DC: Cybersecurity Spurs NSA to Plan 3,000 Hires

Washington DCNSA Will Hire 3,000 in Cybersecurity Push: The NSA says it will hire as many as 3,000 people over the next two years, many in cybersecurity. NSA recruiters even went to Las Vegas recently to scout at DefCon. “We really need people who can solve hard problems,” says Dickie George, the technical director of the Information Assurance Directorate at NSA. Federal News Radio

VA Adds Tablets to Latest Contract: The Department of Veterans Affairs is specifying several tablet devices and systems including Android, iPad, BlackBerry and Windows gadgets in its Commodity Enterprise Contract. RFPs are due August 26th. The contract will be an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, multiple-award delivery order for both hardware and software, and the first phase will cover desktops, laptops, servers, switches, routers and storage appliances, tables and light laptops. Washington Technology

IBM Protests VA’s Latest Contract Winners: Speaking of the VA, IBM has filed a protest with the GAO to challenge the awards for its latest $12 billion information technology contract. More than 90 companies bid on the Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology contract to provide a variety of systems and services. IBM says the awards were improper. The GAO has until November 10 to rule. Federal Times

IT Cutbacks Loom: Government agencies are beginning to change or delay IT projects as they plan for projected budget cuts. The Social Security Administration will delay some initiatives, the Navy and Marine Corps expect their budgets to be slashed by 25 percent, and the U.S. Agency for International Development is moving away from a contractor model toward more permanent federal employees. Vivek Kundra, the outgoing U.S. CIO, has said agencies should change or cancel projects that fail to deliver within six months. Federal Times

Congress Is to Blame for Cybersecurity Weakness: Although cybersecurity has been a presidential priority since 1998, not much has happened to improve it since then. “Despite the actions taken by several successive administrations and the executive branch agencies, significant challenges remain to enhancing the protection of cyber-reliant critical infrastructures,” Gregory Wilshusen, GAO’s director of information security issues, said at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. “The threats to information systems are evolving and growing, and systems supporting our nation’s critical infrastructure are not sufficiently protected to consistently thwart the threats.” Government Computer News

LivingSocial IPO May Go Slow: Recent market fluctuations may cause many IPOs to be delayed, says Scott Gehsmann, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Those may include D.C.-based LivingSocial, a coupon site tha’s a direct competitor to Groupon. In fact, Groupon’s eagerly anticipated IPO may be delayed, as well. The Washington Post

The Army Wants to Be Energy Independent: An Army task force will seek out renewable energy products to deal with energy security problems, rising fuel prices and federal mandates. The Energy Initiatives Office Task Force will look for ways to reach the Army’s goal of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. The numbers are huge. The Army will spend $7.1 billion over the next 10 years to generate 2.1 million megawatt hours of power annually. Federal Computer Week

Why Not Sell Ads on .gov Websites? The federal government is contemplating selling ad space on its Web pages as a way to make money. Federal guidelines prohibits commercial advertising on all dot-gov pages, but several parties are urging that the government consider revising or repealing the ban. Right now, all dot-gov pages are under a freeze and review phase in order to simplify the government’s online presence. One way states have gotten around the ban is to create dot-com pages and place ads on them. NextGov