The Boston Marathon bombing was the first terror attack on a sporting event since the 1996 Olympic Games. It was a terrible reminder that violent extremists are constantly seeking targets that capture public attention but are difficult to secure. Enter DHS’ Best Practices in Anti-Terrorism Security (BPATS) guide.
By David Z. Bodenheimer
The U.S. federal government’s acquisition rules and buying practices have a direct impact upon major segments of the U.S. and global marketplaces. Cybersecurity Executive Order 13636 and Presidential Policy Directive 21 both recognize that the federal acquisition process must be addressed as part of the overall federal strategy for enhancing cybersecurity. It is time to harmonize the cyber acquisition regulations.
While ISIS is capturing national concern, Iraq is not the only place where terrorist activities are happening this month. Earlier in June, Tarheek-e Taliban attacked the Karachi, Pakistan airport. What is striking is the terrorists were found with a gunshot wound U.S. military technology called XStat, which had only just been approved by the FDA. How did terrorists get this new technology?
Increasing adoption of cyber insurance products and frequent cyber-related initiatives across the insurance and risk world has been incredibly positive. Yet, many companies that are not consumer-facing are struggling with the insurability of their increased exposure. The insurance industry needs to embrace this evolving reality.
By Gary Warner
This week, President Obama unveiled a set of guidelines issued by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology and a new public-private partnership program. While I join with others in applauding Mr. Obama’s creativity in making progress in protecting our nation’s cyber infrastructure, it is important to note what is and what is not being addressed by these guidelines. Where, for example, does the Target Breach fall?
Last Thursday, a chemical storage tank leaked about 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into the Elk River, just one mile upstream from the West Virginia American Water plant. Thankfully, the water plant owner was forward thinking enough to invest in preparedness before an immediate need arose. This undoubtedly helped the plant respond to the chemical leak. Something tells me there’s a lesson there.
The United States might look less welcoming to foreign investment these days. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has ceased operations temporarily. Foreign investors seeking the “safe harbor” that CFIUS approval confers will have to wait until CFIUS resumes operations in order to close acquisitions of U.S. companies.
The Office of the Chief Procurement at DHS sent a “heads-up” notice that ought to get more than passing interest from the private sector. Yesterday, DHS posted a Request for Information on FedBizOpps seeking comments and suggestions on the data fields in the DHS Acquisition Planning Forecast System (APFS). DHS officials have repeatedly promised to update the APFS and make it more user-friendly, and this RFI is evidence they are sticking to their promise.
For several years, Security Debrief contributors have joined Francis Rose on Federal News Radio to discuss security issues and the role of the Federal government. For the homeland and national security crowd, In Depth with Francis Rose offers insightful and informative discussions, and there is a growing audience of listeners outside the Beltway. Recently, the news and talk radio magazine TALKERS added Francis Rose to its annual list of the top 250 talk show hosts in America.
A significant part of America’s homeland security efforts is preparing to resist, mitigate and recover from disasters manmade and natural. With the private sector owning the vast majority of U.S. infrastructure, as well as the critical role businesses play in the community and the economy, private sector preparedness has long been a priority, since the 9/11 Commission issued its final report. It has taken a long time, however, for DHS’ Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program to gain momentum.