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Agility is First Forwarder to Work with Maersk IBM on Blockchain Solution

BAAR, Switzerland – Feb. 6, 2018 – Agility, a leading global logistics provider, is the first freight forwarder to collaborate on a Maersk-IBM solution to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade by using blockchain technology to manage and track container shipments.
Agility has agreed to identify events associated with individual shipments and to share and receive information about them via the distributed ledger blockchain technology developed by IBM and Maersk.
Agility’s goal is to reduce costs and increase shipping efficiency by integrating information about shipments onto a secure platform accessible to shippers, carriers, freight forwarders and others in the supply chain.

“Blockchain technology is going to make shipping cheaper, safer and more reliable. As early adopters, companies like Agility can help Maersk and IBM understand the needs of shippers and develop standards that will make trade more efficient,” said Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics. “We can help customers understand how to use blockchain to improve shipment visibility, eliminate paperwork, reduce errors, and shorten transit and clearance times.”

Blockchain is a secure, immutable and tamper-resistant ledger that can be used to track shipments, documentation and payment transactions. Its digital infrastructure can connect parties in the supply chain, giving them access to information and real-time visibility based on their level of permission.
Documentation and administration are estimated to be one-fifth of the $1.8 trillion spent annually to move goods across borders. In addition to showing the location of containers in transit, blockchain can show the status of customs documents, bills of lading and other documentation. It can improve workflow, cut processing costs and enhance visibility by integrating shipping processes and partners.
Customs and border authorities can use the technology to improve the information available for risk analysis, leading to increased safety and security as well as greater efficiency in border inspection clearance.

“For Agility, it’s important to be involved early in blockchain and to work with forward-thinking companies like Maersk and IBM,” Al-Saleh said. “Together, we have a lot to learn and share in order to bring the benefits of this technology to shippers and consumers as quickly as possible.”

About Agility
Agility brings efficiency to supply chains in some of the globe’s most challenging environments, offering unmatched personal service, a global footprint and customized capabilities in developed and developing economies alike. Agility is one of the world’s leading providers of integrated logistics. It is a publicly traded company with $4 billion in revenue and more than 22,000 employees in over 500 offices across 100 countries. Agility’s core commercial business, Global Integrated Logistics (GIL), provides supply chain solutions to meet traditional and complex customer needs. GIL offers air, ocean and road freight forwarding, warehousing, distribution, and specialized services in project logistics, fairs and events, and chemicals. Agility’s Infrastructure group of companies manages industrial real estate and offers logistics-related services, including e-government customs optimization and consulting, waste management and recycling, aviation and ground-handling services, support to governments and ministries of defense, remote infrastructure and life support.

For more information about Agility, visit

Port projects: Security nod for bidders holds good for 5 years

Security clearance granted to companies bidding for port projects, and those taking up dredging work in domestic ports, will be valid for five years, according to the new rules framed by the Centre. At present, the clearance is valid for just three years.
For port projects, the Shipping Ministry will share the list of companies/bidders with the Home, Defence and External Affairs Ministries on a case-by-case basis to seek security inputs. The security agencies will provide the inputs in 12 weeks and price bids will not be opened till security clearance is accorded by the Shipping Ministry.
The Shipping Ministry will also separately prepare and circulate a list of all Indian and foreign companies who normally bid for port projects to the security agencies. The agencies will provide their inputs to the ministry in 12 weeks.
Once the Shipping Ministry gives security clearance to a company for a port project — based on inputs from the relevant ministries/departments/organisations — it is valid for five years unless there is a change in management control and change of more than 10 per cent in shareholding in the company by any shareholder.
Security clearance accorded to dredging companies will be valid for five years for a particular port only, according to the revised policy.
Approval for any change in equipment or vessel of foreign origin, and clearance to hire foreign personnel, should be obtained from all security agencies.
If a dredging company that has already been cleared seeks to bid for another port project, it will require clearance only from the Defence Ministry/Navy. However, the information regarding award of the dredging project, including particulars of the vessels and the foreign personnel, should be shared with the Home, External Affairs and Defence Ministries. These provisions have to be incorporated in the contract to be signed by major ports trusts with the selected dredging companies.
As more than one-third of India’s shipping trade takes place through non-major ports, security clearance has been made mandatory for the latter. This includes private ports set up in PPP mode and dredging works in the state sector due to the sensitiveness of the port sector, the Shipping Ministry said.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

Cellebrite Plays Key Role in Defining Global Standard for Digital Forensics Information Sharing

PETAH TIKVA, Israel -- Cellebrite, the leading provider of digital intelligence solutions, today announced details about the company's leading role in establishing a global interoperability standard for digital forensics information sharing.  Working with participating organizations like the U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3), the U.S. National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST), Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), University of Lausanne, governments and law enforcement agencies, industry peers, and academic institutions, Cellebrite is contributing its deep subject matter knowledge and technical expertise to define critical elements of the community-driven global standard referred to as the Cyber-investigation Analysis Standard Expression (CASE).

With the main objective of enabling critical investigative data exchange among systems and agencies, the global community of cyber investigations and digital forensics experts have called for an open community-developed specification language that would enable investigators to seamlessly share data between investigators, thereby improving and streamlining the investigative process. CASE is a community-driven effort to define a unified standard that enables seamless data exchange.

Committed to its mission of supporting a safer world, Cellebrite is taking a leading role in developing the component of the CASE standard that relates to mobile data by convening the major digital forensics companies and forming a collaborative working group.  While the CASE standard covers a broad range of cyber-investigation domains including incident response and counterterrorism, Cellebrite will leverage its vast and deep expertise to develop and enhance the standard by providing recommendations to the participating community for specifications for the sections of the standard related to digital forensics systems and solutions. The Cellebrite-led working group will create the technical means of sharing data between platforms by exchanging information and reaching collaborative agreements on the technical details.

With digital data playing an increasingly important role in a broad spectrum of investigations and operations, the global community of end users, specifically government and law enforcement agencies, need the ability to seamlessly collaborate.  While sharing digital intelligence within a particular software solution, such as Cellebrite's industry-leading UFED platform, is easily accomplished, collaborating across various technology tools requires time and technical resources. The lack of interoperability between digital forensics platforms is particularly problematic for crime types that involve multiple agencies and countries or requires investigative data to be collected from a large variety of sources, such as terrorism, trafficking and smuggling.

"As a global leader in digital intelligence solutions, Cellebrite has a deep understanding of digital data—how information is obtained, analyzed and shared by investigators—and we appreciate the growing importance of achieving seamless interoperability between digital forensics platforms to end users," said Ron Serber, Global Co-CEO, Cellebrite.  "Having the industry's best technical minds and the broadest understanding of digital data, the Cellebrite team is committed to creating a safer world by removing barriers to collaboration and enabling our customers to streamline their investigations by exchanging data across solutions and tools."

"The entire law enforcement community is faced with a massive challenge posed by digital evidence and, speaking for Europol/EC3, our ability to solve crimes is increasingly dependent on collaborating with other agencies by sharing information across any number of geographical and technical borders," said Jean-Dominique Nollet, Head of Europol's Forensic Lab.  "While the standards development process is often a complex challenge, we appreciate the efforts by industry leaders, academics and convening authorities, as we will all benefit from a workable global interoperability standard for digital forensics information sharing."

Cellebrite: Digital Intelligence for a Safer World

Digital data plays an increasingly important role in investigations and operations of all kinds. Making data accessible, collaborative and actionable is what Cellebrite does best. As the global leader in digital intelligence with more than 60,000 licenses deployed in 150 countries, we provide law enforcement, military, intelligence, and enterprise customers with the most complete, industry-proven range of solutions for digital forensics, triage and analytics.

By enabling access, sharing and analysis of digital data from mobile devices, social media, cloud, computer, cellular operators and other sources, Cellebrite products, solutions, services and training help customers build the strongest cases quickly, even in the most complex situations. As a result, Cellebrite is the preferred one-stop shop for digital intelligence solutions that make a safer world more possible every day.

Many Companies Are Not Assessing Risks Of Adopting Emerging Technologies: KPMG Study

NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 2018  -- While companies across various industries are increasing their focus on emerging technologies to help transform their businesses, many are not assessing the risks that come with their adoption, according to KPMG LLP's Tech Risk Management Survey. Nearly half (47 percent) of the 200 senior IT risk management executives surveyed whose companies have adopted mobile applications and devices have not included them in recent IT risk assessments. The findings for other emerging technologies are similar, with 46 percent that adopted Internet of Things (IoT), 44 percent that adopted cloud computing, 34 percent that adopted artificial intelligence (AI) and 32 percent that have adopted robotic process automation (RPA) not assessing their risks.

For more information, please click here for the KPMG Tech Risk Management Survey Report: Disruption is the New Norm.

"Change and disruption has never moved faster and the speed of technology deployment is critical, but it can't be at the enterprise's expense," said Phil Lageschulte, Leader of Global IT Advisory Services for KPMG.  "Tech risk management should anticipate changes while or before they happen and determine the associated risks. Accordingly, tech risk management should be involved in strategic business planning, embedding the risks and adding value upfront."

While not actively assessing the risks of adopting emerging and disruptive technologies, the majority of those surveyed are very aware that these risks exist. And, the risks may only escalate as companies seek to increase their investment in these technologies. The survey found that companies expect to make significant investments over the next year in mobile (48 percent), IoT (46 percent), cloud computing (46 percent), RPA (41 percent) and AI (40 percent).  

"Tech risk management is challenged to improve how it filters through data in a meaningful and consistent way so that it can efficiently communicate how this data impacts the business," said Vivek Mehta, Partner in KPMG LLP's Emerging Technology Risk Services practice. "The proper parameters should be created to classify data so that the organization can make well-informed business decisions from it."

Other Key Findings

  • IT Risk Management: Value Center Aspirations, But Still Treated As a Cost  – While 88 percent of survey respondents agree that IT risk management is driving value for the organization:
    • Nearly half (49 percent) expect their IT risk management spending to stay the same or decrease over the next three years.
    • Less than half are involving IT risk management in their IT initiatives at the outset of the project.
    • More than ¼ (27 percent) have a perception that IT risk management impacts time to market, challenging the notion that ITRM adds value to the organization.

About the Report
KPMG LLP, in collaboration with Forbes Research, conducted a telephone survey of 200 senior executives responsible for IT risk management at large U.S. companies across the financial services, technology, healthcare and life sciences, and industrial manufacturing Industries.

KPMG is one of the world's leading professional services firms, providing innovative business solutions and audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world's largest and most prestigious organizations.

KPMG is widely recognized for being a great place to work and build a career. Our people share a sense of purpose in the work we do, and a strong commitment to community service, inclusion and diversity, and eradicating childhood illiteracy.

KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG International's independent member firms have 197,000 professionals working in 154 countries. Learn more at

Michael Rudnick
[email protected]


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Polaris Alpha Names Former U.S. Strategic Command Director Steve Callicutt to its Advisory Board

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2018 -- Polaris Alpha today named to its Board of Advisors Kenneth (Steve) Callicutt, former U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Director of Capability and Resource Integration.  Mr. Callicutt recently retired after more than 39 years of service as an Air Force officer and member of the Senior Executive Service.

Mr. Callicutt brings to Polaris Alpha a broad range of experience in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, mission planning and management, and weapons system development.  During his tenure at USSTRATCOM, Mr. Callicutt was responsible for conducting force management and analysis to include integrating, and advocating future concepts, weapons system development, support for emerging technologies, and command and control architecture. USSTRATCOM is responsible for strategic deterrence, nuclear operations, space operations, joint electromagnetic spectrum operations, global strike, missile defense, and analysis and targeting.

Prior to his time at USSTRATCOM, Mr. Callicutt served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years. Previously he was Senior Technical Director, Air Force Command and Control, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center, Langley AFB, Va.

"Steve has deep expertise in so many of the areas we serve, from ISR and mission planning to command and control and electromagnetic spectrum operations," said Jay Jesse, President, Polaris Alpha. "We look forward to drawing on his expertise and we are confident he will provide invaluable guidance across all of our business units."

"Over the past year, I have watched Polaris Alpha become a tremendously influential player in the military and government sectors, and I am thrilled to be joining such a dynamic team," said Mr. Callicutt.  "It is very gratifying to be part of an agile, forward-thinking organization that is helping to change the way business is done in Washington.  I can't wait to get started."

Mr. Callicutt is a graduate of the University of Memphis, where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering.  He also attended numerous military schools, including the National War College.

During his time in the Air Force, Mr. Callicutt received many honors and awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, and the 2006 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award.

The Polaris Alpha Advisory Board provides the company's executive leadership with strategic guidance and advice as it serves its customers in the military and Intelligence Community.

About Polaris Alpha
Polaris Alpha ("Polaris") provides advanced technical capabilities, specialized domain expertise, and mission critical solutions to Department of Defense and Intelligence Community customers. Polaris has approximately 1,300 employees with major offices in Annapolis Junction, MD; Columbia, MD, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD; Colorado Springs, CO; Denver, CO and Fredericksburg, VA; as well as customer sites both domestically and internationally. For further details on its customers and capabilities, please visit its website at or at LinkedIn.

SOURCE Polaris Alpha

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SECUR Now Offering Europe's Leading Storage And Transport Containers For Shippers Of Radioactive Wastes And Materials

PITTSBURGH, SECUR (, provider of transportation logistics, packaging and technical services for radioactive, hazardous and non-hazardous waste and byproducts, said today that it has signed an exclusive North American distribution agreement for Slovenia-based CONTAINER d.o.o.'s ( ATOM line of intermodal container products for radioactive materials.

The ATOM containers give nuclear and radioactive industry shippers enhanced flexibility and significant cost benefits for packaging and transportation programs. The Type A containers are available in 10', 20' and 40' lengths with optional, removable hard lids for full access to the top and end of the container for loading. Containers are certified for rail, barge and truck transport as well as for international marine shipping. The containers can be modified with removable headers, shielding and racking systems.

"CONTAINER d.o.o. has been a leading European manufacturer of containers for more than 40 years and we are delighted to bring its successful ATOM line to our clients in the U.S., Canada and Mexico," said John Evanko, SECUR president. "The ATOM container helps us expand the choices we offer clients in the nuclear services solutions arena."

The company said the ATOM containers are available now for sale and lease. Please direct inquiries to Ken Grumski at 412- 506-8250 Ext. 102 or [email protected].

Media contact: Danielle Scherer, 412-506-8250 Ext. 104, [email protected]


SECUR provides clients in industry and government with asset-based logistics, packaging and technical services that enable them safely and cost efficiently to handle a range of radioactive, hazardous, industrial and other complex wastes generated from environmental remediation, decommissioning and waste management activities. 


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Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Named As TSA Innovation Site Airport

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport has been designated an official Innovation Task Force (ITF) site by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA's Innovation Task Force seeks to drive improvements in overall transportation security effectiveness and efficiency, while ensuring a positive experience for customers. To meet that goal, the ITF works with airports, airlines and other transportation partners to champion innovative and cutting-edge technologies and procedures to protect the nation's transportation systems.

"DFW Airport has a long-standing, constructive relationship with the TSA and our team looks forward to hosting demonstrations of new technology that will explore how to make airports more secure while improving the customer experience," said Chad Makovsky, DFW's executive vice president of Operations. "We recently completed the installation of ten automated screening lanes, which will increase the throughput at four checkpoints, and we've welcomed the TSA into our Airport Operations Center where we collaborate on new ideas and respond quickly to our customers' needs."

"TSA has actively been demonstrating new technologies in airports across the country, and we are pleased that DFW Airport has been named an official Innovation Task Force site," said Steve Karoly, Assistant Administrator for the TSA Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis. "With this partnership, we can find new ways to work together to improve all aspects of aviation security."

This year, the task force will bring more deployment and experimentation of new technologies into public settings. As an ITF site, DFW is eligible for pilot programs to test and refine groundbreaking technologies and processes.

TSA selects innovation sites based on several criteria to ensure TSA resources are utilized efficiently, and in compliance with the requirements of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016. Criteria include the ability of partner airports to support the initiative and nimbly respond to various needs.

In addition to Automated Screening Lanes, some of the additional technologies under demonstration with the ITF include Computed Tomography (CT) scans, Biometric Authentication and improved passenger communication techniques. For more information about TSA's Innovation Task Force, visit

About Dallas Fort Worth International Airport:
Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport holds the distinction of the best large airport in North America for customer service from Airports Council International. DFW Airport warmly welcomes more than 66 million customers along their journey every year, elevating DFW to a status as one of the most frequently visited superhub airports in the world. DFW Airport customers can choose among 173 domestic and 57 international nonstop destinations worldwide. DFW is elevating the customer experience with modernized facilities and updated amenities, as well as through a $2 billion Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program. Centered between its owner cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW Airport also serves as a major economic generator for the North Texas region, producing over $37 billion in economic impact each year by connecting people through business and leisure travel. For more information, visit the DFW website.

Follow Dallas Fort Worth International Airport On:   |   |

SOURCE DFW International Airport

CONTACT: Corporate Communications DFW Airport, 972-973-5555

DFLabs Doubles Revenues, Raises Additional Financing and Expands Footprint in US and EMEA in 2017

BOSTON and MILAN -- DFLabs, the pioneer in Security Automation and Orchestration, today announced it has increased its total funding to $9M from existing investor Evolution Equity Partners and that it doubled revenues in 2017. The company also expanded operations in the US and Europe to capitalize on accelerating demand among Fortune 500 and Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies, law enforcement and intelligence agencies that want to contain and limit cyber breaches using its IncMan security automation and orchestration platform.  

According to Gartner, Inc.: "The challenges from an increasingly hostile threat landscape, combined with a lack of people, expertise and budget are driving organizations toward security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) technologies." The report further states, "By year-end 2020, 15% of organizations with a security team larger than five people will leverage SOAR tools for orchestration and automation reasons, up from less than 1% today."

"2017 was our best year to date on all fronts, revenue bookings, customer acquisition and fund raising," said Dario Forte, CEO of DFLabs. "Recent high profile data breaches have forced organizations to recognize that prevention is no longer sufficient, they also need automated capabilities to quickly respond to and neutralize security incidents. This additional financing from Evolution Equity Partners will enable us to invest in the resources we need to keep up with market demand for IncMan around the world." 

DFLabs pioneered intelligence-driven security monitoring, automation and orchestration that uses machine learning and rapid response runbook capabilities. DFLabs IncMan is the only platform capable of full incident lifecycle automation that includes built-in, automated threat intelligence gathering, risk assessment, triage and notification, context enrichment, hunting and investigating, and threat containment. 

2017 Highlights
DFLabs achieved the following results and milestones for the year ended Dec. 31:

- Increased revenue bookings by 100%
- More than doubled its pipeline
- Signed multiple new enterprise clients, including Fortune 500, Government and Global 2000 organizations
- Grew sales, marketing and engineering teams by 100%
- Expanded operations in the US/Boston and UK/London
- Average customers reduced their incident resolution times by up to 90%
- Typical customers increased incident handling by 300%

About DFLabs
DFLabs is a recognized global leader in security automation and orchestration technology. The company's management team has helped shape the cyber security industry, which includes co-editing several industry standards such as ISO 27043 and ISO 30121. Its flagship product, IncMan, has been adopted by Fortune 500 and Global 2000 organizations worldwide. DFLabs has operations in Europe, North America, and EMEA. For more information, visit  or connect with us on Twitter @DFLabs.

Rheinmetall and Sikorsky Sign a Strategic Teaming Agreement to Offer CH-53K for Germany's New Heavy Lift Helicopter Competition

BONN, Germany, Feb. 6, 2018 -- Rheinmetall and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Company signed a strategic teaming agreement for competing in the German Air Force "Schwerer Transporthubschrauber" (STH) Program.

Rheinmetall brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Sikorsky STH team. With Sikorsky's breadth and depth of heavy lift experience and Rheinmetall's leadership as the lead teammate for STH sustainment, the German Air Force will experience the high levels of aircraft availability and reliability that Sikorsky customers have come to expect. 


With Rheinmetall as the strategic partner for Sikorsky, we are convinced that together we provide the best possible state-of-the-art aircraft for the German Air Force as successor for the legacy CH-53G fleet," said Armin Papperger Rheinmetall CEO. "Furthermore, we stand strongly together in offering a cost-effective, reliable solution oriented to the needs of today's operations, and able to evolve with the Armed Forces as its needs change over time."

"Sikorsky has a 45-year history supporting the German Armed Forces fleet of CH-53G aircraft, and we are humbled by the opportunity to continue to serve the German Armed Forces for another 45 years with Sikorsky's CH-53K," said Dan Schultz, president of Sikorsky. "As a former CH-53 pilot, I can attest that this aircraft is truly the most capable heavy lift helicopter we have ever built. Sikorsky's CH-53K, combined with Rheinmetall as our key German partner, is a winning solution for STH."

Sikorsky and Rheinmetall will look to introduce more German teammates in the weeks to come. The team will leverage and build upon the deep knowledge and  expertise of the German defense industry.

The CH-53K King Stallion advances Sikorsky's 50 years of manufacturing and operational success of its CH-53A, CH-53D/G, and CH-53E. Built to thrive on the 21st-century battlefield, including shipboard operations, the CH-53K aircraft is an all-new aircraft, using modern intelligent design. The rugged CH-53K is designed to ensure reliability, low maintenance, high availability and enhanced survivability in the most austere and remote forward operating bases.

The U.S. Marine Corps will field the CH-53K as a fully-operational aircraft in 2019.  By the time Germany receives its first aircraft, the CH-53K will have been in service with the U.S. Marine Corps for five years.  The CH-53K provides the German Armed Forces with a proven heavy lift helicopter that can be entered into service seamlessly without need for upgrades for the next several decades.

The CH-53K helicopter is the best choice for completing missions like humanitarian aid, troop transport, casualty evacuation, support of special operations forces, and combat search and rescue. No matter the mission, the aircraft provides the highest degree of safety for its crew and occupants in all conditions.

With the legacy fleet of the CH-53G, Sikorsky has a long lasting strong relationship with the Bundeswehr, which Sikorsky looks forward to strengthening with the CH-53K. The CH-53K will enable the German Armed Forces to conduct real heavy lift operations. Intelligent, reliable, low maintenance and survivable, the CH-53K is the future of German Heavy Lift.

For additional information about CH-53K, visit:

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. 

About Rheinmetall
The Rheinmetall Group is a high-tech enterprise specializing in mobility and security solutions. Consisting of three divisions – Vehicle Systems, Electronic Solutions and Weapon and Ammunition – the Group's Defense arm is one of the world's foremost defense technology organizations. Its wide array of products ranges from vehicle, force protection and weapon systems to infantry equipment and air defense technology, and from engagement sequence networking to sensors and electro-optics as well as advanced simulation and training solutions. With some 23000 employees worldwide, the Düsseldorf based Group generated sales of €5.6 billion in 2016.

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

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3 Ways to Protect Your Critical Infrastructure

3 Ways to Protect Your Critical Infrastructure

By Jim Pruden, Senior Director Federal Civilian, Cloudera


An electrical fire at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in December 2017 left America’s busiest airport without power for nearly 11 hours, delaying thousands of passengers during the busy holiday travel season. While the outage was not linked to a malicious actor, the event demonstrates how devastating an attack can be, and the impact could be much worse than a slew of frustrated travelers if the scenario arose from a targeted attack on more critical infrastructure.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated 16 critical infrastructure sectors in the United States, including energy, communications, financial services and food and agriculture. These 16 industries are “considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic stability, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”


Although it’s true that many critical infrastructure sectors are primarily owned and operated by the private sector, such as energy and commercial facilities, the role of government should not be neglected when evaluating how best to protect these industries from attack. It can seem like a daunting task to account for and defend against all threats, from a physical terrorist attack to a targeted cyber strike to a natural disaster. But given the rising prevalence of cybersecurity threats, there are some precautionary measures that government agencies should keep in mind.


  • Stay current on federal recommendations -- Securing our critical infrastructure requires coordinated efforts from state, local, and federal governments as well as the private sector. But it is the federal government that is tasked with issuing standards and best practices on the most effective approach. Managed by DHS, the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) is an annual report that offers a recap of the health of the nation’s critical infrastructure to reduce risks. Private sector organizations operating within a designated critical infrastructure sector can request an assessment from DHS against a number of cybersecurity standards. Assessing the current state of readiness is the first step to implementing an effective cybersecurity plan.


  • Be aware of the weaker lines between OT and IT--Operational Technology (OT) is a system that monitors and controls physical devices and processes, such as how much electricity is generated through transmission lines. Traditionally, these functions were run on manual equipment physically operated by a human, but as the Internet of Things (IoT) has grown and operations are streamlined, many OT devices are now equipped with IP addresses to enable remote access and control. This transition means that OT and IT networks are becoming more closely connected, and so security standards must catch up to ensure proper barriers between the networks. Such measures include improved access control and encryption, which help prevent hackers from gaining access to the IT network and quickly taking control of the OT, which could lead to the disruption or even ransom of essential services like electricity and water.


  • Adapt security standards as IT landscape evolves--Private and public sector organizations alike are moving toward more digital business models that rely on the latest technological trends. From the growth of IoT to moving into public clouds and BYOD policies, IT operations and security must adapt to keep pace with the newest advancements. But this shift doesn’t mean that agencies and private sector organizations have to reinvent the wheel. Although attacks on critical infrastructure are highly targeted and can have dire consequences, they are nevertheless typically the same types of cyber attacks that have hit other industries already, from phishing and malware to ransomware, and can be mitigated with the same best practices already in place. And there are many new or improving technologies assisting organizations in the protection of critical infrastructure assets, like voice and video analytics that provide a number of capabilities, including crowd control, gauging expected motions, and identifying objects and individuals whether stationary or in motion.


Critical infrastructure protection is essential to the security of the United States. The 16 critical infrastructure sectors occupy a unique position of having such a designation via a federal agency, yet most of the operations are owned and operated by private businesses. Thus, information sharing and collaboration between the public and private sectors are vital to securing our nation’s critical infrastructure.






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