Doug Bedell — May 13, 2016, 11:55 am

Airport Security Lines Vexing for Passengers and TSA Too

Long lines at airport security gates are causing passengers – and some congressmen – to fume against the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). But, In Homeland Security notes, this is a complex matter that’s worsening as air travel grows.

TSA is adding screeners, but keeping its focus on the safety of air travel, insofar as the agency can assure it.

Doug Bedell — May 11, 2016, 8:27 am

Laser Weapons Crimped by Lack of Funding

U.S. military chiefs are in a budget bind over a promising new weapon – laser and high-power microwave bursts – that could disable enemy forces less expensively than current weapons systems.

“Despite the promise held out by industry proponents of lasers and high-power microwave bursts,” the DefenseTech blog notes, “military officials and senators from both sides of the aisle said that lack of funding was putting a crimp on the necessary research and testing for the new weapons under the constraints of the 2011 Budget Control Act.”

Doug Bedell — May 9, 2016, 10:49 am

Cybersecurity Now a Boardroom Concern

The security of electronic information systems has become such a heightened concern that corporate boards, not just CEOs, are focusing on the subject, Security Magazine advises.

Congress, too, is concerned. “Late last year a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate,” Security reports, “that is getting attention and not just in the United States. It is called the Cybersecurity Disclosure Act of 2015. The bill wants all publicly traded companies to disclose whether or not any member of the board of the publicly traded company has expertise or experience in cybersecurity…” If not, it adds, in effect, why not?

Doug Bedell — May 6, 2016, 12:57 pm

Precautionary ‘Active Shooter’ Training Highly Recommended

A growing security concern, well worth adding to physical protection, involves ‘active shooter’ incidents and training should they occur. Security magazine notes that the average number of U.S. active shooter incidents increased from 6.4 in the first seven years of a 14-year study to 16.4 in the latter seven. That’s for the period 2000 through 2013.

Such incidents place a training premium on civilian response. They tend to unfold quickly, before law enforcement officers are in place. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers web-based training – “IS-907 Active Shooter: What You Can Do” – on active shooter response.

Doug Bedell — May 4, 2016, 9:54 am

Safety and Security Require Continually Renewed Awareness

Whatever the size of your organization, it needs to have safety and security built into its structure. Sadly, Washington’s Metro subway provides an example of what might happen if that’s not assured.

Steve Bittenbender, editor of Government Security News, provides a report on why, “Safety is still not institutionalized as a core value at WMATA (the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority),” which carries 700,000 riders a day.

Pay constant heed to safety and security procedures in your own organization.

Doug Bedell — May 2, 2016, 4:01 pm

PRO-Gate Provides Routine Access at Public Settings

PRO-Gate Vertical Pivot Arm
PRO Barrier Engineering is extending its vehicle access control product line. The company has supplemented its array of barriers for blocking hostile vehicle entries (anti-terrorism barriers) with a new line of beams and gates, dubbed PRO-Gate. The PRO-Gate barriers are for blocking roads and controlling routine vehicle entries at airports, stadiums, parking facilities, office complexes, military bases, toll roads, and other public settings.

There are three PRO-Gate configurations: a vertical lift fence, a vertical lift beam (photo above), and a unique-to-the-industry vertical lift beam that can withstand repeated vehicle impacts without damage to either the barrier or the impacting vehicles (photo below). It accomplishes this by pivoting (swiveling) away from the impact.

PRO-Gate Pivot (pivoted position)

Like all of PRO Barrier’s vehicle access control products, the PRO-Gate line features a robust design with minimal moving parts and high reliability. The PRO-Gate barriers are available in a range of open/close speeds, materials of construction, motor powers, and in widths for blocking one or two traffic lanes.

Further information on the PRO-Gate vehicle barriers can be obtained by contacting PRO Barrier Engineering at 717-944-6056, at, or by visiting

Doug Bedell — April 27, 2016, 8:11 am

‘Cicada’ Drones Raise a Possible New Security Concern

The U.S. is turning to mini-drones – named Cicadas, for Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft – to target terrorists abroad, advises In Homeland Security. They look like birds flying high.

How long will it be, we wonder, before Cicadas have civilian market counterparts that will prompt new concerns over security breaches?

Doug Bedell — April 25, 2016, 9:26 am

Consider Using Virtual Reality As a New Security Tool

Figure out how to apply virtual reality techniques to your security challenges. The U.S. Navy has. The Office of Naval Research is advising that personnel at Pearl Harbor (certainly an appropriate location) are using virtual reality gear in simulated combat.

“’This is the future of training for the Navy,’ Dr. Terry Allard, head of the Warfighter Performance Department at ONR, said in a release. ‘With simulation, you can explore endless possibilities without the expense and logistical challenges of putting hundreds of ships at sea and aircraft in the sky.'”

Doug Bedell — April 21, 2016, 11:16 pm

Airport Security Provides Exemplary Discipline

Protect an airport well and you can protect just about anything. That’s the feeling you get from reading A SecurityInfoWatch post on airport security. The Transportation Security Administration definitely has a challenging job seeking to insure the safety of the nation’s airports.

Yet securing any location has its own problems and issues. The need is to approach them systematically, think them through and act accordingly. We can’t simply assume physical security, it needs to be thought realistically through. SecurityInfoWatch provides a helpful exercise in that regard.

Doug Bedell — April 20, 2016, 2:15 pm

Maintaining Electronic Security – “A Lot Like Having Kids”

Protecting computer-based data and the security systems – physical as well as electronic – that it supports “is a lot like having kids,” says Hans Holmer of the Security Industry Association (SIA). Really?

Yes, indeed. “You child-proofed your home before your child was born, and you probably still worry for your kid(s) even now when they are bringing up their kids.” Probably, in other words, we’re never completely secure. But if we keep the need unfailingly in mind, we’ll be more secure. Which is the point of it all. And, of course, check out SIA’s PDF document “Beginners Guide to Product and System Hardening,” which lists the “top 10 causes of cybersecurity failure in systems.”