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By Scott Blasenak, Director of MicroAge Government Solutions
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Based on recent government directives, including the one urging federal agencies to implement robust safeguards for using Artificial Intelligence (AI) by December 1, 2024, MicroAge Government Solutions is here to help our clients confidently embrace AI technology.

The announcement of the OMB Policy to Advance Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management in Federal Agencies’ Use of Artificial Intelligence signifies a pivotal moment in the intersection of technology and governance.

To help you navigate these policies, we will provide overviews of the OMB Policy for AI alongside Executive Order 14110, which emphasizes enhancing cybersecurity measures, a summary of federal agencies’ challenges in implementing these directives, and key areas to focus on.

Overview of OMB Policy for AI

The OMB Policy sets forth concrete safeguards that federal agencies must adhere to when deploying Artificial Intelligence technologies that could impact citizens’ rights or safety. These safeguards encompass a range of mandatory actions, including the reliable assessment, testing, and monitoring of AI’s impacts, the mitigation of algorithmic discrimination risks, and the provision of transparency into government AI usage. The policy underscores the importance of ethical and responsible AI adoption, emphasizing transparency, accountability, and fairness in decision-making processes within government operations.

Overview of Executive Order 14110

Executive Order 14110, or the Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence, was issued on October 30, 2023. It establishes principles and guidelines to ensure the responsible implementation of AI across various sectors. Key components include promoting innovation while safeguarding against potential risks, fostering public trust through transparency and accountability measures, and prioritizing AI systems that align with democratic values and respect for human rights. To effectively address AI-related challenges, the order calls for collaboration among government agencies, industry stakeholders, and international partners. Additionally, it underscores the importance of maintaining U.S. leadership in AI research and development while upholding ethical standards.

Implementation Challenges for Cybersecurity and AI Directives

These directives are critical in advancing innovation and strengthening our Nation’s security. They directly impact federal agencies’ ability to leverage Artificial Intelligence technologies effectively while ensuring the security and privacy of citizens’ data. However, the following areas may make addressing them internally challenging:

  • Complexity of AI Implementation: Implementing Artificial Intelligence technologies in a government setting can be complex and require specialized expertise. Federal agencies may lack the internal resources or expertise to effectively deploy and manage AI systems while ensuring compliance with ethical and regulatory requirements.
  • Cybersecurity Risks: The use of AI introduces new cybersecurity risks, such as algorithmic bias, privacy concerns, and potential vulnerabilities in AI systems. Federal IT and cybersecurity managers must navigate these risks while ensuring the security and integrity of government networks, systems, and data.
  • Compliance Requirements: The OMB Policy for AI and Executive Order 14110 impose specific requirements and safeguards that federal agencies must adhere to when deploying AI technologies and enhancing cybersecurity measures. Compliance with these directives requires significant time, resources, and expertise, which may be challenging for agencies with limited budgets and personnel.
  • Lack of Collaboration: Effective implementation of AI and cybersecurity measures often requires collaboration and information sharing among government agencies, industry partners, and cybersecurity experts.

Failure to address these challenges internally can lead to compliance violations, cybersecurity breaches, and reputational damage to the agency and our government as a whole.

Key Recommendations for AI Governance

Given the opportunity AI presents and the critical nature of securing its adoption, here are some key areas to focus on when implementing AI… or any new technology, for that matter.

  • Establish Robust Governance Frameworks: Ensure transparency, accountability, and fairness in deciding what role AI will play in your organizational processes through the implementation of comprehensive governance frameworks.
  • Conduct Regular Risk Assessments: Continuously assess and mitigate risks associated with AI deployment, including algorithmic bias, privacy concerns, and cybersecurity threats.
  • Invest in Cybersecurity Measures: Strengthen cybersecurity protocols, frameworks, and incident response capabilities to safeguard government networks, systems, and data against evolving threats.
  • Embrace Collaboration: Foster collaboration and information sharing among government agencies, industry partners, and cybersecurity experts to enhance collective defense against cyber threats.

How MicroAge Can Help

MicroAge Government Solutions is committed to supporting federal agencies in complying with these directives. Our expertise in cybersecurity and AI allows us to guide agencies in developing and implementing robust governance frameworks and risk management strategies tailored to your specific needs. Through solutions like the MicroAge AI Readiness Assessment, we offer enhanced governance and compliance for AI usage, coupled with expert-led assessments and guidance to ensure the security and integrity of government AI deployments.

As federal agencies embark on the journey to secure AI adoption, MicroAge Government Solutions serves as a trusted partner, providing the expertise, resources, and support needed to navigate this evolving landscape with confidence and resilience. Together, we can advance innovation while safeguarding the rights and safety of all citizens.

Need Help Navigating Your AI Adoption?

Let’s talk

Our AI and Cybersecurity experts are ready to help. Contact our MicroAge Government Solutions team or call (800) 544-8877.

“As the Director of MicroAge Government Solutions, Scott leads a highly experienced team of account executives, engineers, and partners that serve our public clients across the US. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Scott has honed his expertise in various areas, including cybersecurity, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. As a trusted advisor at MicroAge, Scott leverages his extensive background to guide clients through the ever-evolving landscape of technology, helping them navigate complex challenges and identify strategic opportunities for growth.”

Scott BlasenakDirector of MicroAge Government Solutions

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