NewsBrief: December 8, 2023

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: December 8, 2023

DOD offices see post-quantum cryptography as ‘mission critical’

(NextGov/FCW) Officials at the Department of Defense shed light on their agency’s plans to modernize their encryption infrastructure ahead of the anticipated advent of a fault-tolerant quantum computer, discussing familiar policy goals like private sector collaboration and supporting warfighter operations moving into 2024. Wanda Jones-Heath, the principal cyber advisor at the U.S. Air Force ​​said that updating the department’s encryption from classical cryptographic schemes to a network armed with post-quantum cryptographic standards. She said that this migration is “mission imperative” for the Air Force to ensure its cybersecurity defenses can handle emerging threats. Read More

20 federal agencies miss the deadline for implementing cyber incident tracking requirements, watchdog says

(Government Executive) Twenty federal agencies failed to meet the Biden administration’s deadline for implementing the most advanced cyber event logging requirements across their systems, with most agencies failing to implement even basic incident tracking standards, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. In a Dec. 4 performance audit of 23 federal civilian agencies, GAO found that “many agencies have not met requirements for investigative and remediation (event logging) capabilities.” President Joe Biden issued a May 2021 cybersecurity executive order that required, in part, agencies “to establish requirements for logging, log retention and log management, which shall ensure centralized access and visibility for the highest level security operations center of each agency.” Read More

Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office to Host Hackathon in Hawaii

(U.S. Department of Defense) The Office of the Secretary of Defense Chief Digital and AI Office, Defense Innovation Unit, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Army Pacific Command and the U.S. Air Force will host a multi-classification hackathon open to all U.S. citizens, Feb. 5 – 9, 2024. A hackathon is an innovation event commonly employed by technology companies in which teams develop prototypes in response to enterprise challenges associated with data. The BRAVO 11 Bits2Effects hackathon will occur at one of the DOD AI Battle Labs on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Any American citizen is eligible to apply, regardless of whether they currently work for the federal government or possess a security clearance. Applications – available online here – will be accepted on a rolling first-come-first-serve basis with the first group of acceptances taking place in mid-December. Read More

White Papers Sought for Naval Air Systems Command Digitization

(ExecutiveGov) The Naval Air Systems Command Digital Department is calling for white papers on research projects that could help NAVAIR digitization efforts with the ultimate aim of increasing workforce efficiency, streamlining business processes, delivering capabilities and improving readiness. Multiple procurement contract or Other Transaction Agreement prototyping awards are expected to result from the solicitation, with financing levels determined by the quality of the submission and the availability of funds, according to a broad agency announcement NAVAIR posted Tuesday on Read More

How one national lab is getting its supercomputers ready for the AI age

(MIT Sloan Management Review) Navigating a first-time leadership role often mirrors the balancing act of a tightrope walker. On one side, there’s a team seeking direction and inspiration; on the other, higher-ups are scrutinizing each decision. This journey isn’t just about taking on added responsibilities like managing teams and coordinating projects; it’s also about stepping into a heightened arena of emotions that includes joy, pride, anxiety, fear, and occasional self-doubt. As new leaders climb the organizational hierarchy, they face both the joys of success and the burden of failure, and the significance of their decisions is magnified in their more visible role. In our research — forthcoming in the journal BMJ Leader — approximately 67% of new leaders reported feeling immense pride when their team achieved a milestone. Read More

What feds should know before Open Season ends this year

(Federal News Network) Ahead of a new year of health care, federal employees and annuitants have less than a week left to take advantage of Open Season — and possibly make changes to their enrollments. Enrollees have until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 11 to make their final selections. If they don’t act, their current plan in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program will automatically roll over into 2024. Not every enrollee should necessarily make a change to their health, vision and dental plan options. At the very least, it’s wise to learn how your plan will change in 2024, said Kevin Moss, editor of the Consumers’ Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees. Read More

James Webb Space Telescope bites cosmic burger to create 1st ice map of planet-forming disk

( Astronomers have used the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to paint a picture of burger-shaped, planet-forming material around a young star. The tasty investigation conducted by the James Webb Space Telescope’s Ice Age team has led to the creation of the first detailed 2-dimensional inventory of ice in a so-called protoplanetary disk  —  the type of structure from which our solar system’s planets emerged some 4.5 billion years ago. “The direct mapping of ice in a planet-forming disk provides important input for modeling studies that help to better understand the formation of our Earth, other planets in our solar system, and around other stars,” research lead author and Leiden University scientist Ardjan Sturm said in a statement. Read More

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