GovTech Trends: Insights for GovCon Executives [November 2015]

With 2016 quickly approaching, here some essential strategic updates for government contracting executives to keep in mind as they prepare for the new year:

OMB Says “No” to New Contracts

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the end of contracts for basic IT equipment, such as laptops and desktops. In an effort to rethink the way the government buys and manages IT, federal Chief Information Officer (CIO), Tony Scott, explains the goal of limiting contracts to many governmentwide acquisition vehicles.

“What we’re trying to do at the end of the day is bring the federal government into modern practice in terms of procurement,” he said at an event in Washington, D.C. on IT procurement, hosted by FCW.

Although agencies have used contracts to purchase basic IT equipment, Anne Rung, Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement, along with Scott said that this practice resulted in “reduced buying power, duplication of contracts and little transparency into the prices that agencies were paying for similar computers.”

Fighting Back Against Cyber Attacks

The government is updating its Y2K-era cybersecurity model by implementing a new IT strategy. Minimum agency security requirements have changed since 2000. Here’s a look specifically at changes designed to move federal cybersecurity forward in 2015:

Use of Outdated IT
▪    2000 – No guidelines.
▪    2015 – Prohibit the use of unsupported software and system components (When vendors are no longer providing critical software patches for system parts, it’s easier for adversaries to exploit weaknesses discovered later on.) Implement and maintain current updates and patches for all software and firmware components of information systems

Encryption
▪    2000 – Nothing to stop agencies from saving and transmitting people’s Social Security    numbers and passwords in plain text, ripe for interception.
▪    2015 – Encrypt all stored and in-transit information that would disrupt an agency’s mission if breached, to the extent feasible.

Login IDs
▪    2000 – A password
▪    2015 – Provide employees and contractors with multifactor authentication and encryption features to protect personal information

Updates previously shared by NextGov. To read more on each update, click below: