IT | Security

Whitehouse Announces Digital Government Strategy

By: Absolute Team | 6/11/2012

The Whitehouse recently launched the Digital Government Strategy to offer "better digital services to the American people." The mobile initiative would make a move toward open data and web APIs with agencies releasing data to the public and setting up developer pages for new tools to be built around this data. The initiative would also address how the Federal government is making use of mobile technology in its own workforce.

The new strategy calls for a new centralized advisory group to ensure data is shifted from agency silos into the shared-platform culture. For example, the current Web technology in the Federal government uses 150 distinct implementations of 42 separate systems for Web content over 250 distance hosting providers. The strategy should find more efficiencies in its co-ordinated approach to data sharing, if nothing else.

The Digital Government Strategy builds upon 4 strategies:

  • An information-centric approach
  • A shared-platform approach
  • A customer-centric approach
  • A platform of security and privacy

In terms of the latter, the Digital Government Strategy aims to ensure that innovation happens in a way that is both safe and secure for information and privacy. As the strategy states:

Architecting for openness and adopting new technologies have the potential to make devices and data vulnerable to malicious or accidental breaches of security and privacy. They also create challenges in providing adequate notice of a user’s rights and options when providing personally identifiable information (PII)...

To support information sharing and collaboration, we must build in security, privacy, and data protection throughout the entire technology life cycle. To promote a common approach to security and privacy, we must streamline assessment and authorization processes, and support the principle of “do once, use many times”. We must also adopt new solutions in areas such as continuous monitoring, identity, authentication, and credential management, and cryptography that support the shift from securing devices to securing the data itself and ensure that data is only shared with authorized users...

The plan addresses the challenges associated with a mobile workforce, as we discuss often in our BYOD topics, including threat vectors from applications and data stored on the devices as well as employee-based risks (theft / loss). As noted by various IT experts cited on CIO, government agencies and enterprises need to develop mobile device management policies and employee training programs to support and enforce the security settings placed on mobile devices.

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