Doug Bedell — August 26, 2016, 2:03 pm

Smile, You’re On Somebody’s Camera

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Video surveillance is becoming part of the growing security dimension of our digitally modern lives. SecurityInfoWatch advises that “The deployment of urban video surveillance is the fastest growing segment of the video world. The expansion in large metropolises to smaller burgs is unrelenting. In fact, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg once said that Americans should get used to ‘more visibility and less privacy,’ because ‘there will be cameras every place’ in the next five years in urban spaces.”

Even if a locale doesn’t have many of its own video security cameras, it can probably contract with other agencies to provide photos if and when it needs them. “Whenever we have a criminal case,” says Arlington, VA’s Police Chief Murray Farr, “the police department works very closely with its private partners to obtain any of (the) video that may have been captured within the vicinity of the event. We also have contracts with the Metropolitan Transit Authority to obtain video information on the Metro line, along with the Virginia Department of Transportation for the highways in the Commonwealth.”

So keep smiling, you may well be on somebody’s camera.

Doug Bedell — August 24, 2016, 3:11 pm

On Guard Against Hackers

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Securosis discusses the constant, and evidently growing, presence of hackers and spammers on the Internet, and perhaps your computers. We note this post not to be alarmist, but so that you’ll keep your guard up against anything that appears insecure, or aberrant, about your system.

Doug Bedell — August 22, 2016, 1:34 pm

‘Intelligence Certifications’ Becoming Expected

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No, they’re not the result of IQ tests. More typically, intelligence certifications are issued by schools, the federal government and certain professional organizations to confirm capacity in intelligence and security reckoning.

In Public Safety notes that “For those looking to recruit or hire intelligence personnel, finding ways to discriminate between candidates’ varying qualifications is a never-ending challenge. It’s extremely difficult to determine and define which analysts are good, great, or exceptional.”

Thus the growth of intelligence certifications, which the In Public Safety post notes are becoming increasingly common and, indeed, expected. Their purpose is to help identify “great intelligence professionals”.

Doug Bedell — August 18, 2016, 6:47 pm

Climate Change? Close Enough to Take Seriously

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Coastal flooding, as in Louisiana, is starting to appear on security blogs as evidence, if not of climate change conclusively, what climate change will look like. Warning enough, we’d say.

On Government Security News, columnist George Lane writes that “This is what climate change will look (like) in Louisiana.” He had just noted that: “The National Weather Service (NWS) said this was a one in 500 years flood; however, there have been 8 one in 500 year floods in this year alone, including one in Louisiana in March.”

River flooding records are being shattered in Louisiana. And “more rain fell than Los Angeles has seen in more than 3 Years: Since the start of 2012, Los Angeles has seen a total of 29.18 inches of rain. In just a few days, Watson, Louisiana, picked up two inches more than that amount with 31.39 inches of rain during the event.” It was “the second 24+ inch rain event in Louisiana this year.”

Doug Bedell — August 17, 2016, 10:36 am

Security Now a Core Business Function

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We continue on the theme of new settings and, thereby, challenges for security executives (just about everybody in an enterprise, really). SecurityInfoWatch provides us with “5 core rules for transforming the role of security.” They hinge, no surprise, on technology.

“Advancements in technology,” the post reads, “are creating opportunities for security to make the necessary transition from what has been largely viewed as a mainly reactive cost center to a more proactive strategic business partner – a value center, if you will.

“The single greatest opportunity for creating that value lies in technology that makes security more efficient and can deliver the capabilities to transform business infrastructure in addition to strengthening security.”

While the post doesn’t quite get down to cases, it develops a bit further the theme that security has become “a proactive strategic business partner.”

Doug Bedell — August 15, 2016, 2:27 pm

FEMA Has a New ‘Weather the Storm’ App

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agrees – “There’s an app for that.” We need to be secure in foul weather as well as fair, and FEMA is doing what it can technically to help with that. At the App Store, you’ll find “Weather the Storm,” the new FEMA app, which works on all smartphones.

It’s timely, too. “With hurricane season continuing through the end of November,” FEMA advises, “the FEMA app is an important tool to help your family weather the storm, nationwide.” Via FEMA’s app, the National Weather Service provides alerts for up to five locales across the U.S.

Check FEMA’s new app out, before those menacing clouds gather.

Doug Bedell — August 12, 2016, 12:18 pm

The Latest Software–Equipped Cars May Not Be Secure


Cars billed as the latest and greatest and partially powered by software may have security vulnerabilities the automakers haven’t yet caught on to. That’s the word from The Security Ledger blog, which advises that such vulnerabilities are “unlikely to be resolved through after-the-fact security fixes,” according to an anaylsis by the firm IOActive. Check its “Commonalities in Vehicle Vulnerabilities” paper.

In the IOActive work, advises Security Ledger, “The results, while not dire, are not encouraging. The bulk of vulnerabilities that were identified stemmed from a failure by automakers and suppliers to follow security best practices including designing in security or applying secure development lifecycle (SDL) practices to software creation.

“These are all great things that the software industry learned as it has progressed in the last 20 years,’ IOActive adds, “But (automakers) are not doing them.” So, when being urged on by a car salesman about state-of-the-art security gear, let the buyer beware.

Doug Bedell — August 11, 2016, 2:11 pm

‘The Internet of Things’ Explained – and Expanded

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The Internet of Things is becoming, and will increasingly become, a vast new factor of Internet connectivity, including for security purposes. Internet of Things? What’s that?

Security InfoWatch is introducing us to the Internet of Things by advising that “Consumers are purchasing more and more connected devices every year, which has led to increased demand for the same level of simplicity and ease of technological integration within enterprises.

“IoT is quickly moving from concept to reality and will create many new possibilities for organizations in every industry to increase process efficiency and profitability. Despite being in its infancy, the convergence between different IoT building solutions is already solving business challenges and changing day-to-day operations…” Read on.

Doug Bedell — August 8, 2016, 3:06 pm

Trucks, Too, Can Be Targets of Electronic Hijackings

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Bruce Schneier refers us to an article in Wired magazine on how big rig trucks could become a target for electronic hijackers, just as some newer car models have earned that dubious distinction. Being able electronically to hijack or disable a 33,000 pound over-the-road truck is pretty scary. Hackers don’t mind scaring people, though, whether they’re stationary or mobile.

This Wired piece on the hacking hazard to trucks is the latest we’ve seen on the “brave new world” of technology we’ve entered and need to surmount in security terms. Pay it heed.
(Photo: Getty Images)

Doug Bedell — August 5, 2016, 2:36 pm

Online Risks of the Olympics, Opening Today

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The Rio Olympics are not opening tonight with great advance publicity. From the Zika virus to water pollution, Rio hasn’t generated great coverage of late. But all this could change very much for the better once the athletes start performing.

Security InfoWatch looks at how the Olympics may post another risk, to businesses from cyberspace. “What steps should individuals and businesses alike be taking now to get ready for the 2016 Olympics?” is the question InfoWatch poses, and which it proceeds to answer. Hack attacks and online scams are possibilities, along with network congestion. Let’s hope they don’t materialize.