Doug Bedell — September 21, 2018, 3:04 pm

‘Soft’ Communication Skills Seen Lacking In Police Training

What an oversight! With all the adverse attention that police-community relations have been generating, you’d think that police training in the “soft” people skills of interpersonal communication would be high on the security agenda.

Not so, advises the In Public Safety site. “Unfortunately, soft skills are largely lacking and overlooked within the criminal justice profession, particularly within law enforcement and corrections.”

This is hard to fathom. “According to a 2018 article by Timothy Roufa, a law enforcement subject matter expert,” the post advises, “criminal justice careers, particularly those in law enforcement and corrections, demand that you interact with a diverse and varied group of people at any given time. In some of those encounters, tensions may be high and the potential for the situation to quickly escalate is a reality of the job. The best way to resolve potentially dangerous use-of-force situations is to rely on your cognitive and emotional intelligence skills.”

So should law enforcement professionals complain that the public is against them, they need to consider their training in relating well to the people they are serving.

Doug Bedell — September 19, 2018, 3:08 pm

When Courtesy Conflicts With Security, and Doors Lose Out

A Security Magazine blog makes the appropriate point that “Not every incident of unauthorized access is a criminal break-in – some of the most common types spring from common courtesy, like holding the door for a colleague.”

Holding a door open? Yes, it’s called tailgating and occurs “when one or more people follow an authorized user through a door, reducing the number of people who badge in, (thus) reducing security’s insight into who is inside the building when, and exposing the building to risk.

Other examples are cited involving propping doors open, lost, stolen or loaned keys, access cards and levering doors – “Doors can be opened by screwdrivers, crowbars or many other tools.”

Simply, doors aren’t to be messed with, whether in the interest of courtesy, carpentry or anything else that weakens their primary function of regulating authorized access to a facility that needs to remain secure.

Doug Bedell — September 14, 2018, 2:15 pm

U.S. Army Adding ‘Long-Range Cannon’ To Its Capabilities

This post isn’t about “close-in” security, neither is it about missiles fired from familiar sources. It’s about the U.S. Army’s hopes of fielding a “long-range cannon that can shoot out to 1,000 miles”. That’s the Army, not the Air Force or some other missile command. reports that “Gen. John ‘Mike’ Murray testified at a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Readiness to explain to lawmakers how the newly established Futured (sp?) Command will change the Army’s acquisition and modernization process.”

It developed at the hearing that nations such as Russia and China are also adding capacity in “long-range fires”.

Indeed, “Development of long-range precision fires technology is the Army’s number one modernization priority,” reports. General Murray advised that “in the short term, the Army is adding back ‘both cannon and rocket artillery into our formations.'”

So, maybe the old World War II song should be updated to, “This is the Army, Mr. Rocketman.”

Doug Bedell — September 12, 2018, 2:12 pm

Little Applied From the Equifax Computer Data Breach

Geez, it’s been a year since the huge data breach at Equifax and, Security InfoWatch advises, there’s been little learned and applied from that computer hacking disaster.

“More than 147 million people in the U.S. had personal and financial data stolen ranging from Social Security and driver’s license numbers to credit card information and birth dates,” Infowatch recalls.

Yet, “The Song Remains the Same”.

“Lawrence Pingree, an Executive Vice President of Product Management for SonicWall, a network security solutions provider out of San Jose, admits that a year after the Equifax hack, there have been some lessons learned but cybersecurity, with all its good intentions, still remains a low priority in many organizations.

“There is no shortage of guidance on how best to manage cyber risk, and yet many organizations struggle with both how to prioritize in the context of limited resources and changing risks, and how to measure progress.”

The learning curve on computer security remains next to flat, Infowatch advises. And that’s something computer users, whether organizational or as individuals, can’t afford.

Doug Bedell — September 10, 2018, 2:41 pm

Everlasting Chimes In The Wind Become A 9/11 Memorial In Pa.

The 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks is being observed at the location of one of them – the Flight 93 National Memorial Site at Shanksville, Pa. – with the dedication of a wind chimes tower. It will have 40 aluminum chimes for the 40 people who were killed in the crash of a hijacked jetliner in a rural Pennsylvania field.

In Homeland Security carries an Associated Press report that “Relatives of the 40 people killed during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, helped ring eight of what will eventually be 40 aluminum chimes at the Flight 93 National Memorial site, and former Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge said the Tower of Voices will be ‘an everlasting concert by our heroes.'”

A fitting memorial indeed.

Doug Bedell — September 7, 2018, 5:55 pm

HP Holds ‘Tech Days’ to Promote PRINTER Security

Yes, desktop printers, too, can be a security risk. Security Weekly notes that Hewlett Packard is concerned enough about the possibility that it held an “HP Print Security ‘Tech Day'” event at its Palo Alto, CA, headquarters last year.

“This event,” Security Weekly advises, “was the precursor to a major marketing campaign for HP to promote everything they’ve been doing in terms of making their printers more secure and also building printers with ‘cyber resilience’, meaning they have the capacity to detect malicious or accidental actions and even recover from the attacks. HP has done some amazing things to facilitate the security of printers which in turn helps to create a more secure enterprise network.”

So, you need to be protected not only on the digital input end of computer work, but on the output end too – as your project appears on paper. Read about the “bug bounties” HP has been paying independent developers and security researchers (a.k.a. hackers) to share vulnerabilities that they have found in applications and systems with the companies that produce them.”

Good to know that HP (and hopefully other printer manufacturers) is on top of this potential hacking hazard.

Doug Bedell — September 5, 2018, 2:12 pm

DHS Secretary Nielsen: “17 Years After 9/11, the Threat Horizon Darkens”

We are approaching the 17th possibly fateful anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Fateful because as Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen notes in a September 5th address, “We are witnessing historic changes across the entire threat landscape. We can see the winds blowing and hear the thunder drawing closer once again.” She calls for a “Resilience Agenda,” explaining that

“Our Resilience Agenda is about…

• Leaning in against today’s threats while zooming out to prepare for those on the horizon
• Being adaptive to keep pace with our adversaries
• Identifying and confronting systemic risk
• Preparing at the citizen level
• Building redundancy and resilience into literally everything
• And raising the baseline of our security across the board—and across the world”

It almost sounds like being an air raid warden during World War II. But it’s a different time and setting now, and the risks are increasingly digital, along with being framed in the darkness of threatening minds somewhere out there.

Secretary Nielsen has much to advise – we recommend that you read her full address at the link provided above.

Doug Bedell — September 4, 2018, 10:56 am

No Small Matter: Insuring Against Unauthorized Intrusions

Consider the ways unauthorized intrusions can occur in your business or workplace. That’s the advice of Security InfoWatch in recommending how to prevent dire intrusions.

It’s not just having a lock on the door. “Unregulated businesses are also feeling an urgency to control access to their facilities, not only to protect the physical safety and security of employees and property, but also to protect against access to, and theft of, intellectual property, business information, and other electronic assets stored on their networks.”

“A security manager may think he has the necessary precautions in place, but after a breach has occurred, would a court of law agree that the company did everything possible to prevent it? In several cases, the answer has been “no” and hefty fines were imposed.”

That’s no small measure of jeopardy for not insuring limited access where and when it’s called for.

Doug Bedell — August 31, 2018, 2:42 pm

Facial Recognition Technology Catches an Airport Imposter

For the first time ever, a new facial recognition system at Washington’s Dulles International Airport has identified a man seeking to use a bogus passport that looked genuine.

In Homeland Security advises that “the new facial recognition system detected that the man’s face and the photo in the passport were not an exact match. During the subsequent meeting with customs officials, an identification card from the Republic of Congo was discovered under the sole of the man’s shoe. The man was arrested and sent back to Brazil on the next available flight.”

You’d better be precisely who you look to be – not who you claim to be – at airports in the future. For, “The new facial recognition technology virtually eliminates the ability for someone to use a genuine document that was issued to someone else.”

Doug Bedell — August 29, 2018, 3:51 pm

Homeland Security Now a College Major Distinct From Policing

There’s a diversity of choices now for college students with a developing interest in homeland security as a career. A post on the In Public Safety site notes that “Many fields require a bachelor’s degree, but do not require a major in a certain field of study.

“For example”, it notes, “a police department may have a requirement that an officer have a bachelor’s degree but will usually not require the degree be in criminal justice. While it may seem to make sense that an aspiring officer should get a degree in criminal justice, that may not actually be necessary. Officers may benefit just as much, if not more, from pursuing a degree in homeland security, for example.”

There are varying dimensions to careers in homeland security and it’s gratifying to see that students with a developing interest in the field aren’t being forced into lockstep but are able to explore it freely.