First responders can’t always use the same apps the general public depends on to get to their destination by the fastest route. Commercial apps may not factor in delays such as weather events, traffic accidents or the size and weight of their vehicles.
The federal government is moving forward with coordinated efforts to improve its information system security before year’s end. Both growing threats and potential advantages are compelling these concurrent thrusts.
Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer, Office of Management and Budget, described these efforts during the Wednesday keynote address at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C. Personnel, methodology and technology all are playing a role in these diverse actions, which aim to help secure government data and access to it.
Threats to U.S. homeland security are more numerous, more complex and evolving more rapidly. This accelerated threat environment is enabled in great part by emerging technology that has emboldened adversaries to doggedly evade defensive barriers.
Defeating these hostile threat attempts depends on building effective private-public partnerships, says John M. Kreger, vice president, public sector programs, Center for Programs and Technology, The MITRE Corporation. “Successful private-public partnerships can enhance the technological impact and achieve efficiencies to help further our homeland security mission,” he states.
The water and wastewater treatment industry is facing cybersecurity threats. The risks affect the sector disproportionately compared to other utilities, given local-level water processing operations.
Along with physically securing its critical infrastructure, the water industry has to leverage available tools to protect against cyber attacks, an expert says.
The growing interconnection among the elements of the critical infrastructure may hold the key to safeguarding it against an increasingly sophisticated threat picture. Many elements of the critical infrastructure depend on each other, and securing them in a coordinated endeavor holds promise for combatting adversaries who are targeting it on a daily basis.
A 2018 exercise developed by the Army Cyber Institute at West Point and hosted by the city of Houston provided participants with a full view of potential critical infrastructure crises while also offering a path to security and resiliency. Known as the Jack Voltaic 2.0 Cyber Research Project, the exercise exposed critical infrastructure issues to 200 participants from 44 organizations.
The requirement to share information and communicate effectively via radio or other equipment during natural disasters, fires, crimes or catastrophes has only increased for police officers, firefighters and other public safety personnel. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST's) Communications Technology Laboratory, known as the CLT, has been working to improve interoperability among the first responders and other public safety organizations, conducting research to update legacy systems and harness new mobile technologies to exchange vital voice and data communications in a crisis
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Israel’s Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) are seeking proposals to support collaborative research and development between U.S. and Israeli companies, or between a company and a university or research institute—one from the United States and one from Israel.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate is teaming up with NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration in order to manage unmanned aerial vehicle traffic. With projections of seven million drones that could congest the national airspace, the federal agencies needed a capability to control the domain.
They are creating the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management infrastructure, or UTM, a cloud-based, automated air traffic management system, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). The UTM would then communicate with a required UAS Service Supplier interface on drones.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is benefiting from the first three technologies to successfully transition from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa announced this week that DHS will follow a new strategy for obtaining information technology services. Rather than pursue a re-competition of the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading-Edge Solutions (EAGLE) II, the department will offer an array of options for industry, including greater opportunity for small businesses, under EAGLE Next Generation.
The number of unmanned aerial vehicles in the sky is expected to triple this decade. The need to find or manage drones in the sky, especially adversarial drones, will correspondingly grow, experts say.
In response, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, through its research and development, is developing capabilities to improve the management of vulnerabilities that drones present, the department recently announced.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has reorganized its research and development (R&D) structure to more rapidly transition technology capabilities into operations and respond to emerging threats.
William N. Bryan, the senior official performing the duties of the undersecretary for science and technology, DHS, explains the revitalized configuration enhances the focus on the needs of the DHS operational components and homeland security operators across all levels of government.
Over the last decade, emergency responders have increasingly relied on robots to assist with public safety functions that may be too dangerous for humans. Autonomous systems can perform search and rescue tasks, provide decision support, transport medical supplies, extinguish fires, map disaster areas or accomplish other important rescue functions.
The Trump administration is moving to expand the information-sharing apparatus built to stop terrorists entering the U.S. to cover foreign hackers, weapons proliferators, international organized criminals and other kinds of threat actors — and extending it to aliens already in the country who apply for citizenship or other immigration benefits.
The move, in a pair of presidential memoranda signed over the past year, has created a host of policy and technical challenges for the agencies involved, officials told AFCEA’s Federal ID Summit in Tampa on Tuesday.
The federal government, building on existing identity management practices, is investigating how it can leverage passports and other state and federally issued ID cards to verify identity in the digital age. The need to validate a citizen’s identity in person and online is only going to grow across platforms, experts say. And absent a secure commercial solution, the government may have to provide verification of identity.
Operational environments can be analyzed using a tool known by the acronym PMESII-PT, which identifies political, military, economic, social, information, infrastructure, physical environment and time variables. Lately, the economic domain has experienced significant disruptions throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, particularly Iran.
Last year’s national security strategy indicated that Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism.
Just as methodical programs to improve emergency communications interoperability are building up speed, new technologies threaten to derail the entire effort. Emergency responders find that new mobile systems bring valuable capabilities, such as enhanced data access, and they embrace these technologies eagerly. But the advanced communications systems often do not mesh with each other as well as traditional broadband radio links, and their innovative approaches pose new challenges.
Amid broad federal, state and local efforts to improve public safety communications, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is leading research to establish interoperability among diverse government organizations that aid the public when it is most in peril. The agency’s goal is for legacy systems and new mobile technologies to exchange vital voice and data communications in a crisis.
While many government organizations are seeking to expand their social media influence, one social media group is expanding its influence within government.
The Social Media Working Group for Emergency Services and Disaster Management operates as a subcommittee under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) Science and Technology Advisory Committee, but it is on its way to becoming a full-fledged federal advisory committee.