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Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 2016

Discover a training and professional development curriculum for government professionals

To give you the new tools and best practices you need to protect your organization in today’s rapidly changing threat environment, this year’s Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit, June 13 – 16, in National Harbor, MD, offers a dedicated training curriculum for government IT security and risk management professionals to help you bolster cyber defenses while enabling mission success and optimizing citizen outcomes.

Our dedicated curriculum features networking opportunities, case studies and Gartner-analyst-led sessions on your most pressing initiatives, including:

  • Cybersecurity threats
  • Cloud security and the role of FedRAMP
  • Secure mobile operations
  • The role of analytics in cyber security
  • Agencies’ shift to the Risk Management Framework
  • Recent developments such as OMB’s Cyber Security Implementation Plan and the CISA legislation

We’re also excited to announce our guest keynote speaker, General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) who will be speaking on what it takes to be a leader and strategies for “taking charge” during times of great change and great crises.

By attending the full event, you can also earn CPE credits toward (ISC)2, ISACA, DRII and BCI certification programs.

To learn more and to register, call 1 866 405 2511.

Mosaic451 named to EdTech Digest's "Cool Tool Awards"

Phoenix, March 21 - Mosaic451, a bespoke cybersecurity services provider and consultancy, announced today that they have been named to EdTech Digest's Cool Tool Awards in the category of best security/privacy solution. The annual competition features the top 100 companies that are transforming the educational landscape.

The awards program features industry solutions providers, educators and others in and around education including K-12, higher education and lifelong learning. The program includes three broad entry categories: the Cool Tool awards, the EdTech Leadership awards, and the Trendsetter awards. Each award, in turn, has numerous subcategories under which to enter, including categories such as emerging technology solutions, mobile learning applications, product or service setting a trend, and others.

"We are honoured to be named a finalist," says Mike Baker, Principal of Mosaic451. "Mosaic451 firmly believes that securing the networks and devices of school districts is essential as cyberattacks continue to grow day by day. Our unique blend of deep technical experience and operational discipline is what has made us a trusted provider in the education industry."

The majority of Mosaic's senior staff and technical staff have held leadership and senior analyst positions in the creation of the nation's first K-12 Security Operations Center (SOC) based at Clark County School District, DOE National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Information Assurance Response Center (IARC) in Las Vegas, NV; and NNSA's Office of Secure Transportation's (OST) Transportation and Emergency Control Center (TECC), which, among other things, are responsible for defending the US nuclear arsenal against cyber-attacks. The Mosaic451 team also provides key security services for government and private sector regulations such as FISMA, CIP, SOX, NIST and PCI.

Mosaic Hybrid™ is an industry first solution, providing specialized staff onsite during business hours to work alongside current technology and security staff that may already be in place. The use of human understanding and intelligence coupled with their "converged view" of networks gives Mosaic451 the unique ability to empower security analysts to provide advanced data analysis and determine threat vectors, threat actors, and intelligent root causes for every incident.

About Mosaic451

Recently named 'Top 10 Managed Security Service Providers 2015' by CSO Outlook, Mosaic451 is a bespoke cyber security service provider and consultancy. Our organization has specific expertise in building, operating and defending some of the most highly-secure networks in North America. Unlike others, we are not peddlers of magic; technology alone cannot fully protect our clients' data, networks, or interests. Technology, if deployed correctly, is a force multiplier for intelligent humans. Mosaic451 aggregates and empowers intelligent humans in the service of information security and IT operations excellence for our clients.

Avtec announces ScoutLink, a revolutionary enhancement for dispatch console communications

Lexington, SC, March 21 - Avtec, the nation's leading independent provider of Radio over IP (RoIP) dispatch console systems, today announced the upcoming release of ScoutLink™ -- an innovation that opens access to the Scout™ dispatching console platform to off-the-shelf IP devices. ScoutLink extends communications to users not previously possible and leverages the range of connectivity supported by Scout to a wider audience.

ScoutLink integrates existing voice products to enable dispatch communications on a variety of IP devices even allowing access to platforms that are traditionally non-voice. This means users can extend dispatch communications to places where a full-scale console position would be cumbersome or in other situations that require a departure from the standard console form factor.

"ScoutLink is another example of our commitment to market-driven innovation. We are committed to providing more choices to help our clients and partners build the dispatch communications systems they need," Avtec Director of Product Marketing Carlos Palacios said.

ScoutLink will launch with the Mini SIP Console from Essential Trading Systems (ETC) and will be sold and supported by Avtec. The Mini SIP Console controls up to four radio endpoints and has undergone compatibility testing with Scout to ensure a smooth, quality experience for our clients. Some examples of uses for the ETC Mini SIP Console include a railyard that wants to provide four-channel radio access to senior executives for emergency monitoring, a remote airfield guardhouse that assures logistics for a small group of ramp workers, or the local office of a utility operation that is activating a small subgroup to manage a regional disaster.

ScoutLink will be available to order in Q2 of 2016. Additional ScoutLink capabilities will be introduced twice a year through standard Scout software releases, available to customers under Avtec's ScoutCare™ program.

About Avtec, Inc.

Avtec, Inc. provides pure Internet Protocol (IP) dispatch console solutions for the transportation, public safety, utility, business and industry, and government markets. For more than 35 years, customers have chosen Avtec's award-winning technology for their mission-critical dispatch centers. There are thousands of Scout Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) consoles installed worldwide. 

ZapFraud awarded patent for advanced fraud and BEC detection and blocking

Palo Alto, CA, March 17 – ZapFraud announces that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted a patent for ZapFraud’s innovative technology that identifies scam emails on the basis of meaning. The patent highlights ZapFraud’s distinctive filtering and automation that identify, block and report fraud and scammers based on insights into the criminals’ methods. 

While scammers constantly change their formulations, they very rarely depart from one of a relatively small number of storylines. For example, consider an email that has a greeting from an apparent stranger; an expression of surprise; mention of large sums of money; an expression of urgency; and a request for a response. Whereas there are millions and millions of ways of writing a scam email, there may be just ten or twenty ways to express each one of these notions." This makes it possible to detect scam emails by their storylines,” Dr. Markus Jakobsson, CTO and founder of ZapFraud, explains. 

Detecting scam by their storylines is only one of the many lines of defense that ZapFraud has developed. With five more patents pending, ZapFraud is aggressively positioning to address the problem of online scams with a unique approach that identifies scammers based on understanding of their methods. “We understand Business Email Compromise (BEC) and how to detect it,” says Dr. Jakobsson. “BEC is a problem that has grown explosively for the last few years. We have tracked it since 2008 and have seen it shoot up like few other scams. This is not only a testimony to how lucrative it is, but also exposes weakness in traditional defense methods.” 

ZapFraud is in early testing of the patented Fraud Firewall™ and BEC risk assessment and protection. Organizations can be running a ZapFraud Fraud Firewall and blocking fraud on their network in about an hour. To participate in trials, businesses should contact ZapFraud at [email protected] 

About ZapFraud 

ZapFraud is a leading provider of innovative security solutions for business and enterprise. The patent pending ZapFraud Fraud Firewall™ automates against Business Email Compromise (BEC) and targeted fraud from many channels. ZapFraud’s patent-pending scam protection service helps provide peace of mind for all who face the increasing and ever-changing threat of email, social media and online criminals who attempt to steal intellectual property, identity, online credentials and, corporate assets and funds.

Lifesafety Power partners with DAQ Electronics to power new StarWatch™ SMS System

Piscataway, NJ and Mundelin, IL, March 22 - LifeSafety Power Inc., the industry leader in Smart Power Solutions and patented remote monitoring capabilities, has announced a new partnership with DAQ Electronics, LLC, a leading manufacturer of high-end security software and equipment.

LifeSafety Power is now an integral part of the commercial StarWatch™ Security Management System (SMS), providing the widely used and specified Authentic Mercury Security access controller hardware platform and integrated power in a seamless and easy to install enclosure. This StarWatch SMS product integration platform will be officially launched at ISC West 2016, April 5-8 in Las Vegas, where it will be on display in booth 3103. LifeSafety Power will also highlight the new partnership during the show at booth 14121. 

The StarWatch SMS platform enables security professionals to easily design and deploy integrated systems consisting of access control, intrusion detection and video management, all through a single software interface. For installers and end-users looking to incorporate Authentic Mercury hardware or DAQ EntroStar units into their overall StarWatch SMS security solution, pre-installed access panel assemblies using LifeSafety Power technology are now available to suit one, two, four and eight door configurations. Each assembly resides in a LifeSafety Power painted steel enclosure and comes equipped with a FlexPower® FPO75/FPO150 power supply, with the exception of the one-door assembly, which is powered via PoE cabling. Within an integrated StarWatch SMS system, these assemblies provide the capacity to effectively control and monitor multiple doors/portals, including all associated entry/exit readers, door locks and door contacts.

Christopher Sincock, Vice President, Security Business for DAQ said, “Of the many enclosure options we researched for our StarWatch SMS equipment, we feel that the LifeSafety Power solution offers our customers the best combination of reliability and flexibility, and we are excited to begin this affiliation.”

LifeSafety Power is an award-winning provider of UL and cUL enclosures that meet a wide range of applications and specifications for integrated access controller hardware and power in a single design. In addition, LifeSafety Power network communications modules can remotely monitor the power to both the Mercury panels and locks to increase reliability and detect potential problems before they happen or as they occur with notification via email, smartphone or web-based device.

About LifeSafety Power®

LifeSafety Power® is the leader in Smart Power Solutions and patented remote monitoring capabilities, providing modular AC, DC and PoE power systems that meet the growing needs of the life safety and security industries. The FlexPower® and NetPower® product lines are high performance, network-connected, power management systems listed for access control, fire alarm, intrusion, CCTV and Mass Notification applications. LifeSafety Power, headquartered in Illinois, has won numerous industry awards and accolades for product design and innovation. 

eGlobalTech awarded Drupal transition services contract

Arlington, VA, March 22 - eGlobalTech (eGT), a leading provider of management and IT consulting services for the Federal Government, has been awarded a five year contract with the US Department of Interior (DOI) to provide Drupal transition services.

eGT is supporting DOI with the migration of their existing websites to a new standardized common cloud-based Drupal platform powered by OpenPublic. OpenPublic provides a distribution specially designed for open government requirements.

DOI is undertaking a department-wide standardization of all of its public facing websites onto a common shared web content management platform, with emphasis on enhancing user experience for both internal users and public citizens. In addition to optimizing operations and maintenance costs through consolidation, DOI is seeking to achieve greater agility and deeper digital engagement with public citizens through the multitude of devices available today.

About eGlobalTech

eGlobalTech (eGT) is a woman-owned management consulting and IT solutions firm based in Arlington, Virginia. eGT supports multiple federal customers including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, Homeland Security, State, Education, Labor, Energy, and the General Services Administration. eGT is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

How a border wall would hurt the U.S. economy

By Walter Ewing

When Donald Trump speaks of the Great Wall he would build between the United States and Mexico, he fails to account for a few inconvenient facts. For instance, there are millions of men, women, and children who live in communities that fall on both sides of the international boundary. There are millions of tourists, workers, students, and entrepreneurs who cross the border each day. And there are the billions of dollars in two-way trade that sustain millions of U.S. jobs.

Not surprisingly, were Trump to forge ahead with his plan to create an impenetrable border between two economically and socially integrated countries, he would destroy—or, at best, severely damage—these connections at an enormous humanitarian and economic cost. Likewise with his related plan to clear the United States of all undocumented immigrants, which would subtract millions of workers and consumers from the U.S. economy. If we try to make the United States a Mexico-free zone, we will tear the country apart in the process.

Consider a few facts about the U.S.-Mexico relationship that never make their way into the Great Wall rhetoric:

  • The total value of U.S.-Mexico trade is more than $1 billion every day.
  • More than 13 million Mexicans traveled to the United States in 2010, spending $8.7 billion.
  • Roughly 6 million U.S. jobs are sustained by trade with Mexico.
  • More than 20 percent of all U.S. jobs are tied in some way to trade along the border.

For people living in border communities, these are everyday facts of life that fly in the face of the political talking points so commonly used by nativists. That was a central theme of a panel discussion hosted by The Brookings Institution, titled “A complex reality: Security, trade, and the U.S.-Mexico border.” In the first discussion, two Texas Congressman, Will Hurd ® and Beto O’Rourke (D), transcended the ugly partisan politics that has overtaken the nation’s capital. Rep. Hurd described The Wall as “the most expensive and least effective way of securing the border.” He emphasized the relative safety of border cities and said that the border needs more customs agents, infrastructure upgrades for ports of entry, and intelligence-driven law-enforcement operations that target criminal organizations—not more border fencing and Border Patrol agents.

Similarly, Rep. O’Rourke emphasized that El Paso is the safest city in the country, and that San Diego is also in the top ten. He drove home the point that the border is not a dividing line; it’s where two countries, two cultures, and two languages come together. This is a region, spanning both sides of the border, which shares a common history. He also noted that there is no terrorist presence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Rather, the terrorist presence in the United States is either home grown or is arriving via international airports and across the U.S.-Canada border. The point being that more anti-terrorist security measures are not needed in a region that has lots of dilapidated ports of entry but no actual terrorists.

Of course, Trump’s political agenda includes not only building a wall to keep “them” out, but scooping up all of the undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States and dumping them on the other side of that wall. This would be easier said than done. According to a report from the conservative American Action Forum—headed by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office—the cost of undertaking such an operation would be absurdly high. More precisely, removing 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in two years would require:

  • Increasing the number of federal immigration apprehension personnel from 4,844 positions to 90,582 positions.
  • Increasing the number of immigration detention beds from 34,000 to 348,831.
  • Increasing the number of immigration courts from 58 to 1,316.
  • Increasing the number of federal attorneys legally processing undocumented immigrants from 1,430 to 32,445.

And that’s just the beginning. The report concludes that “in just two years it would shrink the labor force by 10.3 million workers and reduce real GDP by $1 trillion.”

Trump and his allies seem to envision a border region populated entirely by murderers and drug traffickers who must be kept out of the United States at all costs. But that’s not the real world. The border is actually home to millions of families and billions of dollars in commerce that provide a large share of the economic life blood of this country. Declaring war on Mexico would be a supremely self-destructive act.

Photo Courtesy of Living-Learning Programs.

Researchers use bird strike data to determine drones pose a minimal threat to planes

By Steve Bittenbender

A pair of researchers from George Mason University have produced a study that claims the threat unmanned aircraft pose on piloted plane may be lower than anticipated.

To come up with that finding Eli Dourado, a research fellow at GMU’s Mercatus Center, and Samuel Hammond, a graduate student and fellow, reviewed 25 years of collisions between planes and birds. While U.S. airspace is filled with about 10 billion birds of various sizes, there have only been 14,314 incidents since 1990 that have caused damage to planes.

That means it’s likely that one bird out of 1 million flies into a plane every year, and most of the damage is minor. Injuries are rare too.

“Among the 398 people who have sustained injuries as a result of bird strikes, 100 stem from a single incident: the famous 2009 crash of US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River,” the researchers said.

Only 12 bird-plane strikes resulted in a fatality, and only one of those was a commercial aircraft. The person who died from that actually died from an ensuing infection and not the actual strike itself.

And none of the fatal collisions involved small birds, the researchers said. That’s important to note because most of the drones taking to the skies are smaller in size. While the researchers note that a drone’s more rigid structure could make it likely that a small drone strike could enact damage, they encourage people to take a deeper look at the numbers and the fact that drones fly far less frequently birds.

“To date, no commercial drone or consumer quadrocopter has ever collided with an aircraft in US airspace,” they said. “Given that there are likely now more than 1 million UAS in US airspace, if they had equivalent flight hours to birds we might expect at least one UAS collision with an aircraft per year. However, taking into consideration human agency and the far more limited time most UAS spend in the air, the true UAS collision rate is likely orders of magnitude lower.”

After seeing a sudden spike last year in the number of incidents reported by pilots, the Federal Aviation Administration took steps to begin regulating unmanned aircraft so that they did not interfere with larger planes. One of the steps they took was the creation of a registry. As of last week, more than 400,000 drone owners have registered their crafts on it, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said.

However, the Academy of Model Aeronautics has called into question the legitimacy of some of the claims. While the FAA said there were 764 “near miss” incidents between drones and planes, the academy could only find evidence of 27 such incidents.

The academy’s government relations staff even took note of the research on the AMA Web site.

“The research makes some strong conclusions about the unlikelihood of a (drone) strike with a full scale aircraft nullifying many of the exaggerated concerns,” the AMA said.

The researchers’ full report can be found at: http://mercatus.org/publication/do-consumer-drones-endanger-national-airspace-evidence-wildlife-strike-data

Terrorists attack Brussels airport and subway, at least 30 killed as ISIS claims responsibility

Anthony Roman, terror expert 

By Steve Bittenbender

The international airport and a subway station in Belgium’s capital were the targets of terrorists, whose attacks on those facilities Tuesday morning have killed at least 30 people and injured scores more.

Terror organization Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the Amaq news agency. Suicide bombers detonated two devices at Brussels’ Zaventem airport. A third device did not explode as first responders eventually diffused it.

“Islamic State fighters opened fire inside Zaventem Airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, (and) as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station,” the news agency reported.

World leaders quickly denounced the attacks, which came just days after Belgian officials arrested an individual believed to be a surviving attacker from last November’s deadly raid on Paris. Those attacks, also committed by ISIS, killed more than 130 people.

“We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally, Belgium, in bringing to justice those who are responsible,” President Obama said. “And this is yet another reminder that the world must unite, we must be together, regardless of nationality, or race, or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.”

On Friday, Belgian police stormed into Brussels’ Molenbeek neighborhood to capture Salah Abdeslam, whose brother died as a suicide bomber in the Paris attacks. Authorities allege the French citizen fled to the densely populated Brussels neighborhood, which features a large Muslim population, after the deadly Nov. 13 incidents.

However, not all believe Tuesday’s events were done only just because of Abdeslam’s capture. Some believe the level of planning indicates the attack may have been planned well in advance.

“The likely purpose of the attack is twofold,” said Timothy Nichols, executive director of the Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship Program at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. “First, to erode the confidence of the citizens in their government’s ability to protect them; secondly, to provoke an overreaction against the Muslim community that would consequentially ‘push’ moderate Muslims toward ISIS in both support and operations.”

While Belgian officials found the suspect, terror expert Anthony Roman of Roman and Associates said their security network is too small and “doesn't have deep intelligence penetration into the radical elements in centered in Molenbeek.”

Roman added that his sources indicate the Muslim neighborhoods have become more defiant since the Paris attacks.

The way the terrorists struck the airport raised concerns for Roman, too. Three men pushed luggage carts into the airport. There were some shouts in Arabic and some shots fired before two men detonated their bombs. The third suspect escaped and a manhunt is underway for that individual.

Roman said a lacking police presence in most U.S. airports and the existing problems with the Transportation Security Administration make American airports just as vulnerable.

With the attacks taking place in areas of heavy traffic, experts added that it makes the role of travelers and commuters even more important. While more security cameras, more sensors and more officers can be added, they still may not see everything that is suspicious.

Ed English, CEO of ELERTS, which provides a mobile application for passengers to report activity on six major transit systems in the country, said people need to report such suspicions as quickly as possible.

“Since 9/11, public transportation systems have been a soft target for terrorists and transportation authorities have installed systems and technology and encouraged riders to report suspicious behavior,” English said. “Those systems work even better when transit riders know what to look for and report it. Human analytics are very powerful.”

Sony's newest 4K network camera, SNC-VB770, delivers highest sensitivity in its class

Sony’s newest 4K network camera, model SNC-VB770, offers the highest sensitivity in its class - under 0.004lx, expandable to ISO 100-409600. The new model combines ultra-high sensitivity with 4K resolution and advanced networking capabilities to give video professionals more flexibility to capture details even in extreme low-light conditions.

The new SNC-VB770 camera achieves high resolution and sensitivity, in addition to low noise due to its image processing and full-frame 35mm Exmor sensor – all developed by Sony.

The sensor captures significantly more light with low noise than conventional camera sensors to realize drastic improvements in sensitivity. The result is low light performance in nearly pitch-black environments beyond the capabilities of human eyes.

The SNC-VB770’s E-mount lens series accommodates a variety of lens options from wide angle to telephoto, allowing easy integration into a range of video capture applications, including surveillance such as city, transportation, ports or critical infrastructure; web attraction, nature studies or scientific applications. 

“The SNC-VB770 builds on Sony’s image sensor strengths and applies this expertise to new applications in the commercial video capture realm,” said Atsushi Seki, Director, Business Development at Sony Electronics. “Low-light conditions don’t only occur at night. They exist 24/7 in museums, zoos and any number of municipal and commercial areas. This new camera and our expanding line of 4K network models give users more options for meeting their demanding capture requirements.”

With the exceptional detail provided by 4K technology (4 times the detail of full HD) security professionals, for example, can expand their wide area surveillance and still capture, magnify and examine the smallest parts of a scene like a face or a car license plate number – all with a single camera.

The new camera uses area-specific noise reduction to selectively divide images into areas based on patterns (such as edges, textures and evenly colored areas like blue skies) to efficiently reduce noise. In addition, detail reproduction technology further enhances image quality.

E-mount lenses are optimized to maximize the performance of the 35 mm full-frame sensor, keeping resolution high across the entire image area from the center to the lens periphery.

The camera’s Intelligent Cropping feature lets users capture a full view while cropping images in its native 4K resolution from multiple images at the same time, with either 3 or 5 simultaneous video streams.

Intelligent Cropping has two modes, static and dynamic. Users can select “static” to see multiple specific areas in one scene. They can capture an overview image and the details of the cropped areas at the same time. “Dynamic” mode uses the intelligent motion to detect, crop and track moving objects automatically.

Intelligent Scene Capture automatically adjusts and adapts picture quality (brightness and color) depending on time, weather and lighting conditions. The camera also allows users to customize picture parameter presets for the best settings. Multiple picture configurations can be saved and switched either manually (using the Picture Profile mode) or according to schedule (Picture Profile Scheduler) to ensure the best picture quality day or night.

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