Doug Bedell — April 1, 2015, 10:36 am

Nuclear-Inclusive Drills Should Be the Rule

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A worthy exercise in San Diego: The Department Homeland Security advises that, during March in San Diego, CA, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies along with first responders participated in a drill involving detection of nuclear materials on small maritime vessels. They used “human portable handheld and backpack detection equipment.”

Capacity to detect possible nuclear materials needs to be a routine part of emergency planning and detection capabilities practically everywhere.

Doug Bedell — March 30, 2015, 10:45 am

Tweeting Away on Security Matters

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In case you might not be aware of it, homeland security is a significant presence on Twitter. Not only does the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have a Twitter feed, there’s a separate one by DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate. And the hashtag #homelandsecurity will take you to a continuing stream of tweets on security matters.

These are good informational resources on security-related information you might not come across in the normal course of events – although for lots of folks, Twitter is part of the new normal. And then, the Master of Homeland Security site has 100 more Twitter feeds related to homeland security, from FEMA and the U.S. Secret Service to Interpol. Busy enough?

Image: TechnoCrunch.com

Doug Bedell — March 27, 2015, 10:27 am

Brian Krebs Checks Out a Web Fraudster

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Who’s behind scams and fraud on the Internet? Lots of folks, no doubt, but Brian Krebs has gone to the trouble seeking to identify one such “author,” the knave behind Antidetect, “a commercial tool designed to help thieves evade fraud detection schemes employed by many e-commerce companies.”

There are, Kreds notes, actually web “crime forums” on which fraudsters can advertise their software and skills.

Doug Bedell — March 25, 2015, 9:31 am

Power Grid Security Includes Fences and Vehicle Barriers

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USA Today has it right in a story about vulnerabilities in the nation’s electric power grid. “About once every four days,” its report states, “part of the nation’s power grid…is struck by a cyber or physical attack.” Could one of them be a precursor to a devastating regional attack?

There aren’t many security priorities higher than protecting the nation’s electric power system, starting with generating plants and substations. Their perimeters and entrances need to be defended by stout fencing and hardy vehicle barriers at their gates. PRO Barrier Engineering can provide guidance and solutions on those entryways.

Doug Bedell — March 23, 2015, 11:32 am

Watch For Online Fraudsters, a Risk in Social Media

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An example of why it’s worth paying attention to the doings on social media in security terms: Until the vendor is caught, at least, it may be possible to purchase stolen Social Security numbers and personal information online. That’s the take-away from a Naked Security post on a fraudster who made a taunting Twitter post.

That’s our takeaway from a post on a Dayton, Ohio, man who allegedly bought “stolen Social Security numbers and personal information from an online fraud site run by (a) Vietnamese national…” There are those who take a brazen approach to upsetting the norms of authentic communication on social media. They can be as corrupting there as anywhere else. Be careful online.

Doug Bedell — March 20, 2015, 1:35 pm

Information Security Threats Foreseeable Through 2017

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The technology security horizon is clouded and uncertain, advises the Information Security Forum. To document its concerns, the ISF lists the “9 Biggest Information Security Threats for the Next Two Years” – through 2017.

“A lot of the threats we see now are enabled or created by technology,” says Steve Durbin, the ISF’s managing director. “We’ve always lauded disruptive innovation, but the good guys are not the only ones who can take advantage of this.”

Take some time to evaluate the ISF’s threat concerns, which we won’t attempt to digest here.

Doug Bedell — March 18, 2015, 3:07 pm

Despite Their Fences, Perimeters Are Security Risks, Too

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Vehicle barriers can protect access roads and entryways. But in between, a lot of times, is fencing. Give attention to fencing, as well, in your perimeter security planning.

For example, Slate’s Crime blog, notes that in Belgium “the other day” thieves made off with approximately $50 million in diamonds by driving through a hole they cut in a perimeter fence at the Brussels Airport, “brandished some machine guns, and made away with the jewels, which had just been transferred from an armored truck to the cargo hold of a Zurich-bound airplane. The whole caper took about five minutes.” Sadly, audacity too often triumphs.

(The photo shows a view of the Brussels Airport perimeter.)

Doug Bedell — March 16, 2015, 10:23 am

For Computer Security, Install the Latest Op System Version

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Which computer operating system is the most secure? Forget about Apple’s reputation for invulnerability – that was before its machines became as popular as they are today.

Safe & Savvy says the most secure system is the one that’s patched regularly. So check faithfully on your software downloads – Windows or Mac – to insure that you have the latest version installed.

Doug Bedell — March 13, 2015, 9:28 am

Shopping Centers Need Continuing Security Attention

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Security at shopping malls has been “ramped up” since 9/11, says Government Security News. But that needs to continue.

“Most people shop within 15 minutes of home a couple of times a week on average and are familiar with their surroundings and stores,” GSN notes. “If you see someone acting strangely…you should alert law enforcement or shopping center management.”

Bollards, too, have a role in shopping center security. Indeed, PRO Barrier recently supplied a high vehicle stopping power Arrestor model barrier to a large combination retail and office complex in the Middle East.

Doug Bedell — March 11, 2015, 4:28 pm

Keep DHS Intact, Says Homeland Security Watch

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Homeland Security Watch states the case against breaking up the Department of Homeland Security. Such a move evidently isn’t being seriously considered by Congress, but it evidently is favored by a Cato Institute writer. Dismantling DHS’, says HSW, would place the department’s coordinating role against terrorism and in disaster response at risk.

“We’d be better served,” it adds, “by an ongoing policy discussion focused on how it (DHS) can be improved and made more efficient, rather than a debate about breaking it up.”