trustworthy, explainable AI with China's perceived misuse. “AI is being twisted by authoritarian regimes to violate rights,” Michael Kratsios, U.S. chief technology officer, wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday. The U.S. intends to “push back” against that approach, Kratsios wrote. Dave Nyczepir on the new partnership.

Zero trust for microelectronics

Zero trust isn't just for digital technology. The Pentagon is now relying on it to secure its microelectronics supply chain, Mark Lewis, director of defense research and engineering for modernization, said recently during an AFCEA virtual symposium. Zero trust is the department’s answer to replace the older “trusted foundry” system where DOD had oversight over the physical development of the microelectronics. “We’ve seen a number of examples where the biggest threats that we face often are the insider threat. It’s the people inside the fence line, behind the guards, who we think we’ve cleared,” he said. “They’re the ones that pose the biggest threats to us.” Jackson's got this one too.

Federal cyber incidents dropped 8% 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. Read the report here.

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