Geospatial 101

Is your agency using GIS technology and data as decision support tools? Should you be? Do you even know what GIS technology is?

Well, you’re in luck: Michael DeMers, Professor of Geography at New Mexico State Universiry and Author of GIS for Dummies is moderating this can’t miss session:

GIS for DummiesGeospatial 101 – GIS as a Decision Support Tool

@ FOSE, Wednesday, July 20 | 2:00 PM

Washington Convention Center

Learn the right steps for designing and implementing a GIS system that really works and how to get buy-in for a GIS project from panelists Erik Johnson, NREMT-P, CPM, DC Fire & EMS Department; Jerry Johnston, PhD, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Tom Tricot, PhD, GISP, City of High Point, NC.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…you could win 1 of 5 signed copies of GIS for Dummies by simply re-tweeting the message below:

‘@FOSE speaker & @GeoSpatial2011 keynote Michael Demers is giving away 5 signed copies of his GIS for Dummies book! Simply RT to enter!’

P.S. – You can also hear Michael DeMers as keynote presenter of the Geospatial Summit September 13-14 in Herndon, VA!

Guest Blog: Mobile Risks

 Your mobile device is a treasure chest of valuable information for criminals…

Mobile computing is quickly changing the way we live and interact with the world around us.  While being connected to the world at all times makes us more efficient and productive in society, there are many security and privacy issues to take into consideration.

The threat model for mobile devices differs significantly from their larger desktop and laptop counterparts.  They travel everywhere with us, they are turned on at all times, and we use them to access a multitude of services.  We have a much better chance at losing an iPhone than a 27 inch iMac desktop computer.  Our smartphones contain all of our contacts, constant access to several email accounts, our social networks, our banks, corporate networks, and much more.  Your mobile devices know where you have been, who you were there with, and what you did with them.  Your mobile device is a treasure chest of valuable information for criminals and others with less than honorable intentions.  Often, a vulnerability in a single application can lead to a compromise of many services where there may be password reuse by a user or leaked Single Sign On (SSO) credentials.  A single piece of malicious software can extract everything about your life and potentially allow an attacker to pivot into your enterprise’s network.  This is bad.

As more companies move into the mobile space, we continue to see trends indicating that we have taken several steps backwards from a security perspective.  From both privacy and security perspectives, this is frightening.  In application security, we have cultivated a list of best practices over the years, many of which have been adopted as formal standards.  These include storing sensitive information encrypted, leveraging SSL for data in transit, and following the principles of least-privilege access.  We have not seen many of these best practices and “easy wins” replicated within the mobile application space.  As the “easy” issues are being neglected, we are simply not preparing ourselves to tackle the security challenges of more exotic mobile technologies and use cases that are being developed.

In many cases, security is being neglected as a result of racing new products to market to gain a competitive edge.  The difference between being first to market and finishing in second place can mean the world to a company.  At the same time, building your house out of straw instead of bricks will eventually come back to haunt you.  While balancing security requirements with usability is a constant juggling act that one must endure, organizations built for long-term success understand and embrace these challenges.

The harsh reality is that before we can get better, things will probably get much worse.  We have only scratched the surface of what is possible in mobile computing.  There will surely be many new risks and security obstacles to overcome in the next few years.  With technologies such as Near Field Communications (NFC) set to become integrated with virtually everything around us, these risks to businesses and organizations will become much more visible and widely exploited.

I encourage any individuals, government organizations, or companies developing mobile applications to pay close attention to how secure their applications are and how well they are protecting the data for their users. Security extends far beyond the mobile device itself; your infrastructure is vital to a secure mobile architecture as well, even if you do not host your own physical servers.  A serious security breach could place a huge financial and resource burden on your organization.  More importantly though, you owe it to your customers and users to do your absolute best to protect their privacy and personal information.

About Jack Mannino
Jack Mannino is the CEO of nVisium Security, a leading provider of mobile application and web application security services. At nVisium he is responsible for ensuring that all services are delivered at the highest levels of quality and with keen attention to detail. nVisium’s offerings include security source code reviews, penetration testing, remediation services, threat modeling, and developer training. He focuses on mobile application security research (especially Android), and is the co-leader of the OWASP Mobile Security Project. In addition to the Mobile Security Project, Jack is also heavily involved with the OWASP Northern Virginia Chapter where he serves as a member of the chapter’s board.

Join the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ Mobile Tour @ FOSE!

BlackBerry Playbook Truck

The BlackBerry Playbook Truck

Have you been following the launch of Blackberry®’s new multi-tasking, app-loving, web-rocking, ultra-portable tablet?

Well, if you’re like most folks, you probably want to know what it can do and how it stacks up to the competition. Look no further – the BlackBerry® Mobile Tour Truck will be at FOSE 2011 at the Washington Convention Center in DC July 19-21.

Hop on board the truck to experience everything this professional-grade tablet has to offer – from the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ Theater to demo stations and the BlackBerry® Bridge™ – it’s all on the truck at FOSE! Plus, stop by the BlackBerry® Power-Up Lounge to take a break, recharge yourself and your mobile device and find out how you could take home a brand new BlackBerry® PlayBook™!

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How Does the PlayBook Stack Up?

The Playbook’s interface and its capability in terms of memory, screen size and available programs could definitely fill a niche in the government according to Greg Crowe, technology analyst for Government Computer News magazine. For the entire article on how the Playbook™ could outperform the iPad in the government, click here.

We’re psyched to see the Truck in action on the show floor. So be sure to register for the FREE FOSE expo for your chance to check it out—and did we mention you could win a PlayBook™?

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Win One Today!

We’re giving away a #BlackBerry Playbook just for registering for FOSE! Find out how to enter: http://bit.ly/FOSEBB

FOSE Joins the Blogosphere

Welcome to the inaugural FOSE blog post! As the show director, it is my pleasure to welcome you to what we hope will become a continual, relevant and stimulating information exchange for government IT professionals.

Our top-notch event team is developing a truly new and unique FOSE conference & expo experience, and over the next 6 weeks, we’ll be sharing all the details with you, including:

Plus, we’ll be featuring guest posts from some of the most influential names in government IT on the topics you deal with every day.

So, stay tuned and we look forward to chatting with you soon! And, don’t forget to register today to make sure you’re part of the FOSE 2011 experience!

Suzanne Young
Show Director
FOSE Conference & Expo