How the FBI Protects Against Cyber-Hacks

November 16th, 2015
Cyber Hacking

Information sharing helps protect against cyber-hacking.

You may remember the cyber-attack on Sony last year after they released the film “The Interview”. The comic farce, in which two men try to assassinate Kim Jong-un, was taken as a threat by North Koreans, who launched the cyber-attack as a response. While the FBI was able to figure out where the attack came from, it was still dangerous. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, described the attack as “the most serious cyber-attack ever made against US interests”. Imagine that these kinds of attacks are directed at banks or sensitive government files. There are two main sources of cyber-attacks to protect from: crime-sponsored attacks that are used for extortion (criminals also make money by selling Malware), and state-sponsored attacks that are used for espionage. It takes constant vigilance to maintain our systems against cyber-attacks, and there are ways that we can ensure we have as safe a system as possible.

What is Information-Sharing?

Back in 2011, the Obama Administration proposed a reform that would make information-sharing easier, and since then, Congress has passed information-sharing bills every year. This kind of information-sharing technology allows for clues about potential hackers to be passed on to others. For example, if Oil Refinery A notices that someone is attempting to hack its systems, then it can pass that information on to Oil Refineries B, C, and D, so they can take preventative measures to keep from getting hacked. Obama’s reform this year has been to make it easier for information from the private sector to be shared with the government, which helps the government to prevent sophisticated cyber-attacks.

How Does Information-Sharing Help Me?

You have nothing to worry about when it comes to this type of information-sharing. The only information that is passed on is information that’s crucial to identifying hackers; things like IP addresses, routing information, and time stamps. Your personal information is not stored or collected. As it stands now, our information-sharing program still only creates a patchwork of security. We’re moving towards more security with security products—like anti-malware, antivirus, and intrusion protection systems—that scan for threats. Sharing crucial information is important to prevent cyber-attacks that affect American businesses and citizens directly. In 2013, US retailers were affected by point of sale malware called BlackPOS. You may remember how Target had to pay hack victims $10 million in damages after hackers stole bank card information for $40 million people from the Target in-store credit cards. Cyber-attacks get worse and worse every year, and it is up to companies like DHA Group, Inc. to stop them.

DHA Group, Inc.

An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. If you have more questions about automatic software whitelisting, contact DHA for knowledgeable service.

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4 GSA Tools to Get Started Acquiring Federal Contracts

October 22nd, 2015

The US General Services Administration (GSA) offers a variety of tools help to remove some of the complication from applying and receiving federal contracts. We know it’s difficult to figure out the ins and outs federal contract but luckily there are four GSA tools that can help the whole process run much more smoothly.

gsa-tools

GSA offers a number of tools to streamline contract acquisition.

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GSA Bringing Change to Multiple Award Schedules Program

October 15th, 2015

GSA recently announced that they would provide better value to the government and taxpayers with multiple award schedules program. This means that price variability will be reduced, which will minimize regulations and processes that were considered burdens. Additional flexibilities will be introduced, making the whole process through GSA more efficient.

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Learn more about the GSA’s changes to the multiple awards schedule program.

GSA Bringing Change to Multiple Award Schedules Program

GSA New FAR Cases

The new FAR cases will make it easier and quicker for agencies to add order-level materials. These order-level materials include supplies and services. Orders will no longer have to be entered into a separate contract, which should help make operations more efficient. The additional flexibility can encourage agencies to use the largest acquisition programs in the government rather than writing an entirely new contact.

GSA Transactional Data Reporting Rule

The proposed rule from the GSA would require vendors to report the price the federal government paid for a service or item electronically. If the proposed rule were to be accepted. The GSA could then start to collect transactional data immediately on new government-wide acquisition contracts and multi-agency contracts. The GSA would remove tracking and reporting requirements that hindered efficiency. Changes to the multiple award schedule programs such as removing burdensome reporting requirements should ultimately serve as an efficient option to cut down costs.

GSA Commercial Supplier Agreement

As of right now, GSA is currently requesting comments on a proposed class deviation. GSA is looking to address 15 common Commercial Supplier Agreement terms and conditions that are felt to be inconsistent with or create ambiguity with federal law. The Commercial Supplier Agreements, also known as User Agreements, include terms that users must agree to before they can actually start to use a software program. The main goal of GSA is to remove ambiguity from these terms and conditions for all end users. Once the terms and conditions can be thoroughly reviewed and then negotiated, it would save GSA and the industry significant time from having to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis.

Acquisition Management from DHA

DHA’s extensive experience in federal acquisitions can help your business win and maintain government contracts. We provide expert guidance to our clients, with everything from creation of pre-award documents to assistance with post-award contract management. Contact us today to learn more.

DHA Group, Inc.

An award-winning management consulting and contracting firm primarily serving federal, civilian and defense agencies, DHA group supports clients’ mission-critical work by delivering expert professional services. Follow us on social media on FacebookLinkedInTwitter or Google+.

4 Tips for Securing a Government Contract

October 9th, 2015

There is unprecedented opportunity for a small business to secure a government contract. You may know the basic process on how to get a government contract, but you can save a lot of time with a few friendly tips. Let’s take a look at four tips that can help you secure a government contract.

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Securing your first government contract requires some know-how.

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IG Report Blames Rollout of Healthcare.gov on Lax Program Management

October 1st, 2015

The Inspector General recently released a report which places responsibility for the dysfunctional rollout of the HealthCare.gov website on lack of oversight and program management of contractors by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The report also exposed concerning unethical behavior in the ways in which major contracts were awarded. Learn more about this report in today’s blog.

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Program management is especially important when overseeing contractors.

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How Government Contractors Should Prepare For a Possible Government Shutdown

September 23rd, 2015

Rumors have been flying about a possible government shutdown coming on October 1st. While no one knows for sure whether the government shutdown will come to fruition, it is still wise for government contractors to establish a plan for what they will do in the case of a shutdown. Read on for ideas of what all contractors should do to prepare for a possible government shutdown.

government-shutdown

Smart contractors should create a plan for how they will weather a possible government shutdown.

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Why Federal Agencies Should Entrust Program Management to Local Contractors

September 17th, 2015

 Over the past decade, the movement to spend money locally has taken off. From locally grown produce to coffee that was roasted in your own neighborhood, consumers are becoming more and more concerned with ensuring that the money they spend benefits their community. While the Federal government has been a little slower to catch on, there are many reasons why government agencies should leave program management to local contractors. Read on to learn why Federal agencies should entrust their program management to local government contractors.

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Trusting program management to local contractors is a smart move.

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4 Things Your Small Business Needs to Get Government Contracts

September 10th, 2015

 

The first step in receiving government contracts is thorough preparation.

 

This is a process that can be difficult, but everything runs much more smoothly when you understand what is needed to get a government contract for your small business. Let’s take a look at a few aspects to keep in mind when you first get started.

 

government-contract

How can you help your small business win government contracts?

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Getting Started with Procuring Federal Contracts

September 2nd, 2015

 

There are nearly 40,000 active federal contract opportunities on the FBO website right now. As a contractor or subcontractor just getting started with federal procurement, this can seem like a blessing and a curse. The sheer number of contracts available sounds promising, but navigating the complicated world of federal contracting is by no means easy. Learn how to get started with federal contracts, below.

 

federal-contracts

Learn more about getting started with federal contracts, below.

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GSA Yelp Partnership Opens Up Agencies to Public Review 

August 27th, 2015

 

Do you want your complaints with public services like TSA and the IRS to be not only seen but also responded to in real time? GSA Yelp will now help fill that void.

 

The federal government wants the public to rate and rant about their experiences to try and help improve the performance of different branches.

 

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GSA and Yelp are partnering to make it easier for the public to review government agencies online.

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