Last week, I was privileged to attend the 5th annual conference of the Center for a New American Security. This year’s conference had a series of excellent panels that pushed through some of the most important issues facing the Nation. Bottom line, the conference overall was a winner. It was very well administered; the content was far superior to the normal Washington affairs.
Homeland Security Industry
June 7th, 2011 - by Steven Bucci
June 7th, 2011 - by L. Vance Taylor
Last week, I wrote a blog post, The Final ‘Frontier’ in Corporate Shame, which focused on Frontier Airlines’ lack of sensitivity concerning the accommodation of first-responders during times of national crisis. To their credit, Frontier Airlines has since recognized that there are internal gaps within their corporate policies that prevent them from providing better service to those responding to recognized catastrophes.
I have closely watched the reaction to the Obama Administration’s recent moves on cyberspace – 20th century mentalities dealing with a 21st century problem. This frontier is without rules or rulers. However, we have not only a national stake in cyberspace through our defense structure; we also have a vast commercial stake with our banking, electrical and other major national industries depending on its viability and safety. We are at the end of the beginning of cyberspace and the lawless frontier.
As a Life Flight helicopter pilot residing just outside of Joplin, Missouri; my father-in-law knew he would be needed to help airlift critically wounded victims of the recent tornado to nearby medical facilities. What he didn’t know is that according to Frontier Airlines, his duty to save lives isn’t as important as their corporate refund policy. This speaks to a larger issue. More and more there is a greater recognition that in the realm of homeland security, there are no bystanders.
May 27th, 2011 - by Steven Bucci
In the last few weeks, the Obama White House has made some bold moves in the cyber arena. It has been quite a while coming. Delayed gratification seems to be the strategy with regard to cyber. Well, after a few weeks, most of us are still confused. Industry players are back in the starter blocks, ready to dash, but they still have not divined the Obama Administration’s direction for cyber to a degree that will allow them to move forward.
May 26th, 2011 - by Patrick Shen
On March 31, the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security released the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding worksite enforcement of immigration laws in the event of a DOL investigation of labor dispute. So who cares, one might ask? We care because this is yet another reminder of the difficult task employers have to balance the interest of immigration compliance and managing labor relations.
It has been a busy couple of days for me, but they have been good ones. I flew down to Maxwell AFB in Alabama to offer the Industry Perspective on Cyber as part of the AF Cyber Operations Executive Course. I also served as moderator for an Executive Luncheon sponsored by the Homeland Security and Defense Business Council, where the guest was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, the Honorable Paul Stockton.
Regardless of circumstance or event, be it flood, fire, tornado or terror, the American Red Cross has always been there. With the release of the Ready Rating Program, the American Red Cross has once again shown their capacity to do just about anything they set their mind too. When you compare this effort to those of DHS in its Private Sector Preparedness (PS-Prep) Program, it’s not even a fair comparison.
The cyber conference world continues to grow. There are several dozen cyber-specific events in the next few weeks. This is indicative of a couple things. First, it shows the entire cyber field is still growing unabated and that we are taking it seriously, and second, it shows that lots of conference builders are riding the train. For my part, I’ll be participating in some upcoming cyber events this month.
Many are still fighting what they see as the “good fight” to keep social media (Facebook, Twitter and their ilk) banned from enterprise computer networks. But I’m a security guy. Why am I defending social media when nearly everyone who has any knowledge of this subject says they introduce potential vulnerabilities into networks? It is because I am also a realist. Social Media does introduce vulnerabilities, but we are not going to live without it.
May 6th, 2011 - by Steven Bucci
The leadership of the Financial Sector has met in Miami to discuss and learn how to improve their cyber security posture. The financial sector is frankly one of the most lucrative targets available to cyber criminals and other miscreants. For a nation like ours, which is built on democratic capitalism, what sector carries more symbolic value than the financial sector?
It’s important to recognize when a company puts moral responsibility ahead of quarterly profits. Such is the case of Anheuser-Busch, which, following the aftermath of last month’s deadly tornadoes that killed more than 300 people in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, began filling beer cans with the world’s greatest substance: water.
April 28th, 2011 - by Chris Battle
The congressional mandate to screen not only domestic U.S. air cargo but now also screen 100 percent of all international inbound cargo continues to confound cargo carriers, freight forwarders and shippers. A recent article in Air Cargo World summed up U.S. and international views of different parties in the aviation supply chain — the consensus, in a nutshell, being confusion. I had the opportunity to offer a few comments
April 27th, 2011 - by Ronald Marks
I love watching the latest fool-proof Internet technologies and buzz words come along. Sadly, our homeland security is tied to these new technologies, and we are made more vulnerable as a result. Recently, Amazon quietly admitted there was a failure in their system. A failure, by the way, that mucked up not only their works but plenty of others as well.
April 26th, 2011 - by Steven Bucci
This past week, McAfee, in conjunction with CSIS, released a report titled, “In the Dark: Crucial Industries Confront Cyberattacks” at the National Press Club. The threats to control systems and other critical infrastructure are severe and changing and while words have been expended on the subject, precious little action to actually protect it has been taken. The report revealed this and other insights.
April 20th, 2011 -
The Department of Homeland Security today announced the launch of a new terror alert system. You can learn more at the DHS website, where a page dedicated to the new National Terrorism Advisory System outlines system. New alerts will also be posted to this same page.
April 18th, 2011 - by Rich Cooper
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the BP Oil Spill occurred. There are a lot of important voices to be heard, but for me, the most important one comes from the man who led the months-long response efforts, Admiral Thad Allen, the former Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
March 24th, 2011 - by Guest Contributor
By Doug Doan
The FDA has decided to start monitoring the radiation levels of Japanse Exports. No doubt the announcement was carefully constructed to make Americans feel better about the food they eat, while simultaneously reminding everyone that the FDA is on the job of food safety. It might just work too. Most Americans, have absolutely no idea how products are screening at our various Ports of Entry before they enter the United States. But for anyone that has been around a bit, the FDA announcement can only be viewed with intense skepticism.
Last week, I wrote about the two main tribes that face off against each other when we discuss or try to do cybersecurity. These are the Wooly Headed Wonks and the Propeller Headed Geeks. But if the Wonks are mainly lawyers and political science/international relations types, there is a sub-tribe of behavioral social scientists. America and her allies have the people to deal with the challenges of cybersecurity; we simply need to get them all in harness and pulling together.
March 17th, 2011 - by Chris Battle
The TSA is still engaged in a game of intellectual Twister, bending every which way to meet an impossible congressional mandate that it enforce the screening of 100 percent of all cargo — domestic as well as international. The new suggested deadline shoots for all inbound cargo to be screened by December. God bless the TSA for continuing in its creative efforts to meet the mandate without undermining security, provoking allies and clogging commerce.