2016 Homeland Security Conference

May 24, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit rides aboard an Office of Air and Marine UH-60 helicopter. Homegrown terrorism has moved to the top of the threat list at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The greatest threat facing the U.S. homeland mixes both internal and external enemies, according to the Department of Homeland Security's undersecretary for intelligence and analysis. Homegrown violent extremists influenced by overseas radical ideologues top the list of hazards confronting the public and private sectors in their efforts to secure the country.

Many overseas terrorist organizations still see the United States as the enemy and a roadblock to achieving their objectives. But the threat within now grabs the lion’s share of attention from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well as from intelligence and law enforcement groups that strive to stay a step ahead of terrorists.

June 22, 2016
By George I. Seffers

Cloud computing, mobile devices and apps and automation are some of the top technologies that will affect the future of homeland security, according to a panel of technology officers at the 2016 AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

“If you talk about technologies we’re really leaning on today, of course it’s the usual suspects. We really do need to make better use of virtualized infrastructure, i.e. cloud technologies and services,” said Michael Hermus, chief technology officer, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

June 21, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Russell Deyo, undersecretary for management, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, addresses attendees at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may sometimes seem like a confused teenager, but it is growing and maturing and striving to make the country stronger, reports Russell Deyo, the DHS undersecretary for management.

June 22, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking wearable computers to monitor the canines used to protect U.S. borders. The department also seeks a Global Travel Assessment system and Internet of Things security solutions, officials told the 2016 AFCEA Homeland Security Conference audience.

July 21, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking steps to improve the Einstein system, which provides cyber situational awareness across government agencies.

The Einstein system was instrumental in helping to uncover the massive breach into the Office of Personnel and Management’s (OPM) networks, according to Phyllis Schneck, deputy under secretary for cybersecurity and communications, National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), DHS.

June 21, 2016
By George I. Seffers

Anyone walking into the Air and Marine Operations Center may at first be impressed with the numerous workstations, the big screens and live video flowing in from cameras mounted on planes and data flowing from a variety of sensors in the United States and elsewhere. But first impressions can be deceiving.

“There’s lots of data flowing in, but it still looks like 1969 in the NASA space center. That model hasn’t changed much,” said Tony Crowder, director of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations Center.

June 21, 2016
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started a pilot program last week at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport to collect biometrics on passengers leaving the country. This marks the first time the United States has collected such information. A CBP official said the government released a request for information last night and hopes to release a request for proposals next year.

May 25, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Project iVe has its roots in a previous Department of Homeland Security and Berla Corporation program known as Blackthorn, which focused on gathering data from navigation devices such as Garmin, TomTom and Magellan.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security researchers are pursuing possible partnerships—both domestically and internationally—to continue developing a toolkit that provides access to the digital data stored by cars used in crimes, including terrorist acts.

May 26, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
ISS Global’s Dfuze software platform incorporates many data elements so law enforcement can log information from crime scenes such as the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013.

Emerging surveillance technology seems ripped from tech-noir thrillers such as 2002's Minority Report, in which police jail would-be murderers before any violence actually has occurred. Just thinking about crimes gets people in trouble. While the predictive nature of today’s analytic tools might not have reached the same levels as in the futuristic action film, the technologies employed to defend the homeland are pretty close.

May 17, 2016
By Katie Helwig

AFCEA International's annual Homeland Security Conference takes place June 21 and 22 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., with small business interests well represented during the event.

Experts will be on hand to address year’s theme: “Securing the Nation—Solving Technology and Human Capital Challenges: People, Partners and Priorities.” Sending one representative will not be enough to maximize its value in growing your business.