Contractors could soon be forced to use federal cybersecurity requirements — 7 Stories you need to know

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Wednesday the 29th of August 
  1. Soon federal cybersecurity requirements could be extended to contractors. Fierce Government IT says the Defense Department, General Services Administration and NASA are proposing a change to the Federal Acquisition Regulation that would require contractors to secure computer systems that contain government information.
  2. Can you crowdsource arms control? The State Department has launched a new challenge that is looking for creative ideas from the public to use commonly available devices to help confirm whether states are complying with treaties nonproliferation agreements. The deadline for submissions is October 26th.
  3. Having you been eyeing Hurricane Isaac? The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been. The agency has sent more staff to help resident inspectors at nuclear plants in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Associated Press says they plan to ride out the storm inside the plants.
  4. Could the federal government get smaller? Maybe. The Republican Party platform calls for a 10 percent reduction in the federal workforce. Federal News Radio says the Party also wants to make federal pay and benefits more in line with those of the private sector. The party unveiled its platform on the eve of its national convention, taking place in Tampa, Fla.
  5. The Interior Department may purchase a mobile-device management product that would allow it to remotely update, monitor and shut down employees' smartphones and tablets. Nextgov reports, Interior “has recognized a real threat to the integrity of electronic devices on international travel by curious individuals, organized crime and nationstate sponsored activities." The agency will give preference to cloud-based tools.
  6. It remains unclear whether the White House's "bring your own device" program for federal workers will reimburse employees for a portion of their monthly BYOD costs. NextGov says “The federal government still has more to do to address the more complicated issues related to BYOD,” the White House states in a guidance. “This includes how the government can reimburse federal employees for voice/data costs incurred when they use their personal mobile devices instead of government-issued mobile devices.”
  7. Between January 2009 and June 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs held 948 conferences -- about one per day -- attended by 50 or more employees. NextGov says the VA’s conference spending totaled over $100 million in fiscal 2011 and $92 million in 2009. Both Congress and the VA inspector general are conducting probes of department conferences.
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