Saturday, June 27, 2015

Another article written for my IT Governance students. We'll have to discuss those “government wide” initiatives. (One size fits all?)
GAO Report – Recent Data Breaches Illustrate Need for Strong Controls across Federal Agencies
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 26, 2015
Cybersecurity: Recent Data Breaches Illustrate Need for Strong Controls across Federal Agencies, GAO-15-725T: Published: Jun 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2015
“GAO has identified a number of challenges federal agencies face in addressing threats to their cybersecurity, including the following:
  • Designing and implementing a risk-based cybersecurity program.
  • Enhancing oversight of contractors providing IT services.
  • Improving security incident response activities.
  • Responding to breaches of personal information.
  • Implementing cybersecurity programs at small agencies.
Until federal agencies take actions to address these challenges—including implementing the hundreds of recommendations GAO and agency inspectors general have made—federal systems and information, including sensitive personal information, will be at an increased risk of compromise from cyber-based attacks and other threats. In an effort to bolster cybersecurity across the federal government, several government-wide initiatives, spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [Who is in charge? Bob] are under way. These include the following:
  • Personal Identity Verification: In 2004, the President directed the establishment of a government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of ID for federal employees and contractor personnel who access government facilities and systems. Subsequently, OMB directed agencies to issue personal identity verification credentials to control access to federal facilities and systems. OMB recently reported that only 41 percent of user accounts at 23 civilian agencies had required these credentials for accessing agency systems.
  • National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS): This system, also referred to as EINSTEIN, is to include capabilities for monitoring network traffic and detecting and preventing intrusions, among other things. GAO has ongoing work reviewing the implementation of NCPS, and preliminary observations indicate that implementation of the intrusion detection and prevention capabilities may be limited and DHS appears to have not fully defined requirements for future capabilities.
While these initiatives are intended to improve security, no single technology or tool is sufficient to protect against all cyber threats. Rather, agencies need to employ a multi-layered, “defense in depth” approach to security that includes well-trained personnel, effective and consistently applied processes, and appropriate technologies.”

Not yet at the fully automated legal practice, but it looks like we're getting there. Worth a quick read!
The Best of Internet: Your Search for Expert Legal Help Gets Easier Now [US Only]
… Finding the next Perry Mason to take your case, is as simple as turning on your computer and going online. You may also be looking for detailed legal information, so you can represent yourself.
The ever-helpful MakeUseOf is now here to put it all together for you in one article. Now go forth and sue someone for breathing!

“Overreaction reversed”
Exclusive: Apple Will Restore Battle of Gettysburg App

Americans’ Internet Access: 2000-2015
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 26, 2015
Pew – As internet use nears saturation for some groups, a look at patterns of adoption:”A new analysis of 15 years-worth of data highlights several key trends: For some groups, especially young adults, those with high levels of education, and those in more affluent households, internet penetration is at full saturation levels. other groups, such as older adults, those with less educational attainment, and those living in lower-income households, adoption has historically been lower but rising steadily, especially in recent years. At the same time, digital gaps still persist. In this report, we cover some of the major demographic trends that lie beneath the topline adoption numbers and highlight:
  • Age differences: Older adults have lagged behind younger adults in their adoption, but now a clear majority (58%) of senior citizens uses the internet.
  • Class differences: Those with college educations are more likely than those who do not have high school diplomas to use the internet. Similarly, those who live in households earning more than $75,000 are more likely to be internet users than those living in households earning less than $30,000. Still, the class-related gaps have shrunk dramatically in 15 years as the most pronounced growth has come among those in lower-income households and those with lower levels of educational attainment.
  • Racial and ethnic differences: African-Americans and Hispanics have been somewhat less likely than whites or English-speaking Asian-Americans to be internet users, but the gaps have narrowed. Today, 78% of blacks and 81% of Hispanics use the internet, compared with 85% of whites and 97% of English-speaking Asian Americans.
  • Community differences: Those who live in rural areas are less likely than those in the suburbs and urban areas to use the internet. Still, 78% of rural residents are online.”

This explains a lot. Does anyone know if goldfish study Math?
Study – smartphones diminish attention span
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jun 26, 2015
A Microsoft study highlights the deteriorating attention span of humans, saying it has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds: “According to scientists, the age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer. Researchers surveyed 2,000 participants in Canada and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms. The results showed the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds. Goldfish, meanwhile, are believed to have an attention span of nine seconds.”

Every Saturday I laugh along...
Hack Education Weekly News
… Texas Governor Greg Abbott has chosen Donna Bahorich to chair the state’s board of education. Bahorich has never sent her children to public school, opting to homeschool her sons.
… Governor Abbott has signed a bill that decriminalizes truancy in Texas.
… The Department of Education has decided not to move forward with its plans to create a college ratings system. Instead it’s going to make a “consumer-focused website.”
Via Buzzfeed: “Baltimore’s Challenge: Buy Tablets For 100,000 Kids, And Don’t Mess It Up.” [Interesting plan, do the opposite of what LA did. Bob]
Via Campus Technology: “More than one third of all malware events in 2014 happened within the education sector.” Congratulations on your leadership, education.

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