Homeland Security

September 17, 2014
By Rita Boland

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to replace its Automated Biometric Identification System, or IDENT, in the next two to four years, an official with the department says. IDENT is DHS's central system for storing and processing biometric and associated biographic information for various homeland security purposes.

September 12, 2014
By Rita Boland

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has transitioned the first technology in its Transition to Practice (TTP) program to commercial market two years ahead of schedule. The effort involves Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Quantum Secured Communication, which was picked up by the company Allied Minds. That private-sector entity exclusively licensed the technology in August 2013 and formed Whitewood Encryption Systems Incorporated to bring it to market. The product is a next-generation encryption system that leverages the quantum properties of light.

September 4, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The National Capital Region joins two cities already part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) program to detect and deter nuclear and radiological threats with the award of a $30 million federal grant, which it will receive over the next five years.

August 27, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Service members can get expedited travel screening at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck airports using their Defense Department identification number when booking flight reservations. The security approach is available to all members of the U.S. armed forces, including the reserves, the National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard.

August 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

The number of application centers offering screenings for admittance into the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program has grown, and travelers can enroll for the PreCheck program at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Denver International Airport (DEN) and the off-airport IdentoGO Center by MorphoTrust, in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are now 302 enrollment centers in the nation and more than 486,000 registered passengers.

July 17, 2014
By George I. Seffers

U.S. representatives from both parties have introduced the Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratory Modernization and Technology Transfer Act of 2014, a companion bill to the Senate’s America INNOVATES Act (S. 1973). The bills would bring the U.S. national lab system into the 21st century and promote the easy transfer of federal research into the hands of the private sector, improving the public-private partnerships considered essential to bringing innovative ideas to the marketplace.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Bechtel BNI are joining forces to a new class of cyberdefense professionals to protect the nation’s critical digital infrastructure. The Bechtel-Lawrence Livermore-Los Alamos Cyber Career Development Program is designed to allow the national labs to recruit and rapidly develop cybersecurity specialists who can guide research at their respective institutions and create solutions that meet the cyberdefense needs of private industry, which owns about 80 percent of the nation’s critical digital infrastructure and assets.

July 14, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Security Agency (NSA) has selected five more schools for the National Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations Program, which is designed to cultivate more U.S. cyber professionals. These schools are now designated as Cyber Operations CAEs for the 2014-2019 academic years:

July 10, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

Research on the state of cybersecurity of the U.S. critical infrastructure companies reveals that 67 percent have experienced at least one security compromise that led to the loss of confidential information or disruption to operations during the past year. In addition, 24 percent of a survey’s respondents said the compromises involved insider attacks or negligent privileged information technology users. Only 6 percent provide cybersecurity training for all employees.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The inertial navigation system (INS) market size is estimated to be $2.75 billion in 2014 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.98 percent to reach $4.63 billion by 2019, according to Research and Markets, a Dublin-based market analysis firm. Though North America and Europe have the largest market for INS in terms of commercial and defense aviation, military and naval applications, a lot of INS development programs have been launched in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

July 1, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Today the U.S. Defense Department released its strategy for countering weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This strategy will direct the department’s efforts to prevent hostile actors from acquiring WMD, contain and reduce WMD threats and ensure the department can respond effectively to WMD crises.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking a holistic approach to cybersecurity that focuses on preventing or mitigating the effects of a cyber intrusion on the critical infrastructure, according to a department undersecretary. Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the department, said continuity of operation is the key to resisting cyber attacks.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The public/private partnership that influences many government efforts is a core effort as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) strives to protect the homeland from cyber attacks. Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the DHS, told the audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, that the department has several efforts underway to engage the private sector in the fight against cyber attacks.

June 24, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

Innovation may be the key to ensuring that the national critical infrastructure is protected from new cyberthreats, said an undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Suzanne Spaulding, undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the department, said that the private sector must step in to help prevent future attacks.

“We need to break through in terms of innovation,” Spaulding told the opening keynote audience at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore. She noted that most cyberdefenses concentrate on stopping known threats; instead, planners must anticipate what may be coming.

May 9, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Navy has evaluated color-coded chemical detection technology known as colorimetric explosive detection kits, the service recently announced. Colorimetric detection technology is based upon a series of chemical reactions that produce a visual response, most often in the form of a color change dependent upon the molecular structure of the compounds being tested. 

April 16, 2014

Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Va. (FA8075-14-D-0002); Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio (FA8075-14-D-0003); Jacobs Technology Inc., Tullahoma, Tenn. (FA8075-14-D-0004); MacAulay-Brown Inc., Dayton, Ohio (FA8075-14-D-0005); MRI Global, Kansas City, Mo. (FA8075-14-D-0006); National Security Information Associates, Chantilly, Va. (FA8075-14-D-0007); Strategic Analysis Inc., Arlington, Va. (FA8075-14-D-0008); Leidos Inc., Reston, Va.

March 17, 2014

Critical Solutions International (CSI), Carrollton, Texas, announced today that the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has selected its Intelligent Video Surveillance Solution to provide advanced video security at selected rail stations within the state’s rapid transit network. The Intelligent Video Surveillance Solution will provide enhanced security and safety for thousands of commuters, as well as first responders, while saving time and taxpayer money, the announcement says. The system notifies safety and security personnel of unusual events such as the intrusion of unauthorized areas, unattended luggage, or loitering. In addition the system stores digital video data that can be rapidly analyzed through customized searches.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Chief information security officials from various agencies voiced support for the Department of Homeland Security's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) Program, which is designed to fortify computer networks across the federal government. The officials spoke out in support of the program while serving on a panel during the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference, Washington, D.C. Panel moderator John Streufert, director of Federal Network Resilience at the Department of Homeland Security, took the opportunity to put some rumors to rest.

March 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, government agencies came under widespread criticism for failing to share information and "connect the dots." By contrast, law enforcement agencies were almost universally praised following the Boston Marathon bombing and the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., both of which took place last year, pointed out panelists at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C. on Monday.

March 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Weather Service is the granddaddy of open source data, according to Adrian Gardner, chief information officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was "into big data before big data was cool," added David McClure, a data asset portfolio analyst within the NOAA Office of the Chief Information Officer. The two officials made their comments during a panel on big data analytics at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

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