This podcast episode was originally published as Meowing exposed databases. US indicts two Chinese nationals for hacking, and orders China to close its Houston consulate by The CyberWire Daily.

 

 

COVID-19 has ignited necessary modernization projects for government agencies, along with the push for necessary funding to see said projects through. Mike Schaub is information security manager from cloud management platform supplier CloudCheckr.

 

I think with the government, you’ve seen that they’ve struggled a bit with trying to scale up with the COVID-19 response and ran in some trouble with their systems. You know, some examples of that with the – you hear stories about the IRS looking for COBOL programmers, trying to get the stimulus checks printed and the unemployment websites being inundated with filings and just struggling to even keep up. So that’s – it’s caused a strain, you know, due to the unprecedented issues that COVID has put forth.

 

Where were these agencies before COVID hit? Where – in terms of being behind the eight ball or ahead of the game, where did they stand?

 

I think different agencies had – were in different places. There was definitely some looking towards modernization. And then in 2017, they were looking forward. They put out that Modernization (ph) Government Technology Act. It was signed into law. You know, it’d give the ability for agencies to start setting aside some funds towards modernization. But I think you’ve seen agencies have struggled to kind of advance these efforts or get that funding ’cause that did not come with funding within it. It just gave them a mechanism for creating funds, so they can set aside funds to use towards the modernization.

 

Now, in terms of the agencies reaching out, you know, to Congress to ask for more funding, are they being effective in that messaging? Is Congress being receptive?

 

Well, with COVID, in the House and the CARES Act, we saw it was proposed 3 billion towards modernization as part of the CARES Act. But in the end, it ended up only getting close to, like, 500 million of that passed towards modernization things. It’s coming up again with the HEROES Act, which has passed the House, but some doubt whether it will go beyond that. And that currently has another billion dollars towards modernization funding. So I think COVID’s helping to cause more discussion on this, but I think it may still remain to be seen if it will result in actual acceleration. And one of the things, too, with modernization – it tends to be an ongoing thing, too, so although that may give a boost to help with some that are far behind, the technology continues to evolve and change all the time.

 

Read the full transcript on The CyberWire Daily.

 

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