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President Barack Obama has asked Congress for the power to merge federal agencies in an effort to make government more efficient and consumer friendly. Obama will call on Congress to give him a type of consolidation authority last held by a president when Ronald Reagan was in office. Analysts and former government insiders congratulate the president for the massive plan to streamline services. But they warn it will be tricky.
Tags: Emily Kopp , Don Kettl , Susan Schwab , USTR , Commerce , NOAA , Partnership for Public Service , Max Stier , Jeff Zients , OMB , Barack Obama , Congress , management , government reorganization , workforce
Thinking about buying a hybrid to save on gas? Better get the facts first.
People exercise risk management, consciously and unconsciously, every day.
Many of us drive on a daily basis. Some speed, and risk the chance of getting caught, while others are more conservative and drive the exact speed limit. We base our decision on whether or not to exceed the speed limit on the information available to us at the time, including our knowledge, past experiences, or the conditions we see in front of us. We weigh the risks against impacts and consequences, making decisions based upon our tolerance for the outcomes. The same is true for federal cyber risk management.
Securing federal information and assets in cyberspace is the primary driver behind cybersecurity. Even so, other factors help define risk, including the potential for negative publicity if a cyber breach occurs, the impact to budget/performance plans if FISMA grades fall short, or the potential for investigations or congressional hearings if the burning issue of the day burns a bit too bright for too long. Federal cyber risk management fundamentally boils down to making risk decisions based upon an agency's risk tolerance - and the drivers behind an agency's tolerance vary across the federal government.
Risk is defined as the likelihood of a future event that may have unintended or unexpected consequences. Federal agencies make the best cyber risk management decisions by using data and information to evaluate the agency's strengths and weaknesses for delivering on its cyber mission in the context of potential threats.
Agencies must use information and data from various disparate sources across the enterprise to make these decisions, including audit log information, vulnerability data, asset information, the agency's regulatory compliance status, external and internal threat activity, human capital risks to the cybersecurity mission, and many more. As challenging as it may be for agencies to consume large volumes of disparate data, it is a challenge that is essential to overcome for agencies to make the best cyber risk management decisions.
Is this achievable? Absolutely. The business intelligence movement established the foundation allowing agencies to minimize risk exacerbated by ad-hoc decision-making. Leveraging business intelligence capabilities for cybersecurity enables agencies to aggregate data across technical and organizational stovepipes and to provide agency cybersecurity leaders with mechanisms for making informed, risk decisions. By better understanding the cyber landscape, federal cybersecurity leaders can - much like our speeding driver example - understand "how fast" to drive and make better investment decisions when addressing enterprise cybersecurity risks.
A software trade association has produced a first-of-its-kind cybersecurity framework to help guide governments' security efforts worldwide. Officials with the Business Software Alliance say it's needed to help countries put together policies that will thwart the many kinds kinds of cybersecurity threats that exist.
Working with the private sector and prosecuting cyber-criminals are key parts of the framework.
June 15th at 10 AM
Companies that sell products to the Federal Government are always looking for ways to expand into more lucrative and higher margin service offerings. And service providers are often looking for product offerings to round out their business lines. Either way, it's easier said than done. However, on this week's Gov Con Straight Talk with Microsoft you'll hear from a panel of top executives who know what it takes to successfully grow products and services business lines to the Federal Government.
The business world seems to move faster every day, and success requires that organizations respond and adapt to rapid-fire change. After a recent merger, two of the world's biggest banks managed large-scale change with the help of Rapid Alignment solutions, developed by Aon Consulting. By concentrating on middle managers-- the layer where strategic initiatives often unravel -leadership effectiveness can be dramatically improved, says Aon Consulting.
Being audited by the DCAA is a necessary outcome of doing business with the government. Tune into this week's Gov Con Straight Talk with Microsoft to learn what to expect during a DCAA system audit and what government contactors can do today to help ensure they successfully pass when faced with an audit. The panel will also address how CFOs of government contractors can set their organizations up for success by building a financial management foundation with growth options in out years.