Paris Spotlights Soft Target Security

By William Flynn
The tactics used in the attacks in Paris last week require a recommitment in the homeland to heightening our vigilance of potential attacks. To support this, what were the tactics, techniques and procedures used in the Paris attacks from which we can draw applicable lessons for the United States?

Ten Things: Preparing for When ‘Bad Things’ Happen

In a recent post, legal expert Sterling Miller writes about the critical role SAFETY Act plays in effective emergency preparedness and liability coverage and notes Security Debrief contributor David Olive’s expertise on the subject.

As Drone Use Grows, Reps Eye Threat from Bioterrorism

The recent House Homeland Security Committee’s hearing on the threat from bioterrorism raised the troubling threat that drones could be used to deliver deadly pathogens. Do we have the tools to detect biological agents and the drones that might carry them? Nope.

Biodefense Blue Ribbon Panel Report Sends Strong Messages – Is Anyone Listening?

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense recently released its report following a year-long study of how America can and should address biological threats. It deserves serious attention by policy makers, health practitioners and political pundits. Why? Because the threat and impact of a biological “event” is not receiving sufficient attention.

The Intense Personalization of Caring

Everywhere I turn, I get the sense that people are thinking, “If I cannot control it, I don’t worry about it.” When I read the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, I wondered if DHS employees are expressing the same “why-should-I-care” messages that I have been hearing across the country.

A Congressional Hearing ‘Do-Over’ Done Very Well

A few weeks back, I recommended that the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies have a “do-over” of a hearing where the subject was private sector interaction with DHS S&T. The reason I recommended this was because the most successful private sector program at S&T – the SAFETY Act implementation – was never mentioned. On July 28, the same Subcommittee held that “do-over.”

After TSA Airport Failures, Security Versus the Economy

The recent DHS Inspector General test of TSA airport screening processes revealed a 95% failure rate. To improve, tradeoffs will have to be made, and they all have costs. How much the failure rate changes will depend on how much people will want to pay.

Human Factors – A Prerequisite for a DHS CVE Office

The proposed Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015 (H.R. 2899) could benefit from a bit more study and debate. The bill would create a CVE Office within DHS, filling a hole that should not exist in DHS. It was not always this way.

Rethinking Countering Violent Extremism Programs

The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on what the federal government is doing to counter terrorism; the Committee also passed the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Act of 2015. Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) is yet another acronym in the fight against terrorism and perhaps another chance to get it right.

United, NYSE and WSJ Glitches Were Not a Cyber Attack

There’s an old axiom in science and statistics: correlation does not imply causation. Sometimes what walks and talks like a duck isn’t actually a duck. Technical glitches on Wednesday sure looked like a cyber attack…but they weren’t. Here’s how we know.