Doug Bedell — January 16, 2019, 1:21 pm

Privacy Concerns Too Often Overlooked In Business Settings


Security pros, the DarkReading blog advises, need to become familiar with ways in which mistakes in the handling of digital information – such as email – “can lead to some dangerous privacy snafus.”

The post lists seven ways in which this can happen: 1) “Accidental emails”, 2) Misdirected corporate emails, 3) Unauthorized people in an email string, 4) Mobile devices synced to corporate systems, 5) Improper “offboarding” when an employee leaves a firm, 6) Unencrypted data or emails on a corporate system and 7) Misusing savings when privacy is actually taken into account during a merger or acquisition.

Clearly, privacy concerns are becoming a major corporate
checkpoint, or should be, in this digital age.

Doug Bedell — January 14, 2019, 11:18 am

Technology’s Speedy Pace Raises Fateful Questions


On Homeland 411, a post from War Room, the online journal of the U.S. Army War College, raises potentially daunting questions about the speed of technological change.

“Futurist, author, and computer scientist Ray Kurzweil estimates that between 2000 and 2007, technology advanced 1 million times – and predicts by his ‘Law of Accelerating Returns’ it will advance a billion times over the next thirty years,” the post notes.

“The implications of continued rapid technological change need urgent attention,” it warns. “Enabling technologies will change the character of war. U.S. leaders must get on board now and approach the coming change from a long-term view. In many cases, new and emerging technologies are already having effects, and may drive the military toward focusing on short-term reactions and solutions that simply won’t work for the long run.”

It’s definitely time to crouch and ponder where the future will be taking us in security terms.

Doug Bedell — January 11, 2019, 4:27 pm

U.S. Dilemma: Illusions Behind a Border Wall


In Homeland Security resorts to an editorial to express its view that building a wall along the southern U.S. border wouldn’t work.

“Here’s the problem: Like all law enforcement, border protection is best done by trained officers. If the president had asked for $5 billion to double or triple our Border Patrol forces and equip them with the latest and best technological gear to assist in their mission, we believe Congress would have entered serious discussions with him and largely supported his quest. But those same members of Congress, from both parties and especially those hailing from states on our Mexican border, know the problem and have done their fact-finding. They know that a wall isn’t the answer.

“The fact is that most of the drugs and human traffic coming into our country from Mexico are arriving through legal ports of entry, hidden in trucks, airplanes, ships, cargo containers and other legitimate-appearing conveyances. Most of the opioids that are killing so many Americans are coming in from Asia, most often via U.S. Postal Service or other parcel-shipping services.”

Thus, In Homeland Security’s view, in short: A nation in the grip of a fixation – that a wall will solve its security concerns – is, instead, in a fix.

Doug Bedell — January 9, 2019, 4:48 pm

Computer Passwords Seen As Passing Away, Though Slowly


Believe it or not, Security Infowatch reports that computer passwords are on their way out, all be it slowly.

“Passwords as we know them – a string of letters, numbers and special characters suffer a dwindling shelf life” So, what’s going to replace them? The post lists biometrics, blockchain and digital IDs and artificial intelligence-enabled (AI) means.

The post is a fascinating piece of speculation, but don’t chuck your passwords list quite yet.

Doug Bedell — January 7, 2019, 1:34 pm

Digital Pressures Growing; Security Harder to Maintain

It’s becoming increasingly challenging to be a business executive in today’s cyber-driven economy, Security magazine advises. “Executives are “most concerned about digital readiness (and) talent management in 2019.” This is especially so with firms that are competing against “born digital” rivals.

As seen by  executives, here are the top 10 risks in today’s business settings:

  1. Existing operations meeting performance expectations, competing against “born digital” firms
  2. Succession challenges and ability to attract and retain top talent
  3. Regulatory changes and regulatory scrutiny
  4. Cyber threats
  5. Resistance to change operations
  6. Rapid speed of disruptive innovations and new technologies
  7. Privacy/identity management and information security
  8. Inability to utilize analytics and big data
  9. Organization’s culture may not sufficiently encourage timely identification and escalation of risk issues
  10. Sustaining customer loyalty and retention

How long has it been now since a business “simply” had to focus on real-life customers?

Doug Bedell — January 5, 2019, 8:42 am

PASS: A Web Resource on School Security

Barrier Briefs reports on school security issues from time to time. But we haven’t yet referred you to the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools – PASS – which has an aggressive mission:  “To provide school administrators, school boards and public safety and security professionals with information, tools and insight needed to implement a tiered approach to securing and enhancing the safety of school environments based on their individual needs, nationwide best practices, and making the most effective use of resources available.”

The PASS website is: https://passk12.org/about-pass/.  Administrators and parents can get a handle there on how school systems are approaching security issues and assess how well their own schools are following best security practices. Start by downloading the PASS guidelines.

One of the PASS approaches is “How to distinguish needed and effective solutions from sales pitches on unnecessary products.” Sounds like a good place to start considering how well schools are dealing with security issues.

Doug Bedell — January 2, 2019, 4:46 pm

Security Officers Experiece Often Unappreciated Stress

A timely security story that we almost missed at the turn of the year can be found on In Public Safety. It has to do with the stress and trauma regularly experience by police and other security officers.

“It’s no secret,” the post notes, “that being a law enforcement officer is made extremely difficult by cumulative stress, ongoing exposure to traumatic incidents, and endless public scrutiny. It is a career that takes a toll on a person, no matter how resilient or well-prepared they believe they are. As a result, it has become critical for officers to constantly evaluate their own mental wellnessfind healthy ways to manage stressinvolve their family and friends in assessing their well-being, find the courage to recognize when they need help, and then take action to get that help.”

Too many people tend to view police and other security officers as workaday supermen. For a corrective to that notion, spend some time reading the In Public Safety post and it’s linked supporting information. You’ll find that security officers are human too.

Doug Bedell — December 31, 2018, 3:56 pm

Video Surveillance Discussed as a ‘Re-Emerging’ Security Tool

If effective video surveillance is a security aim of yours, here, from SecurityInfowatch.com, is a set of predictions on the technology for 2019 from a panel of experts

“In the video surveillance market,” the presentation begins,  “it could be said that analytics are getting their shot at an industry reboot.  Having overpromised and under-delivered a decade ago, recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning software have made intelligent video analysis a realistic capability for end-users to deploy at scale. Of course, the technology is still in its infancy and there are a number of challenges that must be overcome before it can be widely adopted.”

Sounds complicated? Well, read on in the post to be introduced to a re-emerging security tool and its prospects.

Doug Bedell — December 21, 2018, 1:22 pm

China, Too, Hosting Computer Hackers, State/DHS Say

Much of the computer hacking attention of late has gone to Russia, but China has been in the digital fray too, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises.

“Since at least 2014, Chinese cyber actors associated with the Chinese Ministry of State Security have hacked multiple U.S. and global managed service and cloud providers. These Chinese actors used this access to compromise the networks of the providers’ clients, including global companies located in at least 12 countries.

“The United States is concerned that this activity violates the 2015 U.S.-China cyber commitments made by President Xi Jinping to refrain from conducting or knowingly supporting ‘cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors.’  China has also made this commitment with G20 and APEC members as well as in other bilateral statements.”

Hard to know who’s getting in behind your screen.

 

Doug Bedell — December 19, 2018, 1:23 pm

Vexing Security Delays on the Southwestern Border

For all the concern over protecting the U.S. southwestern border, Homeland 411 advises that the intent to hire “thousands of Border Patrol and other agents…has come up extremely short…

“As of October 1, 2018 – 10 months into the contract – Customs and Border Protection has paid Accenture approximately $13.6 million for startup costs, security requirements, recruiting, and applicant support. In return, Accenture has processed two accepted job offers.”

“Accenture,” the post continues, “did not always provide necessary technical experts and experienced vendors, such as human resource personnel and those involved in the background investigation process, to complete CBP’s hiring process end-to-end, as it indicated it would,” the report states.

Security, border or otherwise, requires the ability to provide security efficiently and promptly. Something seems to be lacking in that capacity along the southwestern border.