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Diplomacy 'at the speed of technology'

The coronavirus pandemic forced the State Department to get faster at putting apps in the hands of employees so they could do crucial work like preparing response plans to global events, CIO Stuart McGuigan says. The IT team had to adjust to delivering, in many cases, the minimum viable product needed so people could work. Although the department is used to networking its facilities around the globe, getting tools to teleworking employees was a new challenge. “I see more and more opportunity, as a result of becoming more digitally enabled, to have diplomacy move at the speed of technology,” McGuigan says. Dave Nyczepir has more.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

EHR information exchange expands again

The Joint Health Information Exchange — the system built to have interoperability for electronic health records across the DOD, VA and the private sector — continues to expand. The program added 15,000 facilities in October to its existing list of 46,000. The new hospitals and clinics now linked into the Joint HEI are members of the CommonWell Health Alliance, a system of health care centers, IT providers and government agencies that share data. Jackson Barnett has the story.

Blockchain companies get a nod from DHS

Five more startups have been added to the Department of Homeland Security’s contract for developing ways that it can expand its use of blockchain and other distributed ledger technology (DLT) to modernize operations. The awards from the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) are specifically for projects on preventing forgery and counterfeiting of certificates and licenses. DHS says the contracts will support the missions of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the DHS Privacy Office. Joe Warminsky has the list.


Why the economic pendulum is swinging in favor of managed services

Agencies see managed security services as an attractive alternative to finding the cybersecurity skills required to defend against a growing array of threats. That’s due in part to the need for deeper and broader security skills that agencies often can’t find through their typical hiring or recruiting processes — or that may be out of reach from a salary standpoint, share Verizon’s Chris Novak and Palo Alto Network’s M.K. Palmore. Agency leaders are realizing they need more help. Listen to the full conversation.

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