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Joseph Marks

Senior Correspondent Joseph Marks covers cybersecurity for Nextgov. He previously covered cybersecurity for Politico, intellectual property for Bloomberg BNA and federal litigation for Law360. He covered government technology for Nextgov during an earlier stint at the publication and began his career at Midwestern newspapers covering everything under the sun. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a master’s in international affairs from Georgetown University.
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Senator Seeks Answers on Poor IT Vetting at OPM

July 13, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The top Democrat on the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee wants to know what steps the Office of Personnel Management is taking to get all of its information systems properly vetted. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., also wants to know by Aug. 3 when each of those steps will be completed, according...

Here’s Why a U.S.-Russia Cyber Working Group Could Do Some Good

July 12, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow President Donald Trump first announced and then stepped back from a plan to consult with the Russian government on cybersecurity this week, prompting jeers from critics who say it could be dangerously counterproductive to sit down with America’s greatest cyber adversary. Trump’s idea was not all bad, however, numerous cyber...

House Homeland Budget Plans $1.8B for Cyber Unit, Cuts Research

July 12, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A House budget bill for the Homeland Security Department, released late Tuesday, would commit about $1.8 billion for DHS’ main cyber wing. That’s roughly consistent with 2017 fiscal year funding and with $1.8 billion in discretionary funding for the National Protection and Programs Directorate included in President Donald Trump’s May...

Here’s How Comics Can Boost Cyber Training

July 11, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Having trouble getting those abstract cybersecurity concepts across to your students or employees? Try web comics. During a Homeland Security Department conference Tuesday, the company Secure Decisions presented a new interactive tool it’s developed that allows companies and educators to lay out cybersecurity lessons into interactive web comics without hiring...

2 Years After Massive Breach, OPM Isn’t Sufficiently Vetting IT Systems

July 10, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow More than two years after suffering a massive data beach, the Office of Personnel Management still isn’t sufficiently vetting many of its information systems, an auditor found. In some cases, OPM is past due to re-authorize IT systems, the inspector general’s audit said. In other cases, OPM did reauthorize those...

DOD Won’t Automatically Encrypt External Emails Until 2018

July 7, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Pentagon expects to be fully migrated by mid-2018 to an updated email gateway that will ramp up security protections, including automatically encrypting emails between Defense Department accounts and other organizations, according to a DOD official’s correspondence. DOD computers currently use the protection, called STARTTLS, on a case-by-case basis but...

Thousands Hit in Tax Preparer Phishing Attacks This Year

July 6, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Phishing scams have compromised the personal information of thousands of taxpayers already this year, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday. During the first five months of this year, 177 tax preparers or firms reported data thefts, the tax agency said. The IRS is also receiving three to five digital data...

International Group Aims to Protect the Core of the Public Internet

July 6, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An international cybersecurity commission is asking researchers to help it map out the core of the public internet and critical infrastructure that should be protected from digital meddling by national intelligence services and other groups. The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace announced it’s forming a research advisory group...

NSA: Help Us Train Next-Gen Cyber Feds

July 5, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The National Security Agency is re-upping a call for $5.5 million in grant money for new plans for teaching future generations of federal cybersecurity workers. Grants will go to syllabi, course materials, hands-on labs, labs and other cyber training materials focused on computer networking, cyber threats and vulnerabilities, risk management...

DHS Workers Left Unsecured Laptops and Passwords on Their Desks

July 3, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Homeland Security Department offices are dropping the ball on information security controls, according to a pair of audits released last week. Auditors with the firm KPMG walked through offices and cubicles of staff for the DHS chief information officer and chief financial officer after work hours and found unsecured laptops...