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Cyber threats growing, expert says at World Affairs Council event

February 24, 2017

Threats to cyber property is growing, ever evolving and no one is really immune, says Frank Cilluffo, associate vice president and director of the Center of Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University. He talked about domestic and international cyber security Tuesday evening during the World Affairs Council of Palm Beach event at The Colony. “We face a dizzying array of threats coming at us from all directions,” Cilluffo said. “Virtually every day there’s a new incident. Nobody is immune. Not our government. Not our businesses, and not us as individuals.”

What will it take to hire 15,000 new border and immigration agents?

February 23, 2017

Recent implementation memos from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly charge human capital leadership at Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hire 15,000 new federal employees. Yet with no additional, immediate funding to implement President Donald Trump’s new executive orders on immigration and border security, offering the proper incentives to attract and hire talented border patrol agents and immigration officers — already a challenging and lengthy process — will be no easy task. It’ll be a joint effort for leadership at both agencies, along with DHS’ chief human capital officer, chief financial officer and undersecretary for management, to develop plans to hire 5,000 additional border patrol agents and 500 Air and Marine agents/officers.

Experts concerned Trump's plan targets only radical Islam, ignores neo-Nazis, anti-government extremists

February 03, 2017

Reports of the Trump administration’s plan to revamp a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies and going forward only focus on Islamist extremism, is raising concerns among those working to counter violent extremism at the international, national and local levels. Reuters reported Wednesday that the federal government program “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE), would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.” This would mean the program would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out attacks in the United States, according to Reuters. Such an approach could strip some of the benefit from having a CVE program, which was established in February 2015 to counter radicalization and terrorist acts through community partnerships, said Brian Levin, director of the Center for Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino.

Experts concerned Trump's plan targets only radical Islam, ignores neo-Nazis, anti-government extremists

February 03, 2017

Reports of the Trump administration’s plan to revamp a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies and going forward only focus on Islamist extremism, is raising concerns among those working to counter violent extremism at the international, national and local levels. Reuters reported Wednesday that the federal government program “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE), would be changed to “Countering Islamic Extremism” or “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism.” This would mean the program would no longer target groups such as white supremacists who have also carried out attacks in the United States, according to Reuters. Such an approach could strip some of the benefit from having a CVE program, which was established in February 2015 to counter radicalization and terrorist acts through community partnerships, said Brian Levin, director of the Center for Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino.

Cybersecurity veteran John Lainhart joins Grant Thornton; Brings decades of experience to firm’s Public Sector clients

January 26, 2017

John Lainhart has joined Grant Thornton LLP’s Cyber Risk Advisory practice, within Advisory Services, as a senior strategist. Based in the firm’s Alexandria office, he is responsible for leading the development of Grant Thornton Public Sector’s cybersecurity offering. Lainhart has extensive experience in cybersecurity. Before retiring in 2016, he was IBM Global Business Services’ U.S. Public Sector Cybersecurity & Privacy leader. During his 14-year tenure at IBM, Lainhart led IBM’s cybersecurity and privacy area, building it from a team of 15 to 250 professionals. Among the major clients supported by his team were the Department of Defense, National Security Agency and Social Security Administration, and Lainhart led engagements at Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

DHS leadership picks elevate cyberdefense mission

January 25, 2017

Experts say the Department of Homeland Security is unlikely to relinquish its day-to-day role in sharing cybersecurity threats with the private sector, despite hints from President Trump that he would pass some duties to the U.S. military. Trump's choice of retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly to lead the sprawling civilian agency last month — the third general offered a senior position in the new administration — fueled early speculation about a more militaristic government strategy for securing cyberspace (Energywire, Dec. 12, 2016). Such an approach appeared to be consistent with Trump's pledge to set up an infrastructure-focused "cyber review team" led by the Department of Defense, scouting out potential weak spots in crucial U.S. energy and water computer systems. After Kelly easily won Senate confirmation Friday, one of his first actions as secretary of Homeland Security was to hire a former cyber risk consultant with expertise in critical infrastructure security to be chief of staff. While many political vacancies remain in DHS leadership, Kirstjen Nielsen's chief of staff appointment drew accolades from former colleagues and cybersecurity experts.

Predicting Corporate Intelligence Agencies in the 1960S

January 24, 2017

The recent tumult around the emergence of a dossier suggesting salacious things about President Donald Trump has cast light on a series of for-profit intelligence firms with names like “Orbis International” and “Fusion GPS.” Such organizations are part of a huge industry providing information, analysis, and “decision advantage” for companies, investors, political parties, and often government agencies. It is a giant industry, and one that was predicted with remarkable insight in 1966. Every time one of us applies for a car loan, a mortgage, or myriad other modern conveniences, we agree to a credit check. One of the major providers of this service is Fair, Isaac and Company (NYSE: FICO), which provides the ubiquitous “FICO score,” one of the analytic building blocks of modern consumer lending. Earl Isaac and William “Bill” Fair founded this California-based company in 1956. Fair, an engineer, with degrees from Cal Tech, Stanford, and Berkeley, was a pioneer in “statistically-based decision processes and automated processing technologies.” He was also ahead of his time in thinking about something else: private sector intelligence.

DHS tags election systems as critical

January 09, 2017

To the consternation of some state government officials, the Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 6 moved to make state election systems part of the critical infrastructure sectors under its protection. The move comes in the wake of allegations of Russian hacking into political targets during the recent election period, and specific complaints of attempts to penetrate state election and voter data systems. On Jan. 6, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson formally designated state election assets -- including polling places; centralized vote tabulation locations used to support the election process; storage facilities; and related information and communications technology -- as U.S. critical infrastructure.

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