Confidence in the public sector’s ability to keep personal information secure is slightly higher than it is for the private sector, according to a new Citrix Systems survey.
The survey found that 54 percent of respondents said federal, state and local government organizations keep information safer, while the remainder had more faith in retail stores, banks and credit card companies.
Porter Novelli, which conducted the survey last spring and again last fall, asked 6,490 and 3,544 American adults, respectively, about their concerns about identity theft. Seventy-two percent said they were concerned, with that number breaking down to 37 percent who were very concerned and 35 percent somewhat concerned. Only 6 percent of respondents said they were not at all concerned.
Among those concerned about identity theft, 56 percent said they put more trust in government agencies, while respondents who said they weren’t concerned were split evenly between the public and private sectors.
The survey found few statistical differences in concern among ages, genders and locations, suggesting that concerns about data security are fairly universal.
The results were released to coincide with Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28. Started in Europe, the annual day to spread awareness about protecting personal information received attention from the House and Senate, which passed resolutions recognizing Jan. 28 as Data Privacy Day.
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance’s StaySafeOnline website, some public-sector supporters of the day include the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, Newport News Public Schools, the California Public Employees Retirement System and the Arkansas Department of Information Systems.
Posted on Jan 30, 2017 at 2:26 PM0 comments
The Digital Government group at the General Services Administration has created a community focused on the implementation of virtual and augmented reality technology in government settings.
Many agencies have already started experimenting with the technology. NASA is using it for data visualization and the Department of Veterans Affairs has begun looking into VR's potential for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. But starting these programs can be difficult, and 2017 will be about making adoption easier, said Justin Herman, the VR and artificial intelligence communities lead for GSA.
When an agency wants to adopt a new technology, it must create policy development resources, show performance metrics and sometimes conduct a pilot. GSA hopes this community network of industry experts and thought leaders will be a resource for sharing, developing and implementing strategies.
VR offers “immersive storytelling” opportunities that have proven themselves in entertainment, but can also thrive in government, according to Jordan Higgins, the creative director at ByteCubed, a consulting firm specializing in innovative technologies.
“There’s definitely an immersive storytelling aspect to it and a training aspect of it, but where I think the real excitement is going to come is when it actually becomes” part of your day-to-day job, Higgins said, pointing to VR conference calls as a possible example.
The applications will provide a better sense of scale and perspective than can be achieved by a picture or screen, Higgins said. Use cases presented at a recent GSA VR workshop featured job training opportunities, which he said could decrease training costs for agencies.
Herman said GSA wants to host a VR hackathon by early spring
“We’re trying to take a very aggressive approach to developing this because it is easy to table things and spend your time talking about it.” he said.
Posted on Jan 20, 2017 at 8:55 AM0 comments
Not many people get to visit the White House, but thanks to a augmented reality application from the White House Historical Association, the experience is a little more accessible.
After downloading the app, titled 1600, users are prompted to pull out a $1 bill and point their phone or tablet’s camera at it. Animations of the White House and surrounding lawn then pop up, and Press Secretary Josh Earnest describes why the building is important.
There aren’t many practical applications for the 1600, but White House stressed the importance of trying out new technology.
“From hosting festivals on the South Lawn to allowing people to explore its rooms via Google Street View, President Obama has used traditional events and new technology to open up the doors of the White House to more Americans than ever before,” Earnest said in a statement.
Following this summer’s popularity of Pokemon Go, conversations began about how government could leverage the AR technology.
Pokemon Go could be used to increase civic participation by residents who could point out potholes or graffiti as they play the game, Miguel A. Gamiño Jr., the current CTO for New York City, wrote on Medium while he was serving as the CIO of San Francisco.
“If we think bigger,” Gamiño wrote, “it seems the potential is not the game itself, but rather the platform that’s using augmented reality to motivate a highly engaged base. What if the platform allowed local governments to add a digital layer to any streetscape? We could intentionally leverage it to communicate planned street closures, permitting applications for businesses, or a whole host of things we currently struggle to communicate for better interactions with our constituents.”
AR and virtual reality could play a big role in understanding data, Michael Thomas, a software architect at SAS, suggested. “By using VR and AR hardware and software to look at the information produced by visual analytics programs, the government could instantly map data into a representation inside of a virtual environment.”
Posted on Dec 06, 2016 at 9:54 AM0 comments
The General Services Administration has launched two new Digital Communities -- interagency platforms where federal managers can share, develop and implement strategies for new technologies. Digital Communities have nearly 10,000 memberships across 16 mission areas, which now include the Artificial Intelligence for Citizen Services Community and the Virtual/Augmented Reality Community.
The AI Community will cover the use of technologies such as chatbots and natural voice recognition systems to make public services more responsive and open. Agencies can work together to test the latest in AI and share best practices on related security and policy.
The Virtual Reality Community will explore how citizens interact with advanced video and audio through virtual and augmented reality. Collaborators can conduct research, discuss pilot programs and develop virtual services, like applications for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Along with these new communities, GSA also announced the U.S. Digital Registry portal. Launched earlier this year, the registry serves as an application program interface-generating repository that allows agencies and citizens to confirm the official status of third-party sites, social media platforms and mobile apps.
With the new dashboard, users can search and export data on all registered federal government accounts and mobile applications by agency, platform or tag, according to DigitalGov.
Posted on Oct 27, 2016 at 11:40 AM0 comments
After a successful bug bounty pilot program earlier this year, the Department of Defense is expanding its use of bounty hunters to help identify security issues within its digital assets.
On Oct. 20, DOD awarded two contracts for crowdsourced vulnerability discovery and disclosure programs: one to bug bounty platform provider HackerOne and another to cybersecurity company Synack. The department intends to launch challenges and find security researchers who can better detect cyber risks in DOD applications, websites and networks.
Building on DOD’s “Hack the Pentagon” pilot with HackerOne earlier this year, the partnership will allow DOD to run more bug bounty challenges to protect public-facing assets and domains. Hack the Pentagon, led by the Defense Digital Services, was the federal government’s first bug bounty program, and drew 1,410 vetted hackers submitting more than 1,000 vulnerability reports.
By the end of the pilot, the DOD paid 138 bounties for confirmed vulnerabilities in the five sites tested, bringing the overall cost for the effort to approximately $150,000. According to Pentagon officials, discovering the same security vulnerabilities through traditional methods could have cost $1 million.
The contract with Synack will leverage a private, managed bounty incentive model using only highly vetted researchers who will focus on the department’s sensitive IT assets.
“By partnering with these leading crowdsourced security companies, we can take a much more innovative, diverse, scalable and effective approach to better protect and defend our digital assets,” Office of the Secretary of Defense spokesman Mark Wright said.
The contracts combined are valued at $7 million and are expected to cover up to 14 challenges and reward hundreds of security researchers.
Posted on Oct 21, 2016 at 1:24 PM0 comments