Technology

Tech Group: Help Us Prevent the Next Federal Cyberattack

By / Aug 4, 2015 (iStock/Thinkstock)

With the help of a new survey, the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council is looking to crowdsource ideas for boosting federal cybersecurity. Considering the government’s recent data breach troubles, the push comes at a good time.

Have a practical idea for improving the government’s cybersecurity? This trade group wants to know.

[I]t is vital that government and industry executives work together to strengthen the government’s cybersecurity posture.

The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC), a public-private partnership that works to improve government by fostering the strategic use of information technology, has launched a new crowdsourcing campaign aimed at addressing a variety of issues facing the federal government’s tech infrastructure.

“Today, as the nation is facing more security breaches than ever before, it is vital that government and industry executives work together to strengthen the government’s cybersecurity posture,” ACT-IAC Executive Director Kenneth Allen said in a news release.

The Cybersecurity Innovation Initiative is seeking help from those in academia, government, and industry—and even from the general public. (However, ACT-IAC is not asking vendors for specific product pitches and will not endorse any product or service.)

After gathering all comments, the organization will put together a report outlining the solutions to the challenges presented by the initiative.

“We’re really hoping that the ideas that come in are across the board—technical, operational, managerial, perhaps R&D-oriented,” IAC Executive Vice Chair David McClure told Federal Times. “We’re really suggesting to the respondents that they open the door to thinking about what can be done to advance the operational security of the federal government.”

The initiative comes after a period when the federal government took some drastic steps to help solve its lingering cybersecurity troubles—including holding a 30-day “cybersecurity sprint” to help fix bugs in the federal infrastructure and temporarily shutting down a key web platform used to approve security clearances. The government’s actions followed unprecedented data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management that affected an estimated 21.5 million people and led to calls for tougher protections for federal employees.

Those interested in submitting ideas have until August 28 to post them on the ACT-IAC Cybersecurity Innovation Initiative website, where they can also vote on their favorite entries from other creative problem solvers.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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