August 4, 2013    /    by

Michigan Governor Snyder Leads by Example on Cyber Awareness Training

"And my challenge to each of you is to take the cyber awareness training... like me..."

July 28, 2013    /    by

How to Strengthen Public-Private Partnerships on Cyber

But how do we take these vital security goals to the next level? What are the desired outcomes and corresponding actions required to strengthen our mutual cyber defenses? Where do you start?

If you ask 100 government technology leaders around the country about the importance of public-private partnerships regarding cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection, 99 will likely agree that improved collaboration and information sharing are important.

But how do we take these vital security goals to the next level? What are the desired outcomes and corresponding actions required to strengthen our mutual cyber defenses? Where do you start? READ MORE

July 21, 2013    /    by

No Service: When the Internet goes down on vacation

No service? My Verizon connection has great all week why now? Something was wrong.

Vacation by the Lake at Camp of the WoodsIt was early on Saturday morning, July 20, 2013. I rolled out of bed and powered up my iPhone to quickly check my email, text messages and the weather forecast.

“No service? My Verizon connection has great all week – why now?” I thought to myself. “This is not what I need on getaway day after a great vacation!” READ MORE

July 15, 2013    /    by

What is the next big thing in technology?

Enquiring minds typically want to know: What is the next big thing in technology? The nice thing about that question is that you can go almost anywhere with the answer.

Over the years, I am often asked questions from friends, colleagues and family related to computer security, physical security, technology infrastructure, smartphones or mobile technology in general. But during summer cookouts, vacations and extended family outings, I typically get asked one question more than most others.

Enquiring minds typically want to know: What is the next big thing in technology? The nice thing about that question is that you can go almost anywhere with the answer. READ MORE

July 7, 2013    /    by

Will stronger EU penalties deter cybercrime?

Early this week the European Union (EU) mandated national maximum sentences of at least two years in prison for attempting to illegally access information systems. Will these tougher penalties deter cybercrime?

  Early this week the European Union (EU) mandated national maximum sentences of at least two years in prison for attempting to illegally access information systems.

In addition, according to the UK Telegraph, “The maximum penalty for attacks against infrastructure such as power plants, transport or government networks will be set at five years or more, higher than the current tariff in most member states....” READ MORE

June 29, 2013    /    by

Insider Threats Take Center Stage

Are insiders or outsiders the greatest IT threat to enterprise security? Lately, the pendulum seems to be swinging towards the insider threat.

The debate continues: Are insiders or outsiders the greatest IT threat to enterprise security? Lately, the pendulum seems to be swinging towards the insider threat around the globe.

Over the decade, there had been a constant debate amongst security professional regarding this topic. Back in 2008, Bruce Schneier pointed out that outsider attacks are much more frequent, but insider attacks typically cause more damage. The current situation with Edward Snowden seems to support this perspective. READ MORE

June 24, 2013    /    by

An Interview with Teri Takai on FirstNet

Ms. Teresa M. (Teri) Takai, who is the CIO for the United States Department of Defense (DoD), has been an exceptional leader in government for more than a decade. She served as state government CIO in both Michigan and California before joining DoD as CIO in 2010. Ms. Takai was appointed to the FirstNet Board of Directors in August 2012.

Ms. Teri Takai, DoD CIO and FirstNet Board Member Ms. Teresa M. (Teri) Takai, who is the CIO for the United States Department of Defense (DoD), has been an exceptional leader in government for more than a decade. She served as state government CIO in both Michigan and California before joining DoD as CIO in 2010.

I consider it an honor to still know Teri, and it was a privilege to work as CISO under Ms. Takai in Michigan from 2003-2007. READ MORE

June 17, 2013    /    by

Free BYOD Webinar: Keeping Your Data Safe in a Mobile World

There is a free webinar coming up on the topic of BYOD. The online event will be on Tuesday, June 18, at 2 PM (EST).

There is a free webinar coming up on the topic of BYOD, which is being offered by Government Technology Magazine and the Center for Digital Government (CDG). The session is entitled: Keeping Your Data Safe in a Mobile World.

I will be one of several government presenters from around the country.  Lucien Canton, who is a senior fellow for the Center for Digital Government, will be moderating the session. READ MORE

June 16, 2013    /    by

Edward Snowden is No Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Do the ends justify the means in the case of Edward Snowden disclosing classified NSA secrets to the world? I think not.

Do the ends justify the means in the case of Edward Snowden disclosing classified NSA secrets to the world via the UK’s Guardian newspaper? I think not.

Over the past week, worldwide media offered numerous stories covering various aspects of the NSA Prism program, along with differing views regarding how the Top Secret program became public knowledge. There were details about “bigger, bolder data seizures” as well as how a banned USB thumb drive was used to get the information off of classified computer systems by Edward Snowden.  READ MORE

June 9, 2013    /    by

How to decipher NSA data mining: Examine capabilities and intentions

The news media this week was full of articles describing the U.S. government's role in gathering, mining and analyzing big data from nine leading U.S. Internet companies in order to stop terrorism. Where is this capability going?

The news media this week was full of articles describing the U.S. Government’s role in gathering, mining and analyzing big data from nine leading U.S. Internet companies in order to stop terrorism.

The reaction from most of my friends and family has been one of shock, confusion and almost disbelief. One colleague commented, “The whole story seems almost Orwellian.” Several relatives contacted me to get my viewpoint, since I am a former NSA employee.  READ MORE