Stories by Diane Frank

Career Turning Points: Zero in on Business Impact

Within five years of moving into IT management, Jay Kerley found his purpose: working with the business to affect business outcomes and results. And he set his sights on the CIO role when it became clear that the best way to create change and effect a business impact on as wide a scale as possible is to have that executive-level, strategic role. "With a CIO's cross-division view of processes, you are in the position to shift and turn the company," says Kerley, who was promoted to the position of deputy CIO at Applied Materials in 2009.

Career Turning Point: CIOs Can't be Just One of the Guys

All it took for Michael Whitmer to know that IT was the place he wanted to be was a visit to IBM (IBM) in eighth grade. Surrounded by green-screen terminals and row upon row of tapes, he was hooked. Being fortunate enough in 1978 to attend the only high school in his county to offer computer classes solidified the calling. "It's the immediate satisfaction that you get from technology," he says. "You know when you write a program whether it works or not, and that's a fundamental driving force." Through high school, he pushed and prodded to find opportunities, then majored in computer science in college and found a co-op opportunity with AT&T that enabled him to work in the field while still in school. But having that passion for technology didn't fully prepare him for being a CIO.

GSA Revises Proposal for Cyberalert System

The U.S. General Services Administration has taken the first step toward putting in place a contract to enhance the government's ability to detect and share information about computer system intrusions.

Federal Security Misses the Mark

Rep. Stephen Horn, a Republican from California, gave the government a D-minus in his first set of grades issued on the state of agencies' computer security practices.

NIST Guides Civilian Infosec Buys

The National Institute of Standards and Technology late last week released its final guidelines on civilian agency procurement of information security products.

Human Resources Gets GSA Revamp

The human resources department has a hand in almost everything an agency does, from benefits to payroll to staffing. So a few years ago, when the U.S. General Services Administration found that only a few people knew how to use its legacy HR system that was taking up to 12 hours to deliver information, the agency decided it was time to scrap it.

One If by Phone, Two If by Fax

Recognizing that e-mail is not the best tool for alerting agencies about e-mail-borne viruses, the federal government is developing a system to send out emergency security notices via phone and fax.

Getting a Grip on Handheld Security

The appearance of the first malicious code targeting the Palm Inc. computing platform last week awoke many people to the fact that handheld computers need security just like any other computer.

CIO Council Goes on Offense

With time running out before the new fiscal year begins, the CIO Council plans to issue two memorandums within the next two weeks to agencies and Congress that urge putting in place policies that would better secure government computers.

Select Seating at the Table

The federal government proposes coordinating its response to cyberattacks with a structure in which agency officials know exactly who should be involved and the responsibilities of each.

DOT, Airlines Join to Pressure Congress

The U.S. Department of Transportation and airline industry stakeholders announced this week that they will work together to pressure Congress for funding to finish modernizing the air traffic control system on schedule.

White House: Hill isn't Funding Security Needs

Citing growing risk to the country from both cyber and physical threats, Clinton administration officials say they are disappointed that U.S. Congress is shooting down plans to fund new and existing programs that would help agencies counter such threats. Funding for counterterrorism and critical infrastructure protection programs often reaches beyond the agencies to which money is assigned, officials said. Although that is good for agencies, it makes it more difficult for congressional appropriators to understand how the programs fit into their jurisdictions.

Commuting from 'Anywhere'

Federal employees who telecommute will soon have a new vehicle for mobile computing products and services at their fingertips.

E-Sign Rules Open for Comment

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget is looking for comments on draft guidance that will help agencies understand and use the new electronic signature legislation passed by Congress in June.