Homeland Security

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.

March 10, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The real challenge to keeping the homeland secure is dealing with the world's increasing complexity, Adm. Thad Allen, USCG, (Ret.), executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday during his luncheon keynote address.

March 10, 2014
George I. Seffers

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is only interested in mobile communication if it allows the agency to perform functions it could not perform otherwise, Mark Borkowski, component acquisition executive and assistant commissioner with the CBP Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, told the audience at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday. "We're not interested in mobility for mobility's sake but because it allows us to do something we haven't done before," Borkowski said, while participating in a panel on mobility and interoperability.

February 13, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. Coast Guard wants contractors to provide it with affordable systems instead of top-of-the-line technology solutions, said its commandant. Adm. Robert J .Papp Jr., USCG, told the audience at the West 2014 Thursday luncheon town hall in San Diego that everything the Coast Guard does is within a constrained environment, and it needs solutions that don’t strain its already tight financial resources.

He explained that many contractors apply the Defense Department model to Coast Guard acquisition, but the same rules do not apply and many great technological solutions just cost too much. The Coast Guard will be scrutinizing bidders on its upcoming programs, he added, because affordability is the number-one requirement.

December 27, 2013
By Maryann Lawlor

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has joined the UN and the White House in establishing a Thunderclap account. The agency’s goal is to encourage citizens to be prepared for emergencies. Thunderclap syncs social media accounts to release an automatic Facebook post, tweet or both. By signing up and using #Prepared2014 throughout 2014, friends and followers will be reminded to be ready for natural disasters and man-made emergencies throughout the year.

December 3, 2013

Eight emerging cybersecurity technologies developed by the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories will be featured at the Transition-to-Practice Technology Demonstration Day for Investors, Integrators and IT Companies East event on December 18 in Washington, D.C. The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate will unveil new capabilities for intrusion detection, removable media protection, software assurance and malware forensics.

August 19, 2013
George I. Seffers

 
Elbit Systems has, announced that its Australian subsidiary, Elbit Systems of Australia Pty Ltd (ELSA), was awarded a contract in the amount of  approximately $32 million U.S. dollars ($35 million Australian dollars) to supply the Australian Federal Police with an Investigation, Intelligence and Incident Management (IIIM) Solution to be supplied over a four-year period.

August 20, 2013

 

August 6, 2013

 

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is encouraging the U.S. Coast Guard to work with industry to identify the latest unmanned vehicles to improve maritime safety and security while saving money. In a recent Congressional Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation hearing, Hunter, the chairman of the subcommittee, shared that he has seen a commercially built autonomous surface vehicle that can facilitate sub-sea to surface to satellite communications.

August 1, 2013

The new next-generation dispatch center for the San Luis Obispo County, California, Sheriff’s Office is one of the first in the nation to be completely Internet protocol-based, bridging its existing radio system with the latest smartphone and tablet technology. The new system turns a standard PC into a communications dispatch console and also turns a smartphone into a multi-channel land mobile radio handset for secure, on-demand push-to-talk communication.

July 31, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

A “digital Pearl Harbor Armageddon” that inflicts catastrophic damage on the United States is not likely soon or in the foreseeable future. The worst cyber attack that could be expected would have less of an effect for a shorter period of time, said an expert with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Sean Kanuck, national intelligence officer for cyber issues at the National Intelligence Council, ODNI, told the audience at the second day of the AFCEA Global Intelligence Forum in the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that predictions of destruction that would bring the United States to its knees are unnecessarily pessimistic and unlikely to materialize.

July 31, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

 

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems face numerous threats from cybermarauders coming at them from any of a number of directions. Some systems could suffer malware attacks even though they are not the intended targets, according to a leading security expert.

Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive officer and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, described the threat to SCADA systems to the audience at the AFCEA Global Intelligence Forum in the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Kaspersky described several SCADA attacks that already occurred and warns of new potential vulnerabilities.

March 27, 2013
George I. Seffers

Cobham’s Brazilian subsidiary has secured its first major contract in Brazil to equip state police helicopters with high definition video surveillance downlinks, which will be used on helicopters in 12 cities during the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup. The contract was developed with a local integration partner following the opening of the Cobham’s Sao Paulo office in August 2012 and includes both airborne and ground based equipment. This procurement was made through the newly-formed Extraordinary Secretariat for Security at Large Scale Events.

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