DHS

October 1, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Department of Homeland Security scientists serve as the first line of defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mongkolchon Akesin/Shutterstock

When the mysterious and deadly coronavirus invaded America’s shores in January, scientists who study deadly pathogens scurried to gather as much information as possible about the virus to help end the outbreak as soon as possible. They’ve answered some of the critical questions, but some answers are yet to come.

Some of those researchers work with a program called PANTHR for the Probabilistic Analysis for National Threats, Hazards and Risks within the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate. The program officially kicked off in October 2019, but it was created through a consolidation of ongoing efforts.

September 16, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Bryan Ware (top l) and Jeff Reed (bottom) discussed some of the global shifts in cybersecurity requirements. The two shared their observations during a panel moderated by Jon Check, cyber protection solutions, intelligence and space unit, Raytheon, during the Billington Cybersecurity Summit.

COVID-19 has done more than increase hand-washing and mask-wearing. It has meant an entirely new way of communicating and collaborating. Those on the front lines say some of these changes are here to stay and will last much longer than the pandemic simply because they are more efficient ways to do business.

September 10, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Mobile devices could service as an identity platform for the U.S. government, providing a contactless access experience with more privacy, some experts say. Credit: Shutterstock/Drazen Zigic

The U.S. federal government should consider implementing a digital identity for each citizen and enable the use of mobile devices for in-person access and other applications, experts say. Mobile devices, paired with strong standards, can enable physical access to federal buildings—as the common access card, or CAC, does currently. In addition, employing more digitally integrated, holistic systems would improve privacy. And given the onset of COVID-19, the pandemic has heightened the need for innovation, especially around contactless technologies, said officials speaking yesterday at the Federal Identity Virtual Collaboration Event.

September 10, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Experts speaking at the Federal Identity Virtual Collaboration Event on September 9 pointed out the U.S. federal government's use of the common access card can be improved with employment of a more holistic, enterprise system across all agencies. Credit: Shutterstock/Andrii Zastrozhnov

The U.S. federal government needs to elevate the use of certain security measures that enable physical access to buildings—such as the common access card, or CAC—to more digitally integrated, holistic systems, experts say.

September 1, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Five Eyes nations, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, conducted extensive joint research on cyber breeches, culminating in an incident response playbook for the extended community of partners and network administrators. Credit: Shutterstock/Metamorworks

The cybersecurity representatives of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence partners are working together to improve cyber event incident response across the extended community of the countries of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States. 

August 26, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/ozrimoz

Government and the private sector, particularly social media, are collaborating to forestall election manipulation by outside powers. These efforts aim at preventing disinformation campaigns from gaining a foothold in their steps to affect the upcoming November elections, but they also are maintaining vigilance against direct interference in the electoral process.

August 12, 2020
Posted by George I. Seffers
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate intends to hold a virtual industry day next week seeking solutions to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo credit: U.S. Army

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is seeking groundbreaking solutions to address current and future operational needs.

August 10, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Ransomware attacks affect computers by encrypting all of the information on the device. The hackers then demand a ransom, usually paid in the form of crypto currency in return for the decryption key. U.S. Air Force Graphic by Adam Butterick

The state of the U.S. cybersecurity industrial base is robust, including for numerous start-up companies exploring new and, in some cases, pioneering cybersecurity technologies. Members of the AFCEA International Cyber Committee say the infusion of cybersecurity technologies and innovations originating in friendly countries and allies such as Israel, the United Kingdom and Australia certainly support this strength.

August 4, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Response personnel at 911 call centers nationwide will benefit from research to improve the interoperability and compatibility of Next-Generation 911 systems. Credit: Photo by U.S. Department of Commerce

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

July 24, 2020
 
Army National Guard Chaplain Lt. Col. Henry Roberson (center) gives communion to search and rescue workers across the street from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the site of a 1995 terrorist attack caused by a fertilizer bomb. The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate is building a modeling tool that will help officials plan for and counter attacks at special events. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Marvin Krause, U.S. Air Force

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate’s Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) is developing a modeling tool that estimates the hazard and related human health consequences from thousands of plausible threat scenarios.

The tool is called the Homeland Explosive Consequence and Threat (HExCAT), and it helps public officials to plan for attacks at special events, such as parades, elections, sporting events and inaugurations. After validation and further development, it will be integrated into national- and regional-level risk analysis.

July 1, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Capt. Liaquat Ali, USAF, deputy director of AF Connect, speaks to airmen about the Air Force Connect mobile app at the Air National Guard training and education center. Capt. Ali's team at the Pentagon rolled out the innovation, which allows both public and restricted-access communications on personal mobile devices. Photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith, ANG

Under a joint pilot program, verifying the security of mobile application software for use within the federal government no longer needs to be time consuming or expensive. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working with a partnership within the NSA, automated the process to determine if apps meet the agency’s National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) protection profile.

June 22, 2020
 

Under a $23 million, five-year contract, Westminster, Colorado-based Maxar Technologies is developing an analytics system for characterizing and tracking the behavior of vehicles in multiple domains at scale and in near-real-time for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the company reported on June 22.

June 18, 2020
 

AV3 Inc., Mechanicsville, Maryland, is awarded a $9,770,558 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract procures the audio and visual video teleconference equipment for the integration of specialized network video teleconference systems in support of the integrated command, control and intelligence divisions of the Joint Staff and combatant commanders, Department of Defense agencies and services, and Department of Homeland Security operational and support components.  Work will be performed in Mechanicsville, Maryland, and supports the command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Work is expected to be complete by June 2022.

June 3, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency put in place a cyber situational awareness room on Tuesday to support state and local governments' voting primaries. Credit: Shutterstock/Melinda Nagy

Ten states and Washington, D.C., held primaries on June 2 as part of this year’s presidential and local election cycle. Along with other federal stakeholders, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, has the role of helping to protect American’s confidence in the voting process by providing cybersecurity and a secure voting infrastructure.

April 15, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
North Korea's sponsored malicious cyber operations are an attempt to raise funds for weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, the U.S. government warns. Credit: Shutterstock/hotsum

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the State, Treasury and Homeland Security departments issued a detailed 12-page advisory on April 15 alerting the nation to an increased threat of malicious cyber activity by North Korea. The U.S. government’s advisory warned financial entities in particular of aggressive action by North Korea intended to harm the financial system, as well as threats to critical infrastructure.

April 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Among its other responsibilities in cracking hard issues, the National Risk Management Center, part of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, is examining the concept of vendor attestation to help vendors assess themselves against a set of commonly agreed-upon metrics. Credit: Shutterstock/deepadsigns

Daily cyber attacks and other threats naturally take up the short-term attention of many governmental agencies, but there is a need for a more strategic look at risks to the nation’s critical infrastructure. A center within the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, is charged with examining how to address concerns in the long-term.

March 25, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock

How the U.S. government responded to the vulnerabilities created by anti-virus software and other products from Russia’s AO Kaspersky Laboratories is an important demarcation point in the growing awareness of and need for supply chain trust and assurance. Before that, conversations regarding supply chain risk management “were sort of siloed off to the side,” explains Daniel Kroese, acting deputy assistant director for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s National Risk Management Center at the Department of Homeland Security.

March 25, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Amid the COVAD-19 crisis, first responders are turning more and more to communications through FirstNet, officials say. Credit: Shutterstock/Zoff

The COVID-19 pandemic, which to date has sickened tens of thousands of Americans and killed hundreds, is testing the viability of the FirstNet network in ways never seen before. The exponential increase in the number of cases in the country is pulling in more and more emergency medical services personnel, police officers, firefighters and other public safety officials, often in more remote areas, who all need real-time data exchange, network connectivity and communication tools.

February 26, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Sandia National Laboratories researchers leading the MARCUS project are developing a system to capture small unmanned aircraft systems then fly them away from crowds or sensitive areas such as government buildings. Photo by Randy Montoya

An unmanned aircraft system tracks and follows Sandia National Laboratories researcher David Novick, who is leading a project to identify, track and capture enemy UAS during flight.</body></html>

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