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AT&T Earns Texas Department of Information Resources Contract for Managed Security Services

DALLAS, Dec. 21, 2017 -- The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) awarded AT&T* with a contract to offer managed security services statewide. The services include security monitoring and device management, risk and compliance testing, and incident response.

"Texas takes cybersecurity and data privacy threats very seriously. The wellbeing of many people depends on it. So, we must protect sensitive information and use necessary tools to educate and protect ourselves from attacks," said Stacey Napier, executive director, Texas Department of Information Resources. "DIR is committed to proactively strengthening our security services. And we're confident in securing Texans' private data and detecting potential threats faster."

We've worked with the State of Texas for 10 years to help state agencies and institutions address cybersecurity and data privacy issues. Through this new agreement, our security products are now available to additional state agencies, higher education institutions, cities and counties, special districts and school systems. These organizations can buy the security solutions through the DIR multisourcing service integrator. The system helps simplify order and fulfillment processes and saves costs.

The contract also helps agencies comply with the recently enacted Texas Cybersecurity Act. The legislation calls for added security assessments of Texas systems, additional cybersecurity training for state employees, and a review of state digital data storage.

AT&T cybersecurity solutions and services will help state agencies securely support their device, application and network operations. The solutions include analytics and security expertise to help reduce risk and offer more end-to-end security. And our integrated suite of cybersecurity tools and technologies can help state agencies detect, prevent and respond to threats quickly.

"Cybersecurity is a growing concern for the government and private sector. But Texas has taken action. It's implementing cybersecurity protocols and addressing threats to critical infrastructure through new initiatives," said Chris Roy, vice president, State, Local and Education, AT&T. "We're here as a resource to help the state secure its networks and data from attacks."

To learn more about AT&T State & Local Government, go to corp.att.com/stateandlocal/.

 

*About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high speed internet services. We have the nation's largest and most reliable network** and the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider. We're one of the world's largest providers of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. Nearly 3.5 million companies, from small to large businesses around the globe, turn to AT&T for our highly secure smart solutions.
AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at facebook.com/att and on YouTube at youtube.com/att.
© 2017 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.


**Coverage not avail. everywhere. Based on overall coverage in U.S. licensed/roaming areas. Reliability based on voice and data performance from independent 3rd party data.

Block MEMS is Selected to Participate in the JE-RDAP $8 Billion Government Contract for the Development and Sale of Chemical and Biological Detection Equipment

Block MEMS, LLC (Block) has been selected to participate in an $8,276,161,000 contract for Joint Enterprise Research, Development, Acquisition, Production and Procurement (JE-RDAP) program to support research and development of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives defense systems, capabilities, equipment, supplies and material. The JE-RDAP is an enterprise-wide omnibus Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle awarded by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) and will be used to execute activities related to their mission to protect the nation against Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Block's products are based on the use of Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy for detection of Chemical Threats and fit well within the scope of the JE-RDAP. They include: (a) PORTHOS™, a long (5 km), standoff detection, passive FTIR system, (b) LaserWarn™, a Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) based chemical detection system for large, critical infrastructure monitoring, (c) LaserSense™, a QCL-based, point sensor that can detect gaseous/vapor threats and, (d) LaserTune™, a QCL-based Mid-Infrared Source for development of new chemical detection technologies.

Dr. Petros Kotidis, Block's CEO, commented, "Block is very pleased to receive the JE-RDAP Award and be selected as one of the providers of Chemical Detection Solutions. We feel that this award is a recognition of the significant value offered by our products, which are deployed to protect our warfighters, assist our intelligence community and save the lives of our fellow citizens. Block has been supporting the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and Department of Homeland Security for decades and we are committed to continue serving our customers in the future under the JE-RDAP Program."

Dr. Dan Cavicchio, Block's Executive Chairman and Co-Owner, added. "Weapons of Mass Destruction are proliferating and the threats are becoming more and more complex every day, as put forth in the President's recent National Security Strategy. Block has significant technical capabilities and decades long experience with sophisticated instruments for protection against such threats. We are honored to be awarded the JE-RDAP and we look forward to working with the JPEO-CBD."

About Block MEMS LLC:

Block MEMS, LLC is an engineering, development and production company focusing on the R&D and manufacturing of high performance Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) and FTIR spectrometers. Block MEMS has been awarded numerous government contracts over the past decade for the application of its technologies toward the detection of explosives, buried IEDs, chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial materials and chemical clouds. Both standoff and sampling systems have been developed and delivered to the government for additional testing and evaluation. For example, Block's PORTHOS™ is a man-portable, passive FTIR spectrometer system that remotely detects chemical threats as far as three miles away and protects against chemical warfare agents and weapons of mass destruction. LaserWarn™ is a QCL-based system that is used to protect critical facilities against chemical attacks by establishing a "chemical trip-wire" using eye-safe laser beams.

SuperCom Secures Contract to Deploy Electronic Monitoring Suite in Western Kentucky

SuperCom (SPCB), a global provider of secure solutions for the e-government, public safety, healthcare, and finance sectors, has secured a contract to provide its PureSecurity Electronic Monitoring (EM) suite of GPS and home detention offender tracking and monitoring solutions in Western Kentucky.

 

The program will provide much needed private full-service EM services to courts and jails in the Western Kentucky region. In the initial deployment stage, SuperCom will work with the customer to develop rules and procedures, provide training, and assist in the environment build-out. SuperCom expects to complete initial deployment and start generating steady-state recurring revenue in Q1 2018.

"This new win demonstrates the continued strong demand for SuperCom's secure, flexible hardware and software offender tracking products," said Ordan Trabelsi, President of SuperCom Americas. "Western Kentucky marks not just our eighth EM project currently underway, but also our third new U.S. deployment this quarter alone. By carefully listening to the needs of our customers, we have been able to deliver both the features and functionality required to adapt and successfully serve the growing EM market. Our customers are quickly realizing the added value of our technology upon evaluation and deployment, which has been leading to greater overall satisfaction and performance in their businesses."

SuperCom's PureSecurity Suite is a best-of-breed electronic monitoring and tracking platform, which contains a comprehensive set of innovative features, including smart phone integration, secure communication, advanced security, anti-tamper mechanisms, fingerprint biometrics, voice communication, unique touch screens and extended battery life.

 

About SuperCom

Since 1988, SuperCom has been a global provider of traditional and digital identity solutions, providing advanced safety, identification and security solutions to governments and organizations, both private and public, throughout the world. Through its proprietary e-government platforms and innovative solutions for traditional and biometrics enrollment, personalization, issuance and border control services, SuperCom has inspired governments and national agencies to design and issue secure Multi-ID documents and robust digital identity solutions to its citizens and visitors. SuperCom offers a unique all-in-one field-proven RFID & mobile technology and product suite, accompanied by advanced complementary services for various industries including healthcare and homecare, security and safety, community public safety, law enforcement, electronic monitoring, livestock monitoring, and building and access automation. For more information, visit www.supercom.com.

 

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements preceded or followed by or that otherwise include the words "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "projects", "estimates", "plans", and similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as "will", "should", "would", "may" and "could" are generally forward-looking in nature and not historical facts. Forward-looking statements in this release also include statements about business and economic trends. Investors should also consider the areas of risk described under the heading "Forward Looking Statements" and those factors captioned as "Risk Factors" in the Company's periodic reports under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or in connection with any forward-looking statements that may be made by the Company. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements arising from the annual audit by management and the Company's independent auditors. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

 

SuperCom Corporate Contact:
Ordan Trabelsi, President Americas
Tel: 1 212 675 4606
[email protected]

Sikorsky Notified that the City of San Diego Intends to Purchase an S-70i™ Black Hawk Helicopter for Firefighting and Search and Rescue

STRATFORD, Conn., Dec. 18, 2017 -- Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) Company, received notice that the City of San Diego intends to award a contract for one S-70i™ Black Hawk helicopter in a baseline configuration. The San Diego City Council voted last Wednesday, December 13, 2017 to approve the purchase.

A Firehawk helicopter performs aerial firefighting and additionally, can plan missions and direct other firefighting aircraft, and provide emergency medical service transport, search and rescue, and logistic support. Once modified by a specialist outfitter in 2018, it will be equipped with a 1,000-gallon (3,785-liter) water tank, extended landing gear, single pilot cockpit layout and a medically-equipped interior.

The Firehawk™ configuration of the Black Hawk is the most capable multi-mission, firefighting helicopter available, with proven military grade capabilities, said Brian Fennessy, Fire Chief for the City of San Diego. "Fires are spreading faster and getting larger. The need for aircraft to carry more water has become critical." 

Compared to LA County's three existing S-70A model Firehawk aircraft, the S-70i variant includes wide chord rotor blades for increased payload and maneuverability, enhanced engine power, a stronger airframe, a digital cockpit with flight management system for enhanced situation awareness, and an Integrated Vehicle Health Management System to monitor the aircraft's operational health.  Among improved safety features, the S-70i aircraft includes a terrain and obstacle avoidance system that alerts aircrew to the proximity of potential hazards on the ground.

"When configured for its aerial firefighting mission, the Firehawk helicopter will give the City of San Diego a state-of-the-art platform proven to fight fires from the air and perform other life-saving missions," said Dan Schultz, president of Sikorsky. "This aircraft's military pedigree, unique equipment and advanced onboard systems will enable San Diego to perform these high endurance missions with safety and reliability. Welcome San Diego firefighters to the Sikorsky helicopter family."

"As wildfires continue to ravage our state, we must do everything in our power to make sure the San Diego region is as prepared as possible for the next major fire," said Mayor of San Diego Kevin L. Faulconer. "We must continue to ensure our firefighters have the most advanced tools at their disposal to keep San Diegans safe. This new Firehawk helicopter is going to take our aerial firefighting capabilities to the next level."

Sikorsky supports the critical mission of the City of San Diego Fire Department with an all new S-70i Black Hawk aircraft, available direct from Sikorsky in the U.S. Customers can order aircraft with mission specific kits and accessories customized to specific preferences.  The City of San Diego will become the second jurisdiction to order the Firehawk this year after an order for two S-70 aircraft from the Los Angeles County Fire Department. 

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. 

Black Hawk is a registered trademark of Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company.

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

Related Links

http://www.lockheedmartin.com

Delays Have Become Synonymous With Deaths': Railroad-Safety Litigators Urge Prompt PTC Implementation

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 19, 2017 -- Two of America's foremost legal authorities on railroad catastrophes, Thomas R. Kline, Esq. and Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Esq., sharply criticized Amtrak and Congress after the National Transportation Safety Board(NTSB) last night confirmed that Amtrak Train #501 was operating at nearly three times the speed limit when it derailed.

 

Mr. Mongeluzzi, of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett, & Bendesky, P.C., and Mr. Kline, of Kline & Specter PC, said they were not surprised to hear NTSB officials confirm that the train was traveling at 80 mph in a 30 mph speed-restricted curve, nor that the Amtrak equipment was not equipped with Positive Train Control (PTC) that is designed to override the engineer and ensure safe operation. "We saw this happen on Amtrak Train #188 in Philadelphia in 2015, when the train was going more than 100 mph in a 50 mph zone, with no PTC to save lives," said Mr. Mongeluzzi. "Clearly, despite all the post-incident cries for safer trains, more loved ones on their morning commute have now been killed in this foreseeable and preventable tragedy in Washington. The federal government needs to stop postponing  the date for full PTC implementation, and compel prompt compliance. "

Mr. Kline, noting that PTC technology has been around since the 1970s, but its implementation delayed by Congress over the past decade, stated, "Delay has become synonymous with deaths. It is inexcusable that this new Amtrak line – on its first day in service – was operating without PTC. How can Amtrak explain not only the train's inexplicable speeding, but also its catastrophic safety failure to the family member of any of the victims? "

Mr. Mongeluzzi and Mr. Kline both served on the Plaintiffs Management Committee (PMC) in Federal court resulting from the fatal 2015 derailment of Amtrak #188 in Philadelphia. They represented a combined 34 passengers in the litigation that resulted in a landmark $265 million settlement. The attorneys also represent victims in the 2016 fatal derailment of Amtrak #89, in Chester, Pennsylvania, and victims of the fatal New Jersey Transit train crash in Hoboken Station last year. Mr. Kline and Mr. Mongeluzzi have long advocated for railroad safety reforms such as mandatory Positive Train Control (PTC), onboard-inward facing cab cameras and expanded medical testing for train Amtrak personnel, including engineers.

 

Robert J. Mongeluzzi
[email protected] 
215.850.6571 / 215.575.2989


www.smbb.com

Thomas R. Kline
[email protected] 
215.407.1360

Airborne Surveillance Market Worth 5.81 Billion USD by 2023

According to the market research report on "Airborne Surveillance Market by Type (LiDAR, Radar, Imaging System), Product Type (Manned, Unmanned), Application (Military, Defense & Security, Commercial (Surveying & Mapping, Inspection, & Monitoring)), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2023", published by MarketsandMarkets™, the market is expected to be worth USD 4.42 Billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 5.81 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. The availability of drones at lower cost and improved laws have been a major driving force for airborne surveillance applications. The growing demand for UAVs in commercial applications, rapid technological advancements, and the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) in various applications of drones are some of the major driving factors for the airborne surveillance market.

    

Browse 70 market data Tables and 71 Figures spread through 162 Pages and in-depth TOC on "Airborne Surveillance Market - Global Forecast to 2023"

https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/airborne-surveillance-market-45463791.html

Early buyers will receive 10% customization on this report

"LiDAR is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the airborne surveillance market during the forecast period" 

Major driving factors include the growing use of LiDAR systems in various applications such as surveying, mapping, and engineering, wide area mapping, urban planning, corridor mapping, bathymetric surveys, agriculture and forestry, inspection and monitoring of infrastructure including pipelines, utilities, telecom towers, roads, bridges, and others. Also, LiDAR is used for exploration and production activities in oil & gas and mining industries. Technological advancements in LiDAR have broaden the scope of LiDAR in various applications. LiDAR data can be collected quickly with high accuracy, compared to other surveying methods.

"Commercial application is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the airborne surveillance market during the forecast period" 

Commercial applications such as surveying and mapping; agriculture; and inspection and monitoring of assets, such as oil & gas pipelines, telecom towers, bridges, rail lines, and others, are expected to create opportunities for the airborne surveillance market. The relaxation in laws for the use of drones in various applications has led to a wide adoption of drones in various commercial applications. Also, various factors such as financing, funding, and lower cost of drones have propelled the airborne surveillance market.

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"Airborne surveillance market in North America is expected to hold the highest share during the forecast period" 

North America is expected to hold the largest share of the airborne surveillance market during the forecast period. North America was the leading region for the airborne surveillance market in 2016. The US, among other regions in North America, has a huge defense budget as compared to countries in Europe or APAC, thus leading to increasing demand for airborne surveillance systems in North America. The US is expected to be a major contributor to the airborne surveillance market in North America.

The market is dominated by manufacturers such as Boeing (US), Lockheed Martin (US), and Raytheon (US). The presence of major players in the US is expected to drive the airborne surveillance market. Also, the relaxation in regulations related to drones and UAVs help drive the airborne surveillance market in North America. For instance, FAA took some major steps regarding the use of commercial drones in 2016, and the trend is likely to continue in 2017. The introduction of new rules and regulations eased the regulatory burden pertaining to the use of commercial drones in 2016.

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Major players in this market include Airbus (France), Boeing (US), Saab (Sweden), BAE Systems (UK), Raytheon (US), Lockheed Martin (US), Leonardo (Italy), FLIR Systems (US), Northrop Grumman (US), L-3 Wescam (Canada), Leica Geosystems (Switzerland), Teledyne Technologies (US), Safran (France), Thales (France), and Israel Aerospace Industries (Israel).

Browse Related Reports 

LIDAR Market by Product (Aerial, Ground-Based, UAV, and Solid-State), Application (Corridor Mapping, Engineering, ADAS & Driverless Car, Exploration, Urban Planning, Cartography, & Meteorology), Component, Services, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022
https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/lidar-market-1261.html

UAV Drones Market by Type (Fixed Wing, VTOL, STUAS, MALE, HALE), Payload (Up to 150 and 600 kg), Component (Camera, Sensor), Application (Media & Entertainment, Precision Agriculture), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2023
https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/commercial-drones-market-195137996.html

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Our 850 fulltime analyst and SMEs at MarketsandMarkets™ are tracking global high growth markets following the "Growth Engagement Model - GEM". The GEM aims at proactive collaboration with the clients to identify new opportunities, identify most important customers, write "Attack, avoid and defend" strategies, identify sources of incremental revenues for both the company and its competitors. MarketsandMarkets™ now coming up with 1,500 MicroQuadrants (Positioning top players across leaders, emerging companies, innovators, strategic players) annually in high growth emerging segments. MarketsandMarkets™ is determined to benefit more than 10,000 companies this year for their revenue planning and help them take their innovations/disruptions early to the market by providing them research ahead of the curve.

MarketsandMarkets's flagship competitive intelligence and market research platform, "RT" connects over 200,000 markets and entire value chains for deeper understanding of the unmet insights along with market sizing and forecasts of niche markets.

 

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New NIST Spectrometer Measures Single Photons with Great Precision

Future communications networks that are less vulnerable to hacking could be closer to reality with an invention that measures the properties of single-photon sources with high accuracy.

Built by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the device could help bring about “quantum communications” networks, which would use individual particles of light to send bits of information. Because each bit of information can be embedded in the quantum properties of a single photon, the laws of quantum mechanics make it difficult, if not impossible, for an enemy to intercept the message undetected.

Both the telecommunications and computer industries would like such networks to keep information secure. The NIST method may help overcome one of the technical barriers standing in their way by measuring photons’ spectral properties—essentially their color—10,000 times better than conventional spectrometers.

Individual photons have a limitation: They cannot travel through fiber-optic cables for more than about 100 kilometers (about 60 miles) without likely being absorbed. A quantum network able to handle worldwide communications would need periodic way stations that could catch photons and retransmit their information without loss. The NIST team’s invention could help such a “quantum repeater” interact effectively with photons.

Key to the operation of the quantum repeater would be a memory component that uses an ensemble of atoms to store the photon’s information briefly and retransmit it at the right moment. Its operation would involve an atom’s energy structure: As an atom catches the photon, the atom’s energy level rises to a higher state. At the desired moment, the atom returns to its original state and emits the energy as another photon.

Not just any photon can readily interact with this atom, though. It needs to be exactly the right color, or wavelength, needed to make the atom’s outer electron jump to a higher state. To make usable repeaters, engineers need to measure photons’ wavelengths far more precisely than conventional spectrometers can.

The NIST team goes past convention with a technique called electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), which starts out by using atoms’ ability to block light of a specific wavelength.

Astronomers can tell what gases form the atmosphere of a far-off world because light passing through it makes the gas molecules vibrate at frequencies that block out light of particular colors, creating telltale dark lines in the light’s spectrum. EIT essentially creates a single dark line by beaming a laser at atoms whose vibrations block much of its light. A second laser, tuned to nearly the same wavelength as the first, is directed at the same atom and the interference between these two nearly identical beams alters the darkness. Instead of a simple dark line, it creates a line with a narrow transparent hole through which photons only of an extremely specific wavelength can pass.

By making fine adjustments to the second laser’s wavelength, the team found it could move the hole back and forth across the dark line’s width, giving them a way to make highly precise measurements of a passing photon’s wavelength.

To give a sense of how precise their spectrometer is, the team gave the example of a common laser pointer that shines in a single narrow color range, creating a pure-colored point on a screen. The typical spectrum width of a laser pointer is right around 1 terahertz (THz). The NIST invention can measure the color of a single-photon-level signal that has a spectrum 10 million times narrower than the laser pointer, resulting in a performance 10,000 times better than typical conventional spectrometers.

“Additionally, we can extend our EIT spectrometer’s performance to any other wavelength range using other processes developed by our group without sacrificing its spectral resolution, high wavelength accuracy and high detection sensitivity,” said Lijun Ma, an optical engineer on the NIST team. “We think this will give the industry the tool it needs to build effective quantum repeaters.”

National Academy’s 270th Class Graduates Receive Presidential Congratulations

The FBI’s National Academy—a prestigious 11-week educational program for law enforcement officers from around the world—graduated its 270th class today, and on hand to congratulate the graduates were Director Christopher Wray, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and President Donald Trump.

“I’d like to extend a special welcome to President Trump and Attorney General Sessions,” Wray said, addressing the 222 students in this session’s class, who represent 49 U.S. states, 20 countries, four federal agencies, and three branches of the U.S. military.

“For more than 80 years,” Wray said, “this program has served as a bridge between state and local law enforcement to international law enforcement. Today, you join the ranks of more than 50,000 graduates from more than 170 countries.”

Founded in 1935, the National Academy program offers mid-career law enforcement leaders an advanced training program at Quantico, Virginia, the same location where the FBI trains its agents. National Academy students take courses in subjects ranging from behavioral science to counterterrorism to intelligence theory and engage in intense physical training. Just as importantly, they network with their peers.

Forging friendships and partnerships, Wray said, “is what the National Academy does best. As the world becomes smaller and perils loom larger, we’ve learned that a threat to one of us can be a threat to all of us. We’ve learned that working together isn’t just the best option, it’s really the only option.”

In welcoming Trump, Wray noted that it has been 46 years since a U.S. commander in chief participated in a National Academy graduation. “Mr. President, there is no better place to talk about the importance of partnerships than here at the National Academy, surrounded by some of the finest law enforcement leaders from here at home and around the world.”

“It is an honor to join you today and to stand with the incredible men and women of law enforcement,” Trump said during his remarks. “I am here not only to congratulate you, but to honor you for your courage and devotion.”
“It is an honor to join you today and to stand with the incredible men and women of law enforcement.”

President Donald Trump
In addition to thanking the many family members in the audience, the president said, “Now, more than ever, we must support the men and women in blue.” Trump addressed a number of issues related to policing and national security and said the Department of Justice has announced more than $98 million in grant funding to help local police departments hire new officers. “If we want to bring down violent crime,” he said, “then we must stand up for our police.”

Wray noted that last February, the president addressed the Major County Sheriffs Association, calling for a national partnership and a new beginning between law enforcement and the citizens they serve. “By joining us today,” he said, the president is “renewing that call.”

Trump also recognized the National Academy’s class president and spokesman, Drug Enforcement Administration officer Craig Wiles, whose father graduated from the National Academy 40 years ago and was in the audience today for his son. Wiles reminded the graduates and their families that “evil lives around the world,” noting that during his session’s nearly 11 weeks at Quantico, 24 law enforcement officers lost their lives, several terror attacks occurred in the U.S., and 10,000 individuals died of drug overdoses.

But Wiles remained hopeful. Based on his experience at the National Academy, he said, “I have never been more enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of the law enforcement community.” He added, “There is no greater calling than this honorable profession.”

New NIST Forensic Tests Help Ensure High-Quality Copies of Digital Evidence

Data found on a suspect’s computer, cell phone or tablet can prove to be crucial evidence in a legal case. A new set of software tools developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aims to make sure this digital evidence will hold up in court.

The software suite, referred to collectively as federated testing tools, is designed to help law enforcement and forensic practitioners with a critical early step in evidence collection: making a copy of the data from a seized electronic device. Because a suspect’s guilt or innocence can hang in the balance, both the prosecution and the defense must agree that the digital forensic process did not introduce any unseen errors into the data, and that the methods they are using work as expected.

Extracting and copying data is a risky process because of the rapidly shifting digital landscape that we and our devices inhabit. Confronting the practitioners are all the differences in data and format that can exist between one device and the next—because of the sheer number of different manufacturers, and because of the frequent software updates pushed to various makes and models.

“It’s hard to keep up,” said Barbara Guttman, one of the suite’s developers at NIST’s Computer Forensics Tool Testing project. “You don’t want to risk your copying software failing when you try to get data from some new computer that is critical to your case. So, we created these tools to help ensure that the copying software works effectively and transparently.”

The federated testing tools allow authorities to run tests in advance on their digital forensic software to make sure ahead of time that it will not fail them when a suspect’s personal computer, media or device arrives in the forensic science lab. Guttman describes the suite as the three most critical tools for evidence acquisition and preservation, each addressing one aspect of the copying process.

One tool tests software for copying computer disks, while another tests mobile device data extraction software. These two test protocols were available previously, but the suite is now completed with a new third test for “write blockers,” which are a sort of one-way valve for data-copying software. An effective write blocker allows data to flow only from the seized device to the copying computer, not the other way around. Later updates to the suite will address additional forensic functions, Guttman said.

The full suite is a freely available Linux file that anyone can download and burn to a blank CD. They can use the disk to boot their workstation and test their copying tools via a user-friendly interface.

The NIST software also allows different forensics labs to exchange the results of their tests with each other, so that they can share the burden of exploring how well a copying method works on a specific platform and operating system. Running copying software through its paces generates a report that disparate organizations can share among themselves or with the world, allowing them to indicate whether they found anomalies during the testing or not.

“Pooling these traceable results will mean less work for any given lab or organization,” Guttman said. “We don’t require they share the tests, but a rising tide should raise all boats.”

Guttman cautioned that the tools will not ensure that a copying or digital forensic process is flawless, only that the results of the job are clearly visible to anyone.

“Evidence doesn’t have to be complete to be admissible,” she said. “The key here is that copying does not introduce errors into the data that no one can see.”

Interest in federated testing will go beyond law enforcement agencies, Guttman added. Any organization that performs forensics, such as civil law firms and corporate enforcement offices, will find a use for the test suite.

How Avigilon is Protecting Against Cyber Vulnerabilities

As the number of internet protocol (IP) connected devices in physical security systems increases, conversations about information security are a natural part of the sales process. Organizations such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are actively proposing an Identify-Protect-Detect-Respond-Recover framework for cybersecurity.
The NIST framework advocates the identification of key business risks due to cyber threats; the protection of data, devices, and services from these threats; continuous monitoring to enable detection of cybersecurity events as they happen; and the development of a clear response and recovery process.

The Three Layers of Avigilon Cyber Protection
The protection of data, devices, and services can be successful only if the network-connected software and hardware implement an appropriate amount of defensive measures to ensure integrity, confidentiality, and availability.


1. INTEGRITY
The integrity of a system is compromised when the software is maliciously modified or taken over by an attacker who has learned an administrator-level password. Software defects that permit buffer overflow, database code injection, and cross-site scripting vulnerabilities can also cause a loss of integrity.
Goal: To ensure data and the function of the system are not maliciously or inadvertently manipulated.
Solutions:
    •    No backdoor administrative or maintenance access accounts
    •    Signed and encrypted firmware
    •    Disabling access to the operating system
    •    Fully encrypted control communication
    •    Transport Layer Security Secure Remote Password (TLS-SRP) for client-server connections
    •    Automatic firmware updates




2. CONFIDENTIALITY
A system's confidentiality is compromised when users circumvent a system's access controls to gain unauthorized access to the data it contains. Most often, a breach in confidentiality is the result of an attacker guessing or obtaining a legitimate user's password to access the system.
Goal: To keep information private and secure.
Solutions:
    •    Centralized user control through Active Directory integration and/or parent/child user sharing
    •    Password strength enforcement
    •    Ability to bulk-change camera passwords from Avigilon Control Center (ACC)™ video management software
    •    Lock-out on multiple invalid login attempts




3. AVAILABILITY
In addition to loss of confidentiality and integrity, the availability of a system and its data can be compromised by external attacks. These usually take the form of a denial of service (DoS) attack where an attacker bombards a system with requests. Although it is difficult to protect against all forms of these attacks, the effect is usually temporary.
Goal: To ensure system uptime and continuity of function.
Solutions:
    •    Progressive back-off on multiple invalid login attempts
    •    Separate, limited-access gateway for thin client (web and mobile) access to video
    •    802.1x device authentication

Download the Avigilon Cybersecurity Flyer PDF

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