William Jackson

DHS wants to 'change the game' on public safety network

Location:
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Washington, DC, 20528, United States
Recommendation:
2

Faced with a need to upgrade the department’s aging, stovepiped tactical communications networks while reducing costs, the Homeland Security Department is considering a “game changing approach” by using emerging commercial and public safety networks on a subscription basis.

Government reach for secure electric grid exceeds its grasp

Location:
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Dirksen Senate Office Building SD-366, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
2

Government efforts to ensure the cybersecurity of the nation’s increasingly networked electric grid are hampered by a cumbersome regulatory process and a lack of enforcement, government and industry witnesses told a Senate panel.

Who's teleworking? Government doesn't really know.

Location:
Government Accountability Office (GAO), 441 G St., NW, Washington, DC, 20548, United States
Recommendation:
2

In 2010, the Office of Personnel Management set an aggressive goal of increasing the level of telework among federal employees by 50 percent, but officials don’t know how well they’re doing with it because of shortcomings in the way data about telework is collected, according to a recent report. OPM plans to test an automated system to gather telework data from agencies this year to get more complete and consistent data, rather than relying on agency estimates as in the past. But these changes also will make it difficult to compare the data with that from previous years, as required by the Telework Enhancement Act, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Two states climb aboard new, 100-gigabit fast train

Location:
Indianapolis, IN, United States
Recommendation:
2

Indiana and Ohio are the first states to take advantage of the next-generation backbone being built out by Internet2 and the Energy Department, linking in-state academic research networks to the 100-gigabits/sec cross-country network.

$10 million offered for ideas on creating trusted online identities

Location:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-1070, United States
Recommendation:
2

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is making up to $10 million available for research projects addressing the challenges of implementing a trusted online identity ecosystem.

Political borders don't stop cyberattacks, but they prevent defense, study finds

Location:
McAfee, 3965 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara, CA, 95054, United States
Recommendation:
2

Cyberspace is a global commons without international boundaries, but the political divisions of the real world hamper the defense of this shared resource, according to a new study of government and private sector IT officials.

NIST puts together a plan for securing wireless LANs

Location:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-1070, United States
Recommendation:
1

Wireless local-area networks are widely used in government to extend traditional LANs, but they can introduce new networking risks, the National Institute of Standards and Technology warns.

Energy’s 10-year plan to protect the power grid from cyberattack

Location:
Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC, 20585, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Energy Department has released an updated cybersecurity road map for protecting the North American energy distribution and delivery system against increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks.

Federal data breach legislation stalls

Location:
Capitol Building, East Capitol Street, NE and 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
1

Bills that would strengthen notification laws in data breaches have stalled in Congress. Meanwhile, California -- which enacted the nation’s first data breach notification law in 2002 -- has passed its own legislation strengthening and clarifying requirements for notifying individuals when personal information has been compromised.

Trusted online identities plan hinges on collaboration

Location:
National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-1070, United States
Recommendation:
2

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks, and its success will depend on the collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors.

FERC lacks the juice to enforce smart grid security, study finds

Location:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20426, United States
Recommendation:
2

A framework of standards is emerging for securing an intelligent energy grid, but it is not yet complete and federal overseers lack the authority to require industry compliance.

NIST: National ID is not part of 'identity ecosystem'

Location:
National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899-1070, United States
Recommendation:
1

A new website has been created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to explain plans for a National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace and to help quell fears that the government is creating a national Internet ID to track online activities.

Big telework savings trumps butts in the seats

Recommendation:
1

Despite years of official support and the promise of huge returns on investment, routine telework remains a goal in most agencies, relegated to pilot programs and special situations.

4G public safety network to undergo first tests

Recommendation:
2

Partners from the telecom industry are being signed up to participate in a demonstration network being established by the Commerce Department to test next-generation communications technology for a nationwide public safety network.

First set of Smart Grid standards submitted to energy regulators

Location:
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20426, United States
Recommendation:
3

A set of five foundational technical standards for Smart Grid interoperability and security have undergone a cybersecurity review by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and have been submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for adoption.

Time for U.S. to assert itself on the Internet, report says

Recommendation:
1

The international community has failed to develop an effective model for governing the Internet, and the United States must assert its interests in overseeing the infrastructure that plays a vital part in its national security and economic well-being, according to a new report from the Council on Foreign Relations. The report, by Robert Knake, notes that the annual cost of cyber crime is estimated at $1 trillion and that cyberattacks are becoming a part of warfare and diplomacy.

Panel: U.S. lacks legal framework to fight in cyberspace

Recommendation:
2

The United States is hamstrung in defending itself in cyberspace by a lack of policies and legal framework for waging war in the new military domain, a panel of government and private-sector experts said.

Cyber Command still struggling to define cyber war

Cyberspace has been accepted as a domain of military operations, alongside the four traditional domains of land, sea, air and space in which the military operates. But cyberspace is not analogous to real space. It is not defined by location, boundaries and terrain, and traditional U.S. military doctrine that served the nation well through the Cold War does not translate into this new place.

Public-private effort on cybersecurity needs a push from Congress

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

A White House report that highlights cybersecurity accomplishments during the 14 months since the release of the Cyberspace Policy Review includes some notable accomplishments. One of the biggest challenges remaining in securing the nation's information infrastructure is ensuring the cooperation of government, which has responsibility for the nation's defense, with the private sector, which owns and operates the majority of the critical systems.

US understanding of cyberwar still immature, says former NSA director

Recommendation:
1

The United States has accepted cyberspace as a domain for military activity, but lacks an effective military and political doctrine for conducting and defending itself against cyber war, retired Gen. Michael Hayden said.

It is time for a public debate on whether and how to wage war in cyber space

Recommendation:
2

A chorus of alarmists is raising the specter of cyberwarfare and urging the militarization of the Internet to ensure our national security against online attacks. But failure to distinguish between real acts of war and other malicious behavior not only increases the risks of war, but also distracts us from more immediate threats such as online crime.

Industry coalition plans interoperability program

Recommendation:
1

The Initiative for Open Authentication, an industry coalition promoting the use of open standards for interoperable strong authentication, used its annual meeting at this week's RSA Security Conference to discuss plans for an interoperability certification program.

Google-NSA partnership should be more public, less private

Recommendation:
3

To serve the public interest, any public-private partnership needs to be as public as it is private.

Forget the money: Congress should allocate radio frequency band for public safety

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Federal Communications Commission's failure to sell a swath of the 700 MHz radio frequency band called the D Block at a public auction in 2008 has temporarily halted development of a nationwide public safety network. The quickest and simplest way to eliminate this road block would be to allocate that spectrum for public safety use.

A call for critical thinking about securing our electric grid

Recommendation:
1

The electric power grid has emerged as one of the most critical elements of our nation's critical infrastructure, and efforts to create an interoperable Smart Grid with two-way communications and power flow are highlighting the need for security.

Will FCC's National Broadband Plan address reliability?

Recommendation:
3

The National Broadband Plan that the Federal Communications Commission is readying for Congress could include programs to ensure greater reliability and visibility into IP networks on which the nation's public safety agencies increasingly depend, the chief of the FCC's Communications Systems Analysis Division said Tuesday.

Commerce to test 4G technology for public safety network

Recommendation:
2

The Commerce Department plans to establish a lab for real-world testing of emerging 4G communications technology that could be used in a national public safety network.

Politics, bad luck and lack of maturity have hampered DHS

Recommendation:
2

As the lead agency for securing dot-gov resources, the Homeland Security Department has a mandate to stop malware from getting into government networks and keep bad things from happening, a job it has not yet sorted out how to do.

NIST gets new director at a critical time for the agency

Recommendation:
3

Patrick Gallagher, confirmed last month as director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, believes the agency he is taking over has become an economic enabler for a nation increasingly dependent on information technology and the ability to securely share and use information.

Departures of top cybersecurity officials reflect realities of governing

Recommendation:
2

The recent resignations of two high-profile cybersecurity officials from the Obama administration, coupled with apparent delays in the naming of the new White House cybersecurity coordinator, have given rise to some grumbling in the information technology community that the issue has fallen off the White House radar. Don't be too quick to read much into these developments.