Federal News Countdown: Cyber czar resignation, agile IT

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Alan Paller, director of research, SANS Institute
Larry Allen, Allen Federal Business Partners

Alan Paller’s stories
#3 Budget Official Picked for Top Cybersecurity Post
From ABC News/AP

The White House has selected the head of the intelligence branch in its budget office to be President Barack Obama’s top adviser on cybersecurity issues, a move that comes as Congress and the Obama administration are at odds over how best to protect critical U.S. industries from crippling electronic attacks by cybercriminals, foreign governments and terrorists.

#2 DOD Expands Contractor Cyber-threat Protection Program
From American Forces Press Service:


The Defense Department is expanding one pilot program and enhancing another, both of which involve sharing cyber-threat data with cleared defense contractors who work with DOD intellectual property, senior defense officials said yesterday.

#1 Fears Grow That Terrorists Could Co-Opt Anonymous Hacking Group
From National Defense:

Anonymous, a loosely organized group of hackers that has targeted big businesses and governments, could be co-opted by nation states and terrorist groups that want to use it for their own ends, cybersecurity experts said May 17.

Larry Allen’s stories
#3 DHS to obligate $8 billion in contracts by Sept. 30
From Federal Computer Week:

The Homeland Security Department expects to obligate more than half of its annual contracting budget in the remaining four and a half months of the current fiscal year, a senior official said on May 15. About $6 billion has been obligated to date in fiscal 2012, and the total obligation by the end of the fiscal year is expected to be about $14 billion, said Kevin Boshears, director of the DHS Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. He spoke at an industry conference.

At DHS, ‘agile’ is the watchword, CIO says
From Federal Computer Week

The Homeland Security Department is embracing agile development practices and working on an acquisition strategy for agile projects as well, Chief Information Officer Richard Spires said on May 15. Agile software development is a method in which functionality is developed in a modular, incremental form in a relatively short period of time. It has gained a following in a number of federal agencies in recent years.

#2 Schmidt resigns from White House cyber post
From Nextgov:

Howard Schmidt, who coordinated the Obama Administration’s push for cybersecurity policy and legislation, is stepping down after two-and-a-half years on the job, the Washington Post reports. Michael Daniel, who heads the intelligence branch of the White House budget office, will take over the post when Schmidt departs at the end of May.

#1 GSA Expo turns into a smaller, toned down affair
From Federal News Radio:

The General Services Administration’s conference spending scandal is reverberating across the government – especially this week at the agency’s annual Expo and training conference.