Weekly Debrief (7/27–31)
This week's Weekly Debrief covers NIH's search for an "honest broker" to manage COVID-19 data warehouse, NASA's trip to Mars, Cyber Solarium Commission report on scanning defense contractor networks, Pentagon's increased telework, hackers targeting federal teleworkers, and three tribal officials charged in bribery scheme.
"The National Institutes of Health is standing up a new research data sharing initiative around COVID-19 and needs an “honest broker” to manage the data warehouse and protect patient privacy. NIH has stood up a number of efforts specifically to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including a new program under the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences called the National COVID Cohort Collaborative, or N3C."
"This summer, NASA is taking the next giant leap in the search for signs of life beyond Earth. On July 30, if the weather in Florida holds, NASA will launch its most sophisticated and ambitious spacecraft to Mars: the aptly named Perseverance rover."
"The Pentagon must be able to hunt cyberthreats on the private networks of defense companies in order to strengthen national cybersecurity, according to one of the leaders of the Cyber Solarium Commission. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., who co-chairs the commission, said in testimony before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities that there must be greater visibility of these networks, in which much sensitive and classified information is kept."
"The next step for a cloud-based collaboration tool the Defense Department built to facilitate personnel working from home during the pandemic is to run pilot programs that allow remote access to information with higher levels of sensitivity, Defense Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said."
"With federal agency employees working remotely, cybercriminals and foreign actors have a wider, more vulnerable area to attack, according to a senior federal agency acquisition official. Cybersecurity threats, said Allen Hill, acting deputy assistant commissioner at the Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration, are no longer confined to on-premises systems."
"Two current tribal government officials and one former tribal government official of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (MHA Nation) were charged by criminal complaint unsealed today for their alleged acceptance of bribes and kickbacks from a contractor providing construction services on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation (FBIR), which is the home of the MHA Nation."
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