The Homeland Security Department took first public steps in development of a research and development strategy for strengthening the security and resilience of critical infrastructure in the Dec. 5 solicitation of public comment.
A computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology says the advent of advanced persistent threats means years of lip service to the idea of integrated system security must be replaced with real action.
Nine years after the president called on them to develop a backup system for GPS, the Homeland Security and Transportation departments haven't determined their roles. "There is considerable confusion and lack of clarity between the agencies about what their roles, responsibilities, and authorities are," the Government Accountability Office says in a Nov. 6 report.
The House Homeland Security Committee approved Oct. 29 a bill that would require the Homeland Security Department to issue cybersecurity workforce occupation classifications, conduct an assessment of its current workforce, and develop a recruitment and retention workforce strategy. The committee also passed that day a bill that would require the Science and Technology Directorate to develop a strategic plan to guide federal cybersecurity and physical security research and development efforts.
The Oct. 10 deadline for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to issue a preliminary cybersecurity framework for private sector operators of critical infrastructure came and went without action, due to the ongoing government shutdown.
Last year was one of the 10 warmest years across the globe and the hottest on record for the United States, says an annual report prepared by the American Meteorological Society with the assistance of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Other facts from the report include a record sea level during 2012.
It's unclear why the Homeland Security Department picks some regions over others to participate in its critical infrastructure evaluation program, the Government Accountability Office says. Some candidates appear equally feasible and worthy, and DHS doesn't record its reasons for choosing among them.
Funding for the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program could be in danger absent "evidence of substantial programmatic improvement," says the chairman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security subcommittee in a July 22 letter also signed by two House oversight committees.
Climate change has the potential to disrupt electricity generation and transmission even as it increases the demand for it, at least in regions where rises in heat temperature will drive greater use of electrically powered cooling, says a report from the Energy Department.
Of the $2.6 billion ports have spent in grant program money since fiscal 2002, less than $6 million--less than one percent--has gone directly to cybersecurity projects, writes Coast Guard Cmdr. Joseph Kramek, in a July paper (.pdf).