NewsBrief: September 30, 2022

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: September 30, 2022

Can apprenticeships help address the cyber workforce gap?

(FCW) Apprenticeships are workforce development programs hosted by employers, unions and industry groups that prepare workers for a specific occupation with on-the-job training and instructions. The cybersecurity workforce shortage facing the public sector and the private sector is well known. Officials at the Department of Labor are hoping apprenticeships can help fill the gap. The department supports “registered apprenticeship” programs across multiple professions that are designed to give candidates needed experience while also supporting wage increases and requiring specific types and amounts of supervised experience and training. In July, the Labor Department, along with the Department of Commerce, launched the 120-day sprint to spur employers to expand the use of registered apprenticeships in cybersecurity at a summit on the cyber workforce hosted by the White House’s Office of the National Cyber Director. Read More

GAO Urges NNSA to Implement Cybersecurity Risk Management for Nuclear Weapons IT

(ExecutiveGov) The National Nuclear Security Administration should fully implement foundational cybersecurity practices to protect its digital environments from malicious actors, the Government Accountability Office said. In a report released Thursday, GAO found that while NNSA has been digitizing and automating its services and equipment, there were gaps in the latter’s cybersecurity policies as well as those of its contractors and subcontractors. Federal laws require the agency to follow six key principles to mitigate IT security risk. These include assigning risk management roles and responsibilities, establishing an organization-wide risk management strategy, and creating and maintaining cybersecurity program policies. Read More

Coast Guard Must Address Cyber Workforce Needs, Watchdog Says

(NextGOV) The Coast Guard—which ensures the safety and security of the U.S. maritime transportation system and borders—should address its cyberspace workforce needs as it becomes more reliant on that workforce to maintain and protect its IT systems and data from threat, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office. The need is increasingly important as the marine transportation system experienced more than 500 cyberattacks in 2020 and the average cost of a data breach was $3.9 million. The report stated that in 2015 the agency established cyberspace as an operational domain to help protect the maritime transportation system from threats that could come from the internet, telecommunications networks and computer systems. Read More

Army Stands Up New Command to Provide Global Counterintelligence Support

(ExecutiveGov) The U.S. Army has activated a new command tasked with providing counterintelligence support that aligns with the Department of Defense modernization efforts. The Army Counterintelligence Command conducts counterintelligence activities to identify and neutralize insider threats facing the Army and DOD forces worldwide, the service branch said Tuesday. Brig. Gen. Rhett Cox took over the responsibility of the ACIC as its first commanding general during a ceremony at the command’s headquarters at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. Read More

Industry Awaits Potential Congressional Resolution to ‘Extremely Difficult’ Procurement Process

(ExecutiveGov) A Northeastern University institute has launched Open6G, a research hub that is focused on advancing sixth generation mobile networks and is supported by the Department of Defense. The federal-industry-university cooperative facility seeks to drive research and development of beyond-5G systems through funding from the Innovate Beyond 5G program of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the university’s Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things said Tuesday. Open6G is expected to be a center for R&D, demonstration and commercialization of open, programmable and disaggregated 6G applications. Studies will include mmWave and terahertz systems, Web 3.0, future spectrum access and exploitation, artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as augmented and virtual reality. Read More

Senate Reaches a Deal to Avoid a Shutdown, Punts Threat for 10 Weeks

(Government Executive) The Senate on Tuesday reached an agreement to keep agencies afloat through Dec. 16, dropping controversial provisions from a stopgap funding bill in order to win bipartisan support. The continuing resolution, which would keep the government open past the Friday evening expiration of current appropriations, was originally set to include a measure to speed up the permitting process for some major energy projects. After Republican leaders and some Democrats came out against the provision on Tuesday, Democratic leadership agreed to drop the provision to ensure the CR could pass. The Senate on Tuesday evening, by a 72-23 margin, approved the first in a series of votes to move the measure forward. Read More

Kinder Joy candy now comes with rockets, rovers and other space toys

( A popular candy brand is helping children imagine their future in space with the help of aspiring astronaut. Kinder Joy, the sweet treat packaged with a bonus toy, has worked with “future Mars walker” Alyssa Carson to launch its new space collection (opens in new tab) ahead of World Space Week. Designed for young kids, the space toys include astronauts, rocket ships, planetary rovers and more. “Ever since I was a young girl, I had my heart set on the stars,” Carson said in a statement. “That’s why I partnered with Kinder Joy to help share my passion for space exploration, so families can be inspired to learn more about our galaxy and raise the next generation of explorers. Read More

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