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DorobekINSIDER: AFCEA Homeland Security Conference panel on cyber-security — the liner notes

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I am moderating a panel at AFCEA’s 9th Annual Homeland Security Conference — creatively named DHS – The 7-Year Itch – Renewing the Commitment: The Definitive Dialogue on Critical Homeland Security Issues. Specifically, the panel that I’m moderating is titled President’s Comprehensive National Security Initiative. And we have a good panel to discuss these issues, even if the title of the panel doesn’t fully capture it:

Thursday, February 25
9:15 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Panel 6: President’s Comprehensive National Security Initiative
Industry insight into streamlining the cyber security effort through all levels of government. Thoughts and recommendations on policy, strategy and guidelines necessary to secure federal systems; integrate existing federal government resources; and anticipate future cyber threats and technologies.

Moderator: Christopher J. Dorobek (confirmed)
Co-anchor, Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris
Editor-in-chief, the

Mr. Shawn Carroll (bio in PDF)
Executive Director of Engineering & CTO
QWEST Government Services

Mr. John Nagengast (bio in PDF)
Executive Director for Strategic Initiatives

Mr. Marcus Sachs (bio in PDF)
Executive Director for National Security & Cyber Policy

Credit where credit is due: I’m just the moderator. I did not pull the panel together. So I want to credit specifically Wray Varley, Qwest Government Service’s director of advanced programs, DHS & DoJ, for pulling all the pieces together.

As I mentioned, our title is just a tad bid misleading because it really doesn’t capture the scope of what we hope to talk about. (I’m not sure people know what the President’s Comprehensive National Security Initiative even is. I’ve put some background below, including a March 2009 report from the Congressional Research Service that lays it out.)

In the end, what we hope to talk about cyber-security broadly — and our discussion will really go beyond that rather governmental sounding initiative.

It is clear that times are changing in the cyber world. Cyber-security is becoming more of a check-list item to becoming a real national security priority. People are hearing about cyber-security repeatedly, but I’m not sure they know what they can — and should — be doing.

A few data points:

* The Google hack: This comes from Google’s announcement that the company was considering pulling out of China following a massive hack. Of course, we learned that these attacks were actually against a number of private sector companies and investigators are still searching for where these attacks came from. And on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke with George Kurtz, the CTO for cyber-security company McAfee, about those attacks. Hear that conversation here. McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies recently came out with a new report that found people are under attack more then they generally know. You can hear the authors of that report, titled In the Crossfire: Critical Infrastructure in the Age of Cyberwar, here.

* The ZeuS attacks: After Google came word from NetWitness that some 2,400 organizations — including government agencies — had been attacked.

* Could the U.S. lose a cyber-war? That was the stark warning from Mike McConnell, the former director of national intelligence during testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, according to McConnell told lawmakers earlier this week that if a cyberwar were to break out today — “the United States would lose.” He went on to say that this is not because the U-S doesn’t have talented people or cutting edge technology. It is simply because the country is the most dependent and the most vulnerable — and because the country has not made the national commitment to understanding — and securing — cyberspace.

During the discussion, we are going to review this from several perspectives:
* Carrier operations — Nagengast is going to discuss what the telecommunications carriers can/should/are doing to address these important issues.
* Policy issues — Sachs is going to discuss the public and private policy issues that can/should/are helping to address this issue.
* What agencies need to do — Finally, Carroll will go review what agencies can/should/are doing to address these issues.

And my guess is that somewhere in there, we will talk about Networx, which was widely hailed as a real opportunity for agencies to upgrade their network security infrastructure. And earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission was one of the first agencies to use the Networx contract’s provisions for the Trusted Internet Connection initiative. TIC is an OMB initiative that seeks to reduce the number of government connections to the Internet to better enable agencies to secure data that passes through those connections, and OMB has been pushing agencies to move forward with TIC implementation.

Some resources — and I’ll add to these if there are links mentioned during the session:

* Congressional Research Service report: Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative: Legal Authorities, Policy Considerations [March 10, 2009] Report thanks to OpenCRS — and you can download the PDF of the report from their site here.

* Center for Democracy and Technology analysis of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative

* The China threat: Here is some appointment listening — and reading. Last week on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine, who wrote a fascinating piece about China generally, but also that country’s role as a cyber-attacker, which he argues is somewhat exaggerated… although he goes on to say that he doesn’t believe we are paying enough attention to cyber-security generally. Hear our conversation here. I think you’ll find the conversation — and his article — illuminating.

Written by cdorobek

February 25, 2010 at 7:15 AM

DorobekInsider recommended event: Operation Jump Start VI – helping transitioning soldiers

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It’s just a few days away — and it is one of the most marvelous events of the year if you’re looking to help other people and have a dramatic impact on somebody’s life — it is called Operation Jump Start.

The long and short of it is this: Help soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom transition to civilian careers.

Suits from Operation Jump Start 2009

This is now the sixth year of Operation Jump Start, which is co-sponsored by the Federal CIO Council, 1105 Media, and TechAmerica — along with AFCEA Bethesda, ACT-IAC and AFFIRM— and it is open to anybody who wants to help.


Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Time: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Army Navy Country Club
1700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA

See coverage of last year’s event here. And hear Ed Meagher talk about the event from last year — we’ll be talking to him later this week.

More information is available on Facebook here… and I’ve posted some details below…

Register here

Or just donate here

As I’ve said before, one of the most touching parts of this event happens near the end of the evening when soldiers are trying on the suits.

But if you don’t have suits left over, there are other ways to donate.

SPECIAL NOTE: Organizers are only able to take items on that night only — this is a volunteer run organization so they don’t have resources to pick-up and transport items. That being said, if you want to get things to the event but you’re not able to get there on that night, if you can get it to me here at Federal News Radio 1500 AM in Northwest DC, I’ll make sure it gets there.

All the information is posted below:

Please join the organizing sponsors, Federal CIO Council, 1105 Media and TechAmerica on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 as we hold our sixth annual “Operation Jump Start VI” event to help the soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom transition to civilian careers. The event is also supported by AFCEA-Bethesda, AFFIRM and ACT-IAC and open to all who want to give.

We are pleased to announce this year’s Honorary Chair from our community – the Honorable Roger Baker, CIO, Department of Veterans Affairs.

Event Details
Please join us for hors d’oeuvres and the music of the Bank Street Band. There will also be a cash bar. We will also have special VIP visitors from Walter Reed Medical Center and anticipate a full house, so registration is required!

To Register: Please register online at
Registrations will be accepted through January 30th. In case of Inclement Weather the day of the event, please check the website. IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND, and want to contribute – you can!! Go to:

The price of admission is a donation to support the soldiers as they “jump start” their new career.
Suggested and valued donations are as follows:

All Phases: Cash donations
Cash donations are always appreciated and will go into a special, non-profit, tax-exempt fund established for the soldiers and their families. Make checks payable to the 501(c)3 organization The Aleethia Foundation, Tax id #51-0529300. This fund is used 100% to support special needs for the recovering soldiers and their families as they work to build new lives, whether it is a “first month/last month” deposit, bills forgotten while recovering or to meet other educational/emotional needs.

Phase 1: Still in the Hospital, Keeping in Touch, Building up Strength
1. Gift cards in $5 increments from Dunkin Donuts or Burger King (all at the hospital).
2. Gift cards for a nice meal out with the family – Macaroni Grill is close to Walter Reed
(Takoma Park/Silver Spring metro) – in increments no larger than $25 please.

Phase 2: Transitioning to the Work Force, Moving Up and Out
1. Dry-cleaned mens and ladies suits, coats, ties, etc. for office wear. This is not a
clothing drive; emphasis is on mint quality, not quantity. Donate only what you
would be proud to see our soldiers wearing as they dress for success on the way
to a new career.

PLEASE MARK CLOTHES with a TAG indicating the SIZE of the item (makes
disbursement easier).
ALSO, formal wear for both men and women appreciated, as many of these soldiers and their spouses are invited to attend formal functions around town.

2. Gift Certificates to Target (daily shuttle), Macy’s, and Safeway (in increments of $20-25 denominations makes disbursement easier). All are within easy access of Walter Reed/Navy Bethesda.
3. Thumb drives
4. New Laptops

What has made this event so successful in the past is that everyone is there to give back to the soldiers for giving so much for us. Although the event is sponsored by several organizations and companies for monetary and organizational support, all are doing this for one purpose – the soldiers. Thank you.

Written by cdorobek

January 27, 2010 at 2:07 PM

DorobekInsider: Gov 2.0 moves beyond ‘social media’ — and why it’s more than semantics

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Social networking — it is a term that has increasingly grown to make me cringe. And it is more then just semantics.

Regular DorobekInsider readers and listeners to Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris know it has been something of a campaign. In fact, I originally wrote about it back in September under the headline The era of social media is over – long live collaboration tools — and it is the subject of my column in AFCEA’s Signal magazine that will hit the streets on Dec. 1.

Last night, Web 2.0 guru Debbie Weil hosted a marvelous event titled Social Networking: the Two Dirtiest Words in Gov 2.0 (a Sweets and Tweets event) — the event was held at Baked & Wired in DC’s Georgetown, so we were surrounded by amazing cupcakes… and spirited yet very healthy debate. (David Harrity was kind enough to credit me with spurring the discussion, which is very kind. I actually credit Weil and Drapeau and the people in the room who were all interested in collaborating around this topic — in having a healthy debate.)

The main speaker was Mark Drapeau, who has an impressive bio — and an impressive following on Twitter. Drapeau is no stranger to listeners of Federal News Radio 1500 AM. He is one of a handful of government 2.0 thought leaders. And, as Drapeau acknowledged, he disagrees with me. (Drapeau and I disagree on things regularly — my guess is he does with many people — but he is also fascinated by a spirited debate on an issue and takes very little personally.  Additionally, he is unusually intelligent, which makes the debate even more refreshing.)

And I should say that Drapeau — and most of the people in the room — are interested in helping the government do its job better, and many of people there believe these tools offer real potential. The question at hand: Does the term “social media” and “social networking” help or hinder the cause of helping the government do its job better and more effectively.

Drapeau argued — and argues — that social networking is… well, social — and it is the socialness — the connections that people can make using these tools — and is empowering. In the end, these tools are much more then collaboration, he argues. It used to be about who you know, he says. Today, it’s about who knows you — and that, increasingly, the people who are the most connected are the most influential. And he argues that while social networking is… well, social, there is a lot of good and important work being done.

Further, he argued that these tools have connected him with many people he never would have met otherwise. But I would argue that comes from the sharing of information. That information sharing spurred collaboration. In work instances, the social aspects come later.

Both Drapeau and I agree that too often, people start with a tool or tactic. Instead, they need to have a goal in mind — what are you trying to accomplish, he said.

In many respects, Drapeau and I agree — but I continue to believe that the term “social networking” and “social media” are, in fact, detrimental. My co-anchor, Amy Morris, argues that my argument is largely about semantics. And, perhaps as a writer, I’m biased to believing that words are powerful and that they matter.

To me, the term social media is simply inaccurate. In the end, I don’t think that these tools are “media,” but beyond that, they aren’t really about being social.Socialness is the side benefit. Socialness is tantamount to the increased energy you get when you exercise — in the end, it isn’t the main purpose of exercise, but it sure is nice.

In the end, most organizations — and particularly agencies — aren’t interested in the social aspects of these tools. To the contrary, the social aspects hinder many organizations from using these tools, the same way it did with giving people e-mail addresses and putting the Internet oneverybody’s computer.

The fact is there isn’t a single agency that has the mission of being social. Even the Office of Personnel Management, the government’s HR organization, isn’t responsible forsocialness. For OPM — and for most organizations — these tools are a means to enable them to accomplish the mission more effectively and more efficiently.

But the term “social media” is, in fact, dangerous because it gives people the opportunity to discount these very powerful tools with a broad brush. (Giving credit where credit is due: This idea largely comes from Harvard Business School Prof. Andrew McAfee, the guy credited with “inventing” the term “enterprise 2.0” — and he mentions this in his upcoming book Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organization’s Toughest Challenges, due to be released Dec. 1. I should also note that we will talk to McAfee on Dec. 1 on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris.)

Dave Wennergren [PDF], the deputy CIO at the Defense Department, has a great line: “If you think Facebook is just for dating, you haven’t checked it out.” And he is exactly right. Yes — there is dating going on — and a whole lot of social stuff too — but the reason people are using these tools in droves is they let them do something that has been frustratingly out of reach: to share information. These tools — collaboration tools is my current preferred term, but I’m willing to take suggestions — these tools let people tap into the wisdom of the crowd… of their crowd. And people are learning that information is power — but that the real power of information comes when it is shared. That sharing helps everybody.

In the end, the power of these tools comes from their inherent ability to enable information sharing and collaboration, not from the social aspects. And I would point to the Better Buy Project, created by GSA, ACT/IAC and the National Academy of Public Administration. This site lets anybody, but particularly procurement officals, to share ideas and issues, propose solutions, and vote on other people’s ideas. And in the end, the site was created by sharing information in GovLoop’s Acquisition 2.0 group — by collaborating. Yes, there is a social aspect to all of that, but the question in the end — and the criteria that organization’s are going to judge the value — is whether these tools are helping people accomplish the organization’s mission. And that is something that bothDrapeau and I are in total agreement.

By the way, GSA’s Mary Davie tweeted that the Federal Acquisition Service is using the term “collaborative technologies.”

The phrase my be passe these days, but I still believe that content is still king — the ideas and thoughts matter. And while it is important who knows you, what is most important is the value of the information that you share — and how that information enables people to do their jobs better and faster.

(If I mischaracterized Drapeau’s thoughts and arguments, I know he — and others — will correct me and add their thoughts. You can also follow the #sweetevent Tweet stream here.)

A few other interesting comments from the event:

* Frederick Wellman, a former Army public affairs officer — his blog is titled Armed and Curious… Wellman argued that in many organizations, as government 2.0 has rolled out, the organizations are flattening. There is a greater ability for ideas to grow from the front lines. The traditional, hierarchical organizational structure is just changing. I think it is one of the scary parts of government 2.0, particularly for leaders — the loss of control, or, more accurately, the loss of perceived control. I recommendedWellman read the book What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis, which was the subject of the March meeting of the Federal News Radio Book Club. Jarvis highlights a number of principles in his book. Among them, as detailed in a BusinessWeek excerpt:

  • give up control;
  • get out of the way;
  • make mistakes well.

* Dux Raymond Sy, a managing partner with Innovative-e said that in too many cases, agencies are enamored by the tools — they are lured by the technology — and often see these tools as silver bullets that will solve the organization’s challenges. In fact, he argued, they are tools and they can help an organization accomplish its mission, but they aren’t magic.

* Kathleen Smith, the Chief Marketing Officer of ClearedJobs.Net, argued that the next evolution — dare we say Gov 3.0 — will be when people — citizens — get fully engaged using these tools. My sense is we’re already starting to see some of that, but… if true, change could really be coming.

See photos from the event… including one of me

Finally, thanks to Internet Editor Dorothy Ramienski (@emrldcitychick) for joining me at the event tonight. While she is newlywed, I kept teasing her that it was our date night. She got to be a part of what I think was a interesting, educational, informative and fun discussion.

DorobekInsider: Watching the Networx transition — or lack there of — at AFFIRM on Wednesday

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One of the more interesting stories of the year in government IT is the transition to the new Networx telecommunications contract — or lack of transition, to be honest. During the confirmation hearing of Martha Johnson to be the administrator of the General Services Administration, she said that Networx transition was going to be one of her top priorities — and she said that the process has been too slow and is costing the government big bucks.

On Wednesday, I will be moderating a panel at the AFFIRM luncheon billed as Voice of the Customer: GSA, Networx Transition, & Beyond.

We have a great line-up:

  • Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, CIO, Interior Department (bio);
  • Karl Krumbholz, Director, Network Services Programs, GSA Integrated Technology Solutions (bio)
  • Michael Brown, Executive Director, IT Services Office, Homeland Security Department (bio);
  • Mike Ponti, Director, Strategic Resources Planning, ASD/NII, Defense Department (bio)

We’re waiting on one other confirmation, we hope.

Regardless, there should be some great lessons learned — and some really good insights about how the CIOs are really very focused on this transition — you’ll get to hear how the CIO Council specifically is focused on the Networx migration… and why.

Earlier on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to Bob Woods, president of TopSide Consulting, about the lagging transition. Read more and hear that conversation here.

Meanwhile, Federal Computer Week recently ran an interesting three-part series on the status of Networx transition.

I hope you’ll join us Wednesday. You can register from the link here.


Written by cdorobek

November 16, 2009 at 2:53 PM

DorobekInsider: Changes within the VA IT shop

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This item was updated with a correction on Oct. 7, 2009 at 9:25a ET.

We told you about those scandalous IG reports on the Department of Veterans Affairs CIO organization that showed former high-ranking VA IT officials “gave preferential treatment to certain contractors, engaged in nepotism in hiring and, in one case, took advantage of a relationship with a supervisor for personal gain.”

There has been a lot of buzz around the Beltway — and within the halls of VA. As I mentioned earlier, one of the hottest tickets in town is Thursday’s Input executive breakfast with VA CIO Roger Baker — who, it is important to note, was not at VA when all of the events alleged by the IG were supposed to have happened. I said earlier that I didn’t think that Baker will address the issue of the IG report, but… he may at least acknowledge that there have been some personnel shifts.

Jaren Doherty has been named the acting deputy assistant secretary for cyber-security, VA officials confirmed — and they noted that he is serving in an acting capacity. The emphasis comes from them. He is filling in for Adair Martinez, who is one of the players at the heart of the VA IG report drama. VA insiders say that Martinez was just recently put on administrative leave. VA officials will not discuss any of those particulars.

CORRECTION: VA officials have told me that the report about Nash is not accurate. “Laura Nash has no change to her present position, which is executive assistant in IPRM.” Your report yesterday that she was named acting associate director is not correct.” I stand corrected.

VA has also named Laura Nash to be the acting ADAS for cyber-security, filling in for Doherty. Nash’s name does appear in the IG reports.

We are also hearing that Bob Howard, the former VA CIO, who is also at the heart of the VA IG reports, has left Femme Comp Inc. (FCI), where he had landed as a as a senior vice president working on command and control and information technologies for the Defense Department. A few weeks ago, Howard sent an e-mail to a handful of people, which has been making the rounds, that merely gave a new e-mail contact. I have reached out to him, but I have not heard back.

Meanwhile, people tell me that VA is still conducting an investigation. One person who has dealt with similar kinds of issues told me that the IG report is something akin for a grand jury indictment — and it is VA management’s job to determine if there is enough evidence for administration action as recommended by the IG. VA management — the VA CIO, the general counsel, HR — have to ensure that they are fair and objective within the law.

And one person who has dealt with these kinds of issues said this process doesn’t necessarily move quickly.

Baker is in a complex situation. First off, he wasn’t at VA when all of this happened, yet it is his mess to clean up. But beyond that, he is likely to be criticized no matter what he does.

It will be interesting to see what Baker has to say on Thursday. My prediction is that he still won’t say all that much, but many people will be there — we hear that Input’s numbers are nearing 600 people.

Written by cdorobek

October 6, 2009 at 12:30 PM

DorobekInsider: Fleshing out the funniest celebrity “charity” controversy

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I noted earlier that I am one of the judges tonight for the 14th annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington “charity” event.

Well, the Washington Post’s Reliable Sources column reported yesterday that the term charity apparently deserves to be in quotes. The WP headline: ‘Funniest Celeb’ Charities Get Little Aid

For all the obvious wisecracks about its name, the annual “Funniest Celebrity in Washington” contest has triumphed in getting some of this city’s major players to cut loose with surprisingly outrageous stand-up comedy acts — with the rationale that it’s all for a good cause, of course…

But despite the VIP luster — and tickets starting at $200 — tax records and interviews show that the D.C. perennial has failed in the past five years to make any contributions to the charities for which it promised to raise money. Virtually all revenue appears to have been eaten up by the costs of putting on the one-night show, plus a year-round part-time salary for founder-CEO-host Richard Siegel and administrative expenses that charity-finance experts say are unusually high for such a small organization.

Siegel — whose tax-exempt organization “supports children’s charities,” according to its IRS filings — blames the charities. He says they failed to live up to agreements to sell $20,000 worth of tickets and sponsorships, an assertion at least one charity disputes. Ticket sales by Funniest Celebrity “essentially cover operational costs,” Siegel said in a statement.

Read the full WP story here.

There was much discussion around the WTOP-WFED offices yesterday about whether it was appropriate for me and WTOP Man About Town Bob Madigan should participate.

Here is how I am going to deal with it…

Frankly, I am always a bit uncomfortable when we wrap these kids of events with some charity. Generally, I want transparency in where my money is going, so… I’ll pay for my entertainment, and I’m happy to pay the charities that I deem worthy. A few years ago, I rode in the new defunct AIDS Ride DC, which was supposed to benefit DC’s Whitman-Walker Clinic. Unfortunately there was a loathsome organization, which seems to have dissolved, that was taking more than half of the money that people donated. So when I did the ride, I asked people to give specifically to Whitman-Walker — and I would match their donations by covering my bicycling expenses. In the end, I don’t expect for people to pay for me to bike.

I am going to use a similar model for the event tonight — I have donated $200 will be donating money to the cause — StandUp for Kids

STANDUP FOR KIDS, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1990 to help rescue homeless and at-risk youth. With national headquarters in Atlanta, GA, STANDUP FOR KIDS is run almost entirely by volunteers. For more information, please visit

Written by cdorobek

September 30, 2009 at 2:10 PM

DorobekInsider: The hottest ticket in town — Roger Baker speaking at Input

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The hottest ticket in town — by far — is Input’s breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 8 featuring Roger Baker, the CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The event has more than 425 people registered already, Input insiders tell me — and we are still a few weeks out.

Yes, VA is the second largest federal agency — and it has had a history of having troubled IT systems. But, as you probably heard, Baker has just a few high profile issues on his agenda:

* The scathing IG reports: Everybody is still buzzing about the VA IG reports that came out earlier this year — and there was a congressional hearing earlier this week. Frankly, I don’t expect Baker to address these much — other then some well crafted joke about how he can’t address it. We’re hearing a lot of talk about this issue — still. (The DorobekInsider has asked many insiders for their thoughts.)

* Update on programs put on hold… Earlier this year, Baker took the somewhat unusual step of putting 45 IT programs on hold pending review. (Baker on was Federal News Radio’s In Depth program talking about it. Hear that here.) What’s the status of those… and how much of a role did the Federal IT Dashboard really play in making that decision?

* VA’s Innovation competition… In asking employees for their best ideas, the VA has come up with a few of its own. An internal competition for innovation is seen as a benchmark process ready to spread far beyond the agency’s firewalls and across the federal landscape.

It should be an interesting presentation, regardless.

Written by cdorobek

September 25, 2009 at 12:28 PM

DorobekInsider: Identity management — the liner notes

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I am moderating a panel this morning on identity management — it is a custom event that 1105 Government Information Group is putting on for Juniper Networks titled Why Network Security Demands Trusted Identity Management. And, as you can see on the agenda, before my panel, they have two great speakers — Tom Donahue, the director of cyber policy for the national security staff, and Dale Meyerrose, Vice President and General Manager for Harris Corporation and the former CIO for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. [Up until my panel starts, I am taking notes — and posting them with the caveat that these are my raw notes. You can read them here.]

And then there is my panel, which focuses more on the issues of where the rubber meet the road — how do you make this happen.

Session 3 — Discussion Panel 10:25 – 11:40am Implementing Identity Management: Keys to Security and Success Moderator: Chris Dorobek , Co-Anchor, The Daily Debrief, Federal News Radio Panelists:

  • Mary Dixon, Director, Defense Manpower Data Center, Defense Department
  • Stephen Duncan, Director, The Center for Identity Management and Information Assurance, Office of Integrated Technology Services, Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration
  • Steve Hanna, Distinguished Engineer, Juniper Networks

What Attendees Will Learn:

  • Trends across government to strengthen converged credentials for employees and contractors
  • What makes an identity management program successful and secure
  • How government organizations are deploying trusted identity management initiatives
  • How agencies can improve existing identity management programs
  • Lessons learned from seasoned professionals from the public and private sectors
  • Common mistakes to avoid and opportunities to maximize proven technologies
  • How agencies are moving ahead to deliver secure, reliable physical and logical access to government information assets and facilities
  • What’s next for identity management and why it is critical to broader national security goals

On Tuesday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to Bob Dix, Vice President of Government Affairs & Critical Infrastructure Protection for Juniper Networks. Dixformerly served as the Dix served as the Staff Director for the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology and Information Policy. Hear our conversation here. What is fascinating is how identity management issues really have changed and evolved. It has moved beyond the almost tedious but important question of who has given out how many HSPD-12 cards to the much more interesting question of what do you do with those cards — and how do you secure the identity information behind those cards. In our prep call, Dixon told me that as identity management becomes one of the critical ways of ensuring the security of the network, suddently the databases that contain all that information about identity become critically important. After all, if you take out that information, you cripple everyting else. (Anybody else see the movie Eagle Eye where the computer essentially erases Shia LaBeouf identity.) As always, when I speak, I sometimes make reference to conversations I have had on Federal News Radio 1500 AM, so… if you want that information, here are the liner notes… and I may add to this after the presentation depending on what we talk about.

A lot of this is being spurred by the Obama administration’s cyber-security review, which was issued earlier this year. You can find all sorts of resources about the Obama cyber-review in the DorobekInsider reader: Obama administration cyber-security policy review.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Google’s chief Internet evangalist Vint Cerf, the man widely referred to as the father of the Internet, as part of Federal News Radio’s Meet the Innovator series. He told me that in some important ways, the Internet is still incomplete — and one important part is the lack of identity management. You can hear part one of my conversation with Cerf… and part two. And I’ll add to this post if there are other links that people reference today.

UPDATE: Juniper’s Steve Hanna mentioned Trusted Network Connect, which, according to Wikipedia:

Trusted Network Connect is an open architecture for Network Access Control, promulgated by the Trusted Network Connect Work Group (TNC-WG) of the Trusted Computing Group (TCG). It aims at enabling network operators to provide endpoint integrity at every network connection, thus enabling interoperability among multi-vendor network endpoints. The U.S. Army has planned to use this technology to enhance the security of its computer networks.

The link recommended by Juniper’s Hanna is this one: a white paper that provides an overview of Trusted Network Connect [PDF]. Find more on Trusted Computing Group’s developers page, including a link to the PDF of the Federated Trusted Network Connect (TNC) Version 1.0

Written by cdorobek

July 22, 2009 at 6:22 AM

Posted in Events, security, Technology

DorobekInsider: The first draft from the Open Government and Innovations conference

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They say that journalism is the first draft of history. Well, with the transparency and openness out there these days, my guess is that most journalism is actually the second draft of history… with Tweets being the first draft. That being said, I mentioned earlier that this morning that I was 1105 Government Information Group’s Open Government and Innovation conference. And, as I do at these conferences, I post my notes in a public way (with the caveat that these are only notes).

The 1105 team had two screens featuring tweets for the event — what a great way to share thoughts in real time. And the use of the #ogi hashtag showed up on Twitter today.

There was a lot of good stuff in the morning sessions — I had to get back to Federal News Radio to do the radio show. But I wanted to post some initial thoughts as soon as possible… and hopefully there will be additional analysis to come…

* Dave Wennergren, deputy CIO at the Defense Department

Wennergren [bio in PDF] is one of the CIO rock stars — a real leader in the government IT community for his vision, intelligence, passion, and vision. And Wennergren has been one of the leaders in having the government experiment with collaborative technologies. And he gave a rousing introduction to the conference this morning. (I’ll post the audio when I have more time.)

Some bullet points from Wennergren’s speech:

* “Relentlessly sharing is what the world is going to be all about”
* Self-inflicted denial of service attack: There is a real need to balance security and collaborative technologies. Security is absolutely essential, but if security becomes too strict, it ends up becoming a “self-inflicted denial of service attack.”
* On transparency: He said that in some ways, transparency ends up being management by embarrassment. Of course, it can also be management by showing off the best and the brightest.
* Book mentioned: The book that was the first meeting of the Federal News Radio Book ClubThe SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey.
* Book mentioned: Polarity Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems by Barry Johnson

Still to come… bullet points on Obama CTO Aneesh Chopra’s presentation this morning… and publisher Tim O’Reilly, the creator of the term Web 2.0.

DorobekInsider: Attending the Open Government conference Tuesday morning

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On Tuesday morning, I am attending 1105 Government Information Group’s Open Government conference. I don’t know if the event ended up being profitable, but… they have put together a very good line-up.

(NOTE: 1105 asked if I would record calls that went out to 1105’s list — you may have received one. I should note that I didn’t get paid for doing it. I did it because I think the conversation is valuable and I hope they get a good turn out.)

I will only be there for the morning so I can get back to Federal News Radio 1500 AM and work on the Daily Debrief. That being said, I want to see Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra, who will be joining us later this month for the Federal News Radio Book Club on July 31 discussing Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation. I also am very much looking forward to seeing Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, the person credited with creating the term Web 2.0. O’Reilly Media, of course, is also sponsoring the Gov 2.0 Summit in September, which I hear has a really stellar line-up.

I also want to stay the session titled Web 2.0 & National Security. As I have said as recently as today talking about Intellipedia and A-Space, this is a fascinating area — and, in many ways, the intelligence community is way ahead of everybody else. So… I look forward to the panel. (Two of the panelists, Mark Drapeau and Linton Wells, both of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University, have written a paper looking at Web 2.0 and national security. You can read that paper hereHear Drapeau talk about it here.)

As I usually do, I will be posting my raw notes from Tuesday morning’s sessions. You can read them here as I am taking them — assuming I have Internet connection, of course.

On the top of my notes, I post this editor’s note:

EDITOR’S NOTE: These are notes. They are provided for informational purposes but should NOT be seen as a verbatim transcript of the event. That is not the intent. The idea is that information is power — and that information is more powerful when it is shared. That being said, it also requires people assess the information that they receive. Raw, unanalyzed information is probably less accurate then information that has been prepared, edited and assessed in some formal way. All of that being said, I believe that information is power — and therefore I am sharing it.

It is sometimes interesting to me how people will sometimes don’t fully assess information. Raw information at times can be more accurate, but generally, it gets better as we think, ponder and analyze. So… take the notes for what they are worth — they are my notes. And I’ll try and post my thoughts about the sessions as soon as I can… and I can’t wait to compare notes with others… and we hope that it all furthers the discussion.

I will be tweeting about the session too using #oig. I look forward to following others at the conference.

Written by cdorobek

July 21, 2009 at 12:09 AM