News Briefs

April 14, 2015

The Electronic Security Association (ESA), a professional trade association that represents the electronic life safety and security industry, launched a website geared at connecting people interested in careers in the security with companies that are hiring. GetIntoSecurity.com includes a resources section for job hunters, a resources section for career and guidance counselors, and descriptions of the types of security industry jobs available to students, military veterans and retirees. 

March 31, 2015
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced the first 26 recipients of the 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies program grants.

March 23, 2015
By Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Department of Agriculture have been named co-chairs of the Broadband Opportunity Council, a new federal government initiative aimed at increasing broadband investment and reducing barriers to broadband deployment and adoption. The council includes 25 federal agencies and departments that will engage with industry and other stakeholders to identify ways the government can better support the needs of communities seeking broadband investment.

March 23, 2015
By Maryann Lawlor
The WASUB team prepares for the Undersea Defence Technology 2015 competition.

A team of students from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, will use this year's Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) exhibition to present a revolutionary man-powered submarine. The group, known as WASUB, designed the craft to break the world speed record for a single-person propeller-driven submarine.

March 18, 2015
By Maryann Lawlor

More than 50 percent of the video surveillance data the federal government collects is not being analyzed. This fact may not be surprising since cameras appear to be everywhere these days, and the amount of data they gather is so huge it’s unwieldy. But MeriTalk, the public-private partnership that conducted a survey of 151 federal decision makers, likens this situation to government agencies seeing only half a movie: They would have challenges following the plot and leveraging the information to achieve the goal—improved security.

March 18, 2015
By George I. Seffers
The eyes have it in the Asia Pacific region, the fastest growing market for biometrics technology.

Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), London, United Kingdom, a market intelligence and analysis firm, estimates the biometric market in the Asia-Pacific region is worth $1.1 billion this year and will reach $3.3 billion by 2025. The projected increase represents a compound annual growth rate of 11.3 percent.

March 11, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has announced its first business accelerator program, EMERGE!, aimed at entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that address the unique needs of the homeland security community and whose wearable technologies could be adapted for first responder operations.

March 11, 2015
By George I. Seffers

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, announced this week a major research initiative called HEAT (Homomorphic Encryption, Applications and Technology), which will pilot advanced cryptographic technologies that enable European citizens and businesses to process sensitive data in encrypted form.

Homomorphic encryption offers the ability to process sensitive information in encrypted form, without needing to decrypt it first, which can compromise privacy and security.

March 5, 2015
By George I. Seffers
Systems competing in the DARPA robotics challenge must demonstrate the ability to help humans in case of emergency.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released a list of 25 teams to perform in the finals of the DARPA Robotics Challenge to be held June 5-6, 2015, at Fairplex in Pomona, California, outside of Los Angeles. Human-robot teams will be tested on capabilities that could enable them to provide assistance in future natural and man-made disasters.

Fourteen new teams from Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and the United States qualified to join 11 previously announced teams. The roboteams will vie for a chance to win one of three cash prizes totaling $3.5 million.

February 25, 2015
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Defense Department officials repeatedly tout the virtues of innovation and emphasize that the United States must retain technological superiority over potential adversaries, but a group of 144 universities today warned the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that pending legislation to address patent litigation abuses is so broadly drawn that it would weaken the nation’s patent system and hinder the flow of groundbreaking advances from universities to the private sector.

February 19, 2015
NIST researchers developed this directional 16-antenna array to support modeling of wireless communications channels at 83 gigahertz.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are developing measurement tools for new mobile communications channels that could offer more than 1,000 times the bandwidth of today’s cellphone systems. The research aims to resolve burgeoning bandwidth demands associated with the rapid expansion of wireless devices. Boosting bandwidth and capacity could speed downloads, improve service quality and enable new applications like the Internet of Things connecting a multitude of devices.

February 5, 2015

Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, USA, Army chief information officer/G-6, has unveiled the publication of the Army Network Campaign Plan (ANCP). The ANCP is described as the overarching game plan that will drive the Army’s focus and unify the service’s effort to optimize operational effectiveness and increase network and information security while achieving increased efficiencies.

December 9, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The 3-D printer recently installed on the International Space Station has printed a replacement part for itself, proving the process works in space and potentially paving the way for long-term space expeditions. 

January 13, 2015

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is reorganizing to focus on five Cs: cyber, cloud, collaboration, and command and control, Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., USAF, DISA director, announced Monday at a luncheon event hosted by AFCEA's Washington, D.C. Chapter.The transformed agency will include four centers—business and development, implementation and sustainment, resource management and operations—that will centralize many functions within the agency.In addition to the reorganization, DISA announced Monday that the Joint Force Headquarters DoD Information Network should achieve an initial operating capability Thursday and will provide an operational capability within the cyberdomain.

January 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The Twitter and YouTube accounts for the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) are back online after hackers, stated to be in support of the Islamic State militant group, broke into the accounts and posted menacing messages.

Military officials still are investigating the breach, which occurred Monday and prompted officials to suspend the accounts.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the hack was “a violation, it wasn’t a big deal,” but it illustrated that militant groups are technologically capable.

December 23, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is inviting comments on a draft project to secure medical devices known as networked infusion pumps, which convey fluids, drugs and nutrients into patients' bloodstreams. Hospitals are increasingly using the devices and connecting them to a central system, which makes them more vulnerable to cyberthreats.

A networked infusion pump can allow centralized control of the device’s programming as well as automated cross checks against pharmacy records and patient data to ensure the right dose of fluids or medication are delivered at the right time to the right patient.

December 19, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Cyber attackers might have compromised computer files of more than 40,000 employees following an attack on federal contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions, according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

OPM issued a statement on the breach and began notifying employees that files might have been compromised.

“While there was no conclusive evidence to confirm sensitive information was removed from the system, it is possible that personally identifiable data may have been exposed,” reads an OPM statement.

KeyPoint Government Solutions conducts background checks for government agencies. One of its competitors, USIS, suffered a breach earlier this year.

December 19, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

The Advantage Business Media Young Mind Awards challenges middle school, high school and college students to design, build and present an innovative solution that solves a problem utilizing a wireless technology. Applicants must identify and describe a problem or process that needs improvement, build the product solution and demonstrate how their solution helped resolve the problem or improve the process.

Students are required to submit their designs and a short video demonstrating their finished product. A panel of judges comprising industry-recognized professionals will review the submissions based on four principles: creativity, comprehensiveness, clarity of expression and demonstration. 

November 20, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C., today announced the consolidated screening list (CSL), a streamlined collection of nine different screening lists from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State and the Treasury that contains names of individuals and companies with whom a U.S. company may not be allowed to do business due to U.S. export regulations, sanctions or other restrictions. The CSL is designed to make it easier for U.S. companies to comply with export laws.

November 17, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Veterans seeking work in the field of cybersecurity can earn certifications through a new scholarship program.

Veterans transitioning to the civilian work force can apply for scholarships to earn one of the following certifications: Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFPSM), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP), Certified Authorization Professional (CAP), HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPPSM), Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) or Associate of (ISC)².

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