During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month I have discussed the types of cyber threats that we face and some of the basic steps that all computer users can take to better protect themselves. This week, I’d like to address another important dimension of this shared responsibility – the role of America’s small businesses.
As the President said in his remarks for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the cyber threat has become one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation. America’s competitiveness and our economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on effective cybersecurity. This is especially true for the millions of small businesses that form the backbone of our economy. For this reason, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the Department of Commerce recently released a guidebook, Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals, on cybersecurity fundamentals for small business owners. A video related to the guidebook is provided below.
View the video
As the guidebook states, “in the United States, the number of small businesses totals to over 95% of all businesses. The small business community produces around 50% of our nation’s Gross National Product (GNP) and creates around 50% of all new jobs in our country. Small businesses, therefore, are a very important part of our nation’s economy.”
However, these small businesses often do not have sufficient resources to effectively secure their cyber infrastructure. Criminals recognize this, and small businesses are more and more often becoming targets of cyber crime. The NIST guidebook helps to mitigate these risks by providing small business owners with detailed (but easy-to-understand) instructions on how to improve their cybersecurity posture.
The guidebook is divided into three sections: absolutely necessary cybersecurity practices, highly recommended practices, and other planning considerations. It includes instructions on topics such as activating and installing firewalls, securing wireless access points, and conducting online banking more securely. I recommend all business owners read this guidebook. Home users may also find many of the cybersecurity instructions useful.
To learn more about cybersecurity tips please also visit www.onguardonline.gov and www.dhs.gov/cyber.
John Brennan is Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested an Arizona man accused of attempting to drive into Mexico an automobile with more than $52,000 in marijuana, said an agency press release.
James Edward Williams, 22, was arrested Sunday afternoon by CBP at Veteran's International Bridge and later charged with possession of marijuana by Cameron County Sheriff's Department because the seizure didn't meet the threshold for federal prosecution, court documents show.
The arrest took place when Williams drove a white Ford Taurus through the bridge's southbound lane and was referred to a secondary inspection area, CBP said. A drug detecting canine was used by CBP officers to confirm the presence of narcotics in a duffel bag stored in the car's trunk; after an inspection, officers found five packages weighing more than 52 pounds of marijuana, documents show.
From the New York Times, on HINI vaccinations:
New York City's health commissioner said on Monday that the city was going ahead with the first stage of its plan to vaccinate schoolchildren. School nurses will begin giving free vaccinations on Wednesday at 125 small public elementary schools, all with fewer than 400 students, said the commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley.
"We have 40,000 doses set aside for the first wave of schools, which we feel should be adequate," Dr. Farley said.
8:30 AM PDT
Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks via live remote feed highlighting National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the importance of cybersecurity as a shared responsibility with the National Defense Industrial Association-San Diego (NDIA-SD) Cyber Symposium
Bahia Hotel and Resort.
998 West Mission Bay Drive
San Diego, Calif.
8:30 AM EDT
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine Assistant Commissioner Major General (Ret) Michael Kostelnik will deliver remarks about the use of “Predator B” unmanned aerial vehicles in maritime surveillance strategies at the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) Maritime Surveillance Latin American Summit.
400 2nd Avenue SE
8:45 AM LOCAL
National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Control Systems Security Program Director Sean McGurk will deliver remarks about control systems and threats to control systems at the 2009 European Community Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Process Control Summit.
Slussen Guldgränd 8
9:20 AM EDT
CBP Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) Program Office Director Colleen Manaher will speak about the successful implementation of WHTI at the IDGA Fifth Annual Border Management Summit.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
10 AM EDT
Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) National Preparedness Directorate Deputy Administrator Tim Manning will testify about measuring the impact of FEMA preparedness grants before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response.
311 Cannon House Office Building
1:15 PM LOCAL
NPPD Control Systems Security Program Director Marty Edwards will deliver remarks about controls systems at test beds and assessment of vendor vulnerabilities at the 2009 European Community SCADA and Process Control Summit.
Slussen Guldgränd 8
2 PM EDT
Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Garza, FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center Director Marcy Forman will testify about the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology.
311 Cannon House Office Building
2 PM EDT
Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Acting Under Secretary Brad Buswell will testify about developing research priorities at S&T before the House Committee on Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation.
2321 Rayburn House Office Building
3 PM EDT
National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Under Secretary Rand Beers will participate in a question and answer session about the U.S. government’s response to cybersecurity threats at the Madison Policy Forum on Cybersecurity.
The Waldorf Astoria Duke of Windsor
Room 100 East 50th Street
New York, N.Y.
We're all used to the blue bins, the green bins – you know the ones with holes exactly as big as a soda can, encouraging you to recycle rather than tossing it into the local landfill, where it would spend the next 200-500 years ever-so-slowly decomposing.
We hear it all the time: Everyone can do their part to make their homes and offices more sustainable. So recycle that can, think of the environment before printing an email, and turn your computer and lights off when you leave the office – trust me, it doesn’t make your boss think you’re still there – or finish up in the kitchen at night.
There's a bigger question here, though. What can government do? How do we make enterprise-wide changes that will conserve energy, recycle goods, and make our facilities and resources more sustainable as we plan for the future? Well, we can start by setting an example.
Last week, the President signed an Executive Order on federal sustainability. The order commits the federal government and its employees to "lead by example" - furthering a culture of sustainability by:
- establishing real greenhouse gas emission reduction targets;
- increasing energy efficiency;
- reducing vehicle fleet gas consumption;
- conserving water and reducing waste;
- and leveraging the government's purchasing power to promote more environmentally-conscience products and technologies.
So where do we begin? This week, The White House launched the GreenGov Challenge - a call to action for federal employees to get involved and submit their best ideas to make our government more sustainable. Employees can submit ideas online and vote on others. The challenge began on October 19th, and continues through the end of the month; employees can head over to the White House's site to get started. Now, while only federal employees may submit ideas, the American public is welcome to log on to view and monitor all the contributions as they are submitted.
So if you're a federal employee, get involved. We need every good idea to make this a success. Those green and blue bins are just a start.
From the Washington Times, on the H1N1 vaccine:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has gone online to urge private persons to help bolster the country's cybersecurity.
During a speech broadcast on the Homeland Security Department's Web site Oct. 20, Napolitano described computer security as a major scientific and technical challenge with great economic and national security implications. She said everyday people - not just the government - share the responsibility for cybersecurity.
"It's an opportunity for you as an individual to personally to contribute to our national security," Napolitano said. "Securing your home computer helps you and your family - it also helps your nation in some very important ways."
Napolitano said people should:
Install and activate firewalls for their computers and Internet connection.
Ensure that anti-virus and anti-spyware is installed and up-to-date.
Check computer settings to make sure operating systems and applications are automatically patched.
Avoid suspect Web sites, downloading suspicious documents or attachments, or opening e-mail messages from unknown persons.
Perform regular back ups.
Use strong passwords.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Wednesday morning acknowledged a delay in the distribution of H1N1 vaccine but said the program should be back on schedule around December.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wanted to have 40 million doses shipped by the end of October, but will have roughly 28 million to 30 million.
Ms. Napolitano told CNN before testifying on Capitol Hill that the problem was a manufacturing delay, not a shortage.
"There will be a vaccine for everybody who wants it," she said.
From SC Magazine, on Philip Reitinger's attendance at the RSA Conference in England:
From KXO-AM El Centro, CA,on a drug seizure at the Andrade port of entry:
International collaboration and recruitment of experienced people is needed to win the battle against cybercrime.
Speaking at the RSA Conference Europe, the US department of homeland security(DHS) deputy undersecretary of the national protection and programs directorate Philip Reitinger, claimed that the right people are working on battling cybercrime but it needs to be vastly increased.
Reitinger said: “We need developers who work through university who learn to write code. We need to have ethically sound people, people who have a mind for the criminal, make sure that people are used to people's business but have to have the public's interest at heart.
“They need to have a blackhat perspective, and need to do threat modelling. Understanding weaknesses to do a good job of security systems. I think we are trying to invest in the right way.”
More than 29 pounds of cocaine worth nearly $1 million was seized Tuesday night at the Andrade port of entry.Public Events
A drug detection dog assigned to the Yuma Sector Border Patrol alerted to a California registered SUV as it attempted to enter the United States from Mexico at the Andrade port of entry. Further inspection of the vehicle led to the discovery of a compartment below the floorboards. 29.7 pounds of cocaine was found found hidden in the compartment. The vehicle , drugs and 26-year old woman driver of the SUV were all turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.
10 AM EDT
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations Deputy Assistant Director Janice Ayala and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Cargo and Conveyance Security Executive Director Todd Owen will testify about cargo threats at land ports of entry before the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism
311 Cannon House Office Building
In a live web address Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said cybersecurity is a shared responsibility among consumers, the private sector and government, but a cabinet-level position dedicated to technology and cybersecurity is not needed.
During her speech, Napolitano reiterated statements made by President Obama in May, that the nation's digital networks are a strategic asset and that "cyberspace is real and so are the risks that come with it."
Addressing and mitigating cyberthreats is an urgent national security priority, she said. But cybersecurity is not the responsibility of one person or group since no one person is in charge of the internet. Cybersecurity, rather, is a responsibility that everyone must take on.
"Just as with our nation's preparedness for natural disasters or terrorist attacks, our nation's cybersecurity is a shared responsibility," Napolitano said.
During a short question-and-answer session during her web address, Napolitano was asked whether she thinks technology and cybersecurity should have a place in the president's cabinet.
From GovInfoSecurity, on the Secretary's remarks regarding the department's new hiring authority:
Sounding a lot like Uncle Sam recruiting soldiers for the Army, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a webcast Tuesday pitched a career as a cyber professional at DHS, with the call "your nation needs you."
Napolitano, the highest ranking and most visible champion of cybersecurity in the Obama administration, reminded her web audience that DHS has been given expedited hiring authority to bring aboard 1,000 skilled IT security experts over the next three years. "And here is our message to those professionals and future-professionals: Not only does DHS want you, your nation needs you. We need our best and brightest, our finest computer scientists and engineers, mathematicians and innovative thinkers."
From the Corpus Christi Caller Times, on Texas-size pot bust:
More than 11,700 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $9.3 million was seized by border patrol in eight unrelated cases.
The most significant was Saturday morning at the checkpoint south of Falfurrias, where agents discovered 366 bundles of marijuana weighing 8,451 pounds hidden inside a vacuum tanker.Thursday, agents found 117 bundles, with a total weight of 2,972 pounds, inside moving boxes in a tractor-trailer.
9:30 AM EDT
Secretary Napolitano will testify about monitoring the nation’s response to H1N1 before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
342 Dirksen Senate Office Building
4 PM EDT
Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks about her broad agenda and major responsibilities for DHS
The George Washington University Law School
2000 H Street NW
8 AM EDT
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen will deliver remarks about the importance of social media for effective governance at the Military Communications Conference 2009
Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center
1 Seaport Lane
11 AM Local
National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver keynote remarks at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Conference
Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET
12:45 PM EDT
NPPD Under Secretary Rand Beers will deliver the keynote address at the Homeland Security Investor Conference
1150 22nd Street NW
Earlier today, I addressed a live web audience to talk about our nation’s shared responsibility for our cybersecurity. President Obama has been speaking regularly on this important issue, and has described the growing number of attacks on our networks as “one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces.”
My remarks today were a chance to speak clearly and candidly about what cybersecurity really means for our nation, and to expand on the shared responsibility we all have for online security. You can view the remarks below.
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The full transcript is also available.
As I mention in my remarks, you can read more about our Department’s cyber efforts, and find cyber security job opportunities at DHS.Gov/Cyber. We plan to host more online events like this in the future, and will in the coming days post answers to many of the excellent questions that viewers submitted during the address.
Yours very truly,
UPDATE: 1 :30 p.m. We will be posting the taped video of the Secretary's remarks later today. Thanks to everyone for your participation and for the terrific questions.
Head over to our LIVE page now to watch Secretary Napolitano deliver remarks on cybersecurity.
You can also submit questions for the Secretary during her address.
From the Boston Globe, about the appointment of the deputy administrator of FEMA:
Richard Serino, the longtime chief of Boston Emergency Medical Services, was officially sworn in yesterday as deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the agency's number two post.
Serino, 55, was nominated to the position in July by President Obama and will serve during a critical time for the country's homeland security operations. In his new role, he will help design emergency response plans for major cities across the country and manage responses to disasters, ranging from hurricanes to terrorist attacks.
From the Miami Herald, about the first doses of the H1N1 vaccine in Florida:
Eight-year-old Bryan Lechuga was unimpressed when the nurse pushed the syringe up his nose to deliver one of South Florida's first doses of vaccine against H1N1 swine flu on Monday.
Did the dose, delivered as a mist,
Did it tickle?`
Does he know what swine flu is?'
His mom knew, however, as did the moms of more than 50 students who showed up at Broadmoor Elementary in Miami-Dade County and at six public schools in Broward on Monday for the first day of vaccinations of the newly arrived H1N1 vaccine.
School-age children will get most of the first shipment of vaccines in South Florida, and remaining doses will go to private physicians and federal and county health clinics for those who are most at risk: pregnant women; caretakers of infants under 5 months of age; young people 2 to 24; people 25 to 64 who have chronic conditions such as asthma or diabetes; and healthcare workers, emergency personnel and other first responders.
11 AM EDT
Secretary Napolitano will deliver a special Web-only address about cybersecurity via live streaming video at www.dhs.gov
2 PM EDT
FEMA National Preparedness Directorate Deputy Administrator Timothy Manning will testify about caring for the elderly, children and individuals with special needs before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Tune in tomorrow to dhs.gov at 11:00 AM EDT for an exclusive live address from Secretary Napolitano on cybersecurity. We will broadcast her remarks at dhs.gov, and you can submit a question for the Secretary to answer during her address.
The Secretary will talk about our shared responsibility for staying safe online, and the department's leadership role in cybersecurity.
Check it out tomorrow at 11:00 AM EDT.
U.S. President Barack Obama has urged Americans to help guard against cyberattacks in a first-of-its-kind video published on the White House Web site.
"Our digital networks are critical to our national security, our military superiority and public safety. But that dependence also makes us vulnerable to cyberattack from those who would do us harm," Obama said in the video.
He called the threat of cyberattacks one of the most serious economic and national security challenges faced by the U.S., and urged businesses and individuals to take greater care online.
Obama said he will "soon" appoint a cybersecurity coordinator to lead a new government office responsible for making sure that defending the country's networks becomes a national security priority.
From the Long Beach Press-Telegram, on a big marijuana seizure in Mission Viejo:
More than $500,000 worth of marijuana was seized on Interstate 5 in Mission Viejo and a driver from Mexico was arrested, the U.S. Border Patrol announced today.
The 839.52 pounds of marijuana affected the way the 2002 Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicle was handling, drawing the attention of Border Patrol agents, an agency official said.
Agents first spotted the vehicle northbound on the freeway near San Clemente, the official said.
The agents stopped the vehicle about 2 p.m. in Mission Viejo near the Oso Parkway exit. The agents could see large bundles of marijuana as they approached the car, the official said.
From the Associated Press, on a new cyber-crime task force in Missouri:
The Secret Service launched a new task force Friday aimed at bolstering efforts to stop cyber-crime in St. Louis and eastern Missouri.
More than 100 people, mostly law enforcement officials, attended a meeting to launch the Gateway Electronic Crimes Task Force.
The Secret Service office in St. Louis will oversee the task force, one of nearly 30 around the country.
John Large of the Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division said cyber-crime has grown far beyond the days when teenage hackers would break into a system just to see if they could do it. Today, organized criminal groups are breaking into financial systems. And many of the criminals are based overseas.
10:30 AM EDT
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate will swear in Richard Serino as FEMA Deputy Administrator
The Great Hall
2nd Floor, Faneuil Hall
Congress Street at North Street
11:00 AM CDT
Acting Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis Bart R. Johnson will participate in a panel discussion about information and intelligence sharing at the GEOINT 2009 Symposium
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
200 East Market Street
San Antonio, Texas
3:30 PM CDT
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen will participate in a public meeting of the Ocean Policy Task Force
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas & Entergy IMAX Theater
1 Canal Street
New Orleans, La.