Doug Bedell — October 31, 2014, 9:02 am

DHS Increases Security at Federal Buildings Nationally

U.S. Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson announced this week that his department has increased security at federal building across the country in light of recent terror threats and attacks in Canada and elsewhere.

Secretary Johnson said the move was a “precautionary” step in light of the recent violence in Canada and Islamic State threats.

Doug Bedell — , 8:45 am

A Heroic Security Role: Deterring Nuclear Terrorism

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Dr. Huban A. Gowandia, the U.S. Homeland Security Department’s director of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, discusses her group’s efforts to deter nuclear terrorism. We’re certainly glad they’re at it, because that has to do with the unthinkable in security terms.

Dr. Gowandia discusses her remarks, presented at the University of Tennessee, on Homeland Security’s blog.

Doug Bedell — October 29, 2014, 9:44 am

Solitary Terrorists a Continuing Threat

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is taking the threat of attacks by lone terrorists seriously. Following the Oct. 22 terrorist shooting at Canada’s House of Parliament, In Homeland Security reports that Secretary Johnson is “ordering the Federal Protective service to increase security near federal buildings Washington, D.C. and other larger cities nationwide. ”

“As we have stated in prior advisories,” Secretary Johnson said in a statement Oct. 27,  “we urge state and local governments and their law enforcement personnel, along with critical infrastructure owners and operators, to be equally vigilant, particularly in guarding against potential small-scale attacks by a lone offender or a small group of individuals.”

Doug Bedell — October 27, 2014, 11:51 am

For Personal Security, Get Your Flu Shot

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Let’s go to the level of  personal security for a moment. Everything stems from remaining healthy, and there, Ebola isn’t, or shouldn’t be, the biggest U.S. health concern. Whether you’ve gotten your flu shot yet is a more pertinent question. Rutgers Today notes that “the Flu takes anywhere from 3,000 to 48,000 lives a year in this country depending on the severity of the disease in a given flu season.”

We’re not sidelining Ebola, but have you gotten your flu shot yet?

Doug Bedell — October 23, 2014, 2:19 pm

Six Computer Security Measures Well Worth Applying


Larry Zeltzer on ZDNet provides a post, “Effective security techniques we don’t follow enough.” Discussed are six security technologies/techniques for IT people to review and/or apply, starting with “Parameterized SQL Queries”.  Check them out for inclusion in your book.

Doug Bedell — October 20, 2014, 10:13 am

‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) a Term To Get Used To


Expect security functions to arise from the Internet of Things (IoT) applications of web technology. But for now, it’s enough to learn what the term connotes.  Shane O’Neill on InformationWeek provides that service. You’ll discover that it involves more than having a refrigerator transmit recipes for the use of its contents.

Patrick Hubbard takes the IoT discussion a bit further with his follow-up post “Internet of Things Will Turn Networks Inside Out”. Good luck on coping with the security implications of all this.

Doug Bedell — October 17, 2014, 11:40 am

Be Careful: Hackers Can Get the Best of Us


Here’s some chagrin reading, that is uncomfortable information that’s likely to be at least partly applicable to many of us. Violet Blue on ZD Net’s Zero Day writes about “The six most common ways non-tech people fall victim” to computer hackers.

“Oftentimes,” she notes, “these fateful entry points are created by people who have no idea what’s going on; non-technical employees (or even executiv es) who serve as an unwitting vector for exploitation.

So, be careful, but enjoy your weekend!

Doug Bedell — October 15, 2014, 9:33 am

At the Airport: ‘What’s that In Your Bag, Sir?’


Oh dear, it’s time for a little light relief, or perhaps profound dismay. Whichever, we invite you to read this recollection by Brian Schmidt, winner of the 2011 Nobel Physics Prize, who took his half-pound gold medal to Fargo, North Dakota, to show to his grandmother.  Imagine what happened as his bag went through an airport security X-ray machine.

We thank Homeland Security Watch for this engaging anecdote.

Doug Bedell — October 13, 2014, 10:49 am

Kmart Joins List of Retail Cyber Breeches


Now it’s Kmart too. Another retailer joins Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, Supervalu, Michaels, P.F. Chang’s and Dairy Queen in having their digital credit card systems compromised.

“With data breaches costing not only billions of dollars, but claiming executives’ jobs as well,” notes Naked Security, “now is as good a time as any for firms within every sector to reassess their security implementation.” Six tips for both businesses and consumers are offered.

Doug Bedell — October 10, 2014, 10:50 am

Cyber Security Now a CEO’s Function, Too


The evolution, sadly, of cyber security threats is discussed in the start of a series of four articles on “The greatest shift in cybersecurity,” it says, “relates to the focus and the responsibility – moving from strictly an ‘IT issue’ to one of a business function. Look no further than the Target breach and the subsequent resignations of the company’s CEO and CIO…”

October, incidentally, is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.