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Spread too thin to modernize

It's hard to modernize when you're busy defending the free world. Civilian leaders of the armed forces gathered at a Center for Strategic and International Studies meeting shared that message: Digital modernization is critical to the military’s success, but their overall missions can’t stop dead for the required upgrades. “There is a challenging, breathtaking demand that we face worldwide,” Ryan McCarthy, sectary of the Army, said. The Army is still engaged in a war in Afghanistan and deployments around the world, spreading the largest service thin as it prioritizes readiness and modernization. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly and head of the Air Force Barbara Barrett shared similar pains Friday. Jackson has more from the secretaries.

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How FedRAMP plans to automate

By the end of the fiscal year, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) wants to automate parts of its security authorizations. Anil Cheriyan, director of Technology Transformation Services, said Friday at a Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law event that FedRAMP’s Program Management Office (PMO) is working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop a means of automating components of authorization, called the Open Security Controls Assessment Language (OSCAL). Using OSCAL, agencies will be able to expedite reviews of security authorization packages. “That’s our goal, so when we submit the request the information, the review of that information — all of that will be in OSCAL," Cheriyan said. Dave Nyczepir has the scoop.

Senate wants enhanced oversight of VA EHR

The same week the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it will miss its goal of launching its modernized electronic health record (EHR) system, the Senate picked up movement on a bill to enhance oversight of that department's development of the EHR. Coincidence? Of course not. The Department of Veterans Affairs Information Technology Reform Act of 2019 — introduced by Sens. John Tester, D-Mont., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., last July — was approved in committee on Feb. 13 and set for floor action sometime this year. “Moving forward, VA must establish stable leadership to provide sufficient accountability and robust oversight of this process, while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” Tester said in a statement after the delay of the implementation. The VA does not have any updated go-live date or timeline, VA spokeswoman Susan Carter told FedScoop this week. The delay was caused by issues in training medical staff to use the new technology. Jackson has the latest on the bill.

Inside Coast Guard's 'tech revolution'

The Coast Guard is ready to embark on a "tech revolution," Commandant Adm. Karl Shultz said during a “State of the Coast Guard” speech Thursday in South Carolina. This entails doubling bandwidth on its cutters off the U.S. shoreline and boosting internet speeds 50 times over, Shultz said. “The Coast Guard of tomorrow must operate beyond brick and mortar. Years of investment tradeoffs have brought our information technology to the brink of catastrophic failure.” The service also wants to transition to Microsoft Office 365 for email services and upgrade to 4G connectivity. Later in the year, the service aims to begin migrating IT systems to the cloud and implementing the use of electronic health records. More on the guard's "tech revolution."

Cyber Command awards $50M threat intelligence contract to Recorded Future

U.S. Cyber Command awarded a $50 million contract for threat intelligence services to Recorded Future late last year. The work comes via a production-other transaction agreement after the two parties completed a successful prototype contract. The contract paves the way for Recorded Future to "provide real-time threat analysis to approved federal agencies on an expedited basis," says a release. Cyber Command will use the company's intelligence tools to support its operation and defense of the Department of Defense Information Networks (DODIN). Billy Mitchell has more on the contract.

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