Homeland Security

August 27, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The one-year old Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security is coordinating the protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Credit: Shutterstock/Imfoto

The Department of Homeland Security’s new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, is charged with coordinating the protection of America’s critical infrastructure from cyber as well as physical attacks. Director Christopher Krebs recently released the agency’s top operational priorities. CISA, which was created in November 2018, will initially tackle supply chain risks, election security and industrial control system security, among other measures, according to the document, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: Strategic Intent.

August 27, 2019
Posted by Maryann Lawlor
Sensors like those the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and Intellisense Systems are developing can help give residents ample notice to evacuate before water levels such as those experienced on the Arkansas River in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, earlier this year. Photo by Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

Deployable flood inundation sensors based on the Internet of Things are being developed to monitor flood-prone areas in real time to rapidly detect them and alert officials, industry and citizens to potential threats. State and local government jurisdictions operationally field tested early versions of the technology over a nine-month period. During the next phase, the sensors will be enhanced for production and commercialization to both domestic and international partners to help densify their flood sensing networks for alerts, warnings and notifications.

August 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Officials with the Homeland Security Department are sorting through the hope and hype of blockchain solutions as they prepare to transition from paper-based processes to digital documentation. Credit: Pixabay/xresch

Officials with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate are exploring the potential for blockchain technology to prevent fraudulent government documents as agencies consider transitioning from paper-based processes to digital. And they’re not interested in cheap imitations.

July 15, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate is funding a $35 million, 10-year effort to create a research center of excellence focused on preventing and countering terrorist attacks. Credit: deepspace/Shutterstock

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today $35 million in funding opportunities for a new DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). Accredited U.S. colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals as the center lead or as an individual partner to work with the lead institution in support of the center’s activities.

July 11, 2019
 
 U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security takes a closer look at how the government is using biometrics in protecting the nation. Credit: Shutterstock/Andrea Izzotti

The current climate surrounding the identification of citizens and deportation of noncitizens is fiery at best. And while facial recognition and other biometric technologies offer the government advanced tools to protect the homeland, some critics, including lawmakers, are sounding the alarm on how agencies are using identification data and whether citizens' privacy rights are being protected.

July 10, 2019
By Gopika Ramesh
According to a recent study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Russia has not ceased its disinformation efforts. Credit: Shutterstock/Viacheslav Lopatin

Russia continues its disinformation campaign in order to weaken democratic nations. The country's modus operandi is to intensify genuine grievances and manipulate the public’s lack of knowledge of the legal system. Through this effort, they pass along rumors, conspiracies and distort the truth, which is meant to permeate a target population, according to a recent study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

June 20, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Homeland Security is reaching out to the private sector for ideas about advanced cloud-based biometric technology for immigration and border security.

The Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, has made a steady march toward the use of digital biometric data for identity management. After the attacks of 9/11, Congress mandated that DHS identify foreign airline travelers coming into the United States through digital fingerprints, and after that, required a biometric identification program for foreign nationals leaving the country. Since then, the department has added biometric identity management for U.S. citizens.

June 6, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
Unlike standard GPS-enabled map apps, QuickRoute settings include options such as “Use Controlled Opposing Lanes” and “Show QuickRoute Alerts on Map.”

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.

April 24, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer, Office of Management and Budget, describes the information security thrusts the federal government will undertake during her keynote address at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington.

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.

April 17, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
Rear Adm. Christian Becker, USN, commander, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), discusses the defense industry’s role executing the Chief of Naval Operations “A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority 2.0” during a combined AFCEA and NDIA event. SPAWAR works closely with industry to provide the tactical networks, space systems and C4ISR technology assets and services U.S. Navy fleet operators require. U.S. Navy photo by Rick Naystatt/Released

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.

April 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Given that one of the water sector’s challenges in protecting infrastructure from cyber attacks is cost, research is needed into affordable security measures for control systems. Credit: Daniel Jedzura/Shutterstock

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.

April 1, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

April 1, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman

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.

March 26, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A screenshot depicts the virtual reality environment for the EMS scenario for the NIST Public Safety Communications Research Division’s Haptic Interfaces for Public Safety Challenge. Credit: PSCR

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 

March 11, 2018
 
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and Israel’s Ministry of Public Security are searching for companies or academic institutions in each country to work together on first responder systems, including unmanned aerial vehicles, border protection and systems to fight cyber crime. Credit: charles taylor/Shutterstock

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. 

February 25, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood

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.

February 13, 2019
By Maryann Lawlor
Automated machine learning expedites the development of predictive models ensuring they are up to date.

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).

December 19, 2018
 
Everett Kaneshige, chief strategy officer for broadband and telecommunications for the State of Hawaii (l) and Tom Lawless, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) region IX coordinator, test satellite connectivity in remote areas affected by the Kilauea volcanic eruption. DHS has announced a new approach to information technology modernization, which opens new opportunities for industry, including small businesses. Credit: Grace Simoneau/FEMA

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.

December 11, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
To protect the nation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is pursuing multiple drone intrusion detection research and development efforts. Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Yupa Watchanakit.

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.

October 4, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
The RoboCup competitions are an opportunity for the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to work with other government agencies to bring emerging technologies to fruition faster. Courtesy of DHS S&T.

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.

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