Homeland 2012

March 1, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Small business must "decide what they want to be when they grow up," said experts at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference. If entrepreneurs don't take time to think through the vision for their start-up, it is unlikely that they will be able to choose the right partners, network with the right individuals or approach the right government agencies to obtain business, they agreed.

March 1, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

The National Capital Region, comprising Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland, is one of the busiest, most powerful and hence most complicated areas in the United States when it comes to security. Cathy Lanier, chief of police, District of Columbia, and James F. Schwartz, chief, Arlington County Fire Department, Virginia, emphasized that cooperation and coordination are essential no matter the size of the municipality or the threats it faces.

March 1, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Government may have been in the slow lane to accept social media as a viable conduit for sharing information, but agencies are now coordinating their efforts to ensure messages going out to the public can be trusted. Members of a panel discussing its uses at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference said the technologies that facilitate ubiquitous communications among the public are merely another change in generations of changes.

March 1, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Recent legislation is opening the doors for public safety organizations to do more in the wireless broadband realm. Among the benefits is improved collaboration among emergency service organizations and additional dollars that will be spent to improve communication capabilities.

March 1, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

The Honorable Charles E. Allen, former undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), stated that terrorism in the second decade of this century continues, but those groups that organized attacks are a shadow of their former selves. Allen, the initial Thursday speaker at AFCEA International's Homeland Security Conference warned, "We cannot declare victory."

February 29, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is rife with opportunities for the commercial sector, but companies should be aware that the rules of engagement are changing, or already have changed, in a number of instances, so they should thoroughly research upcoming contract awards.

February 29, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Amazing anecdotes kept the audience entertained during the lunch session at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference. The experts were speaking about a serious subject: cyberwar. But the stories about their hands-on experience in learning how to fight cyberwars, how they've fought cyberthreats and what they believe is needed to prepare future cyberwarriors kept conference attendees enthralled.

February 29, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

In a time when government agencies and industry must tighten their belts, it may be a cloak that saves the security day. AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference, panelist Tim Kelleher, vice president of professional services, BlackRidge Technology, shared details about his company's approach to stopping cybermarauders in their recon tracks.

February 29, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

While the general perception is that a cloud is a cloud, that won't be the case for government agencies. Experts revealed more specifics about federal, state and local migration to cloud computing during the first panel at AFCEA International's Homeland Security Conference.

February 29, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Paul A. Schneider, former deputy secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), kicked off the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference this morning by stating that not enough revenue has been allocated in the U.S. budget to fight all the cyberthreats, which are some of the most critical dangers facing the nation today.

February 28, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Responding to an emergency is just as crucial--and as technically complicated as--preventing one. Members of the final panel for the DHS 2012 Information Technology Industry Day discussed the importance of communications capabilities to mitigate the effects of a manmade or natural disaster and restore normalcy to an area.

February 28, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Although not claiming victory, the DHS has made some serious headway in improving cybersecurity, according to panelists discussing the topic at the DHS 2012 Information Technology Industry Day in Washington, D.C. Experts said the threats have not disappeared but rather have changed, and various DHS agencies have been learning how to better handle them.

February 28, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Members of the two morning panels at the DHS 2012 Information Technology Industry Day hammered home the need all DHS agencies have for information sharing and information security within a mobile environment; however, the agencies continue to face slow processes to put these capabilities into place.

February 28, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Richard Spires, chief information officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, kicked off DHS Industry Day by declaring that it is time to find the balance between the IT needs of individual DHS agencies and leveraging IT throughout the department as a whole. The department needs to take a "shared first" approach to commodities and then look at unique technologies the individual agencies need.

February 8, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor

Protecting any nation's citizens and institutions is difficult under any circumstances, but today's economic limitations make this task even more challenging. Government and business leaders will meet at the end of this month to tackle this topic during AFCEA International's 11th annual Homeland Security conference. Conference discussion topics include cloud computing, cyberwar, procurement, wireless broadband and social media. Small businesses' interaction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also will be explored. Coverage will begin on February 28.