WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

Blog archive

You be the editor

We often describe Washington Technology as a community publication, but it is a community defined by a marketplace, not by a location.

No matter how the community has been defined, the nature of the relationship is often one-way. We want to change that.

In that spirit, I'd like to use this blog as an opportunity for people to suggest story ideas. I'm not talking about marketing pitches that tout how great a company is. What I'm looking for are ideas that get at the story behind the story. What are the burning issues and trends that are affecting the market as a whole.

These can be event driven. Perhaps there are insights we've missed about a policy change or an acquisition. Or there is an emerging business area that we haven't written about. Maybe there is another ranking we should do like our annual Top 100 list.

What we want to do is make our stories and the information on our Web site more insightful and more meaningful.

Post your comments here or send me an e-mail at nwakeman@1105govinfo.com.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on May 28, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Reader Comments

Tue, Jun 3, 2008 James Wingate WV

I suggest stories on the threat from insider use of digital steganography to steal sensitive or classified information. Threat perception is extraordinarily low due to lack of any widely publicized breaches involving steganography. But its a paradox because no one knows how much steg is being used, and how much data is being exfiltrated through the use of steg, because no one is looking for it. I refer to it as "Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Steganography" to use the format of Verton's book (Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyberterrorism).Naysays will claim its not being used because there are too many other, easier ways to steal information. While I will be the first to agree that not all insiders who have gone bad will use steg, I believe there are some that are using it. The bottomline is that no one who uses it will ever be caught if countermeasures to the threat are never deployed. To get agencies to want to deploy the countermeasures, the threat perception has to be raised. WT can help in that regard by publishing articles on the threat.

Mon, Jun 2, 2008 Eric Winchenbach MC LEAN VA

IBM Software Group's Federal organization has, for over a year now, been offering (free of charge) mentoring towards different levels of SOA certification. While the organizing principle of the program is to help students obtain SOA certifications, a valuable by-product of the sessions is an organic users group kind of community that has sprung up. I think it would be worthwhile to profile this program, and let members of the Federal ecosystem know that it exists and is free. It's a great way to compare notes and current thinking on SOA in an open dialog.

Thu, May 29, 2008 Michael Lent DC

In many industry and government colleagues' minds WT is a "trade publication," perhaps an old-fashioned term and not inconsistent with the "community" concept and very valuable in its chosen role.To add more value--and readers--suggest that you swear off 2/3 of stories based on press releases by industry or controlled releases of info by the government, e.g., audit reports, UNLESS you can add some additional facts. For instance, in a contract win story, the losing competitors are usually omitted--but can be identified with digging, as you well know. Links to the latest version of the RFP, online from the agency (rare) or by your FOIA request months before would be great. Re government audits, add some reactions from the government and industry ox's that are gored or perhaps from a Congressperson who's pertinent. It won't be hard to find talkers. Thanks for the chance to make suggestions. Michael Lent, Editor & Publisher, Government Services Insider

Thu, May 29, 2008 Kate Donahue UT

Due to the proliferation of encryption throughout Enterprises, many organizations are having difficulty keeping track of the digital certificates and encryption keys they have in their infrastructure. In fact, many organizations have self-signing certificates which aren't on their radar. How does the Federal Government intend to protect itself from critical system downtime, inefficiencies and risks due to the manual processes currently in place to track, manage, renew/revoke these important security measures that they have already spent money on but which are ineffective due to cumbersome management?

Thu, May 29, 2008 Mike Jeffrey FALLS CHURCH VA

Couple of ideas:1) Managed services (infrastructure and SAAS) are being embraced by Commercial customers, but adoption is slow in the Federal Sector. Suggest you highlight Managed Services successes in the Federal Sector and the factors that helped the agency get over the reluctance to adopt.2) Since WT's primary audience is industry, how about some interviews with agency CIO's highlighting some good and bad experience in dealing with industry partners?

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