The 2018 Aspen Security Forum just closed its doors after a week of intense intellectual security events at Deloitte Base Camp. Attendees have gone home with forum badges, master programs and packets as keepsakes, but the most valuable souvenirs are the memories of listening to keynote speakers such a Christopher Wray, the Director of the FBI; Kirsten Neilsen, Secretary of Homeland Security; Daniel Coates, Director of National Intelligence; and Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, US Department of Justice, to name just a few.

One of the topics on the 2018 Aspen Security Forum agenda, aimed at “China Rising”, moderated by David Ignatius, Columnist and Associate Editor, The Washington Post, who led a panel of experts, Michael Collins, Deputy Assistant Director, East Asia Mission Center, Central Intelligence Agency; Marcel Lettere, Former Under Secretary of Defence for Intelligence, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Ambassador of Singapore to the United States; Susan Thornton, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

“ Having consolidated power and extended his term, President Xi Jinping is now the mightiest Chinese leader since Mao. And, his rise to political primary coincides with a moment in history when China itself is rising – economically, militarily, and geopolitically. It coincides, too, with a moment in history when America is both withdrawing from the global stage and riven internally by toxic partisanship. Is China on its way to becoming the new global hegemon and, if so, what are the geostrategic implications?”

A week of high level discussions with the most powerful minds together at the 2018 Aspen Security Forum, highlighted the subject “ A New Nuclear Arms Race”, moderated by Michael Gordon, National Security Correspondent, The wall Street Journal, with panelists, Bonnie Jenkins, Former Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, US Department of State; Frank Klotz, Former Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration; Franklin Miller, Former Senior Director for Defence Policy and Arms Control, National Security Council and Andrew Weber, Former Assistant Secretary of Defence for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs.

“Reminiscent of the Cold War, the US and Russia are racing to develop a new generation of more powerful nuclear weapons, making the prospect of cataclysmic war more realistic than at any time in generations. Can the nuclear arms race genie be put back in the bottle?”

Another hot conversation in the media that deserved a key panel was “Taking Fate into our Own Hands”, moderated by Terry Moran, Chief Foreign Correspondent, ABC News, who led panelists, Emily Haber, Ambassador of Germany to the United States,; John McLaughlin, Former Acting Director and Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Michael Murphy, Deputy Assistant of State for European and Eurasian Affairs; as well as David O’Sullivan, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States.

“Thus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel famously summed up Europe’s reaction to Trump’s America First agenda. For the first time since its founding, the strength of the NATO alliance is being questioned. Would a President who said that he was elected to “represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris” really go to war to save Vilnius? And, it appears that Europe is as much in the President’s crosshairs for trade imbalances as China. In short, is the Trans-Atlantic partnership, the bedrock of the global order since WWII, being consigned before our eyes to the dustbin of history?”

All in all, it was indeed a valuable week of international and national discussions and debates, with experts from all over the world, and everyone looking to find the same solid solutions – sound security for a better world.

ESA Electronic Security Association has been active for active for approximately 70 years. Its membership offers educational tools, resources and connections in the industry as well as advocacy support related to the electronic security and life safety community.

The ESA community attracts those in the industry that are engaged in projects by residential, commercial, government and industrial clients. All members receive training, instructions, networking opportunities and other services that will enhance the growth of their respective company.

Programs include topics that allow interaction between professionals, members, communities and leading industry vendors. Certificates are offered by the ESA National Training School (NTS) in subjects such as Certified Alarm Technician, Video Systems Technologies and Residential Fire Alarm, and on am online basis, throughout different states> Core courses include, intrusion, fire systems, video, access, sales and service.

For more information: ww.esaweb.org

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FIFA World Cup 2018 is well underway, in the host country Russia, and soccer fans around the world are jubilant. All eyes are glued to TV screens, to watch competitive matches which started June 14 and will continue through to July 15; a month span, devoted to one of the most revered sports globally – football.

For those fortunate to be able to travel to this once communist Eastern European country, to support their respective national team, amidst the many thousands of other enthusiastic fans, there is one common factor that people should be mindful of during their visit to this highlighted event – safety.

Following the 2016 European Championship, in Marseille, France, reports stated that English fans, were attacked by approximately 150 Russian hooligans, who forcefully charged at the Brits, in a “prearranged” and targeted way. Needless to say, the concern of violence is problematic.

Claims that a Russian Hooligan Army, has been preparing physically to engage in brawls against rivals at the FIFA World Cup 2018, is something the federation are taking very seriously. The viscous attacks in Marseille, by the Russian thugs, are reported to have left two people in a coma. It was disclosed that the attacks were planned with well-trained precision in military style fashion, “with many of them sporting Martial Arts gloves”. Brice Robin acted as the Marseille Chief prosecutor. At least 50 perpetrator Russian fans were deported back to Russia and the team was given a suspended disqualification, together with a fine by the EAFA, Europe’s apex football body.

Law enforcement authorities are on high alert at FIFA World Cup 2018, despite the fact reports state the most notorious Russian football hooligans have been blacklisted and banned from attending. A fan ID system has been implemented to keep track of individuals in attendance and fans groups have been warned by the Federal Security Service, that imprisonment will be the only option, if extreme violence breaks out.

Security expert, Helmut Spahn , the Director of Security, FIFA, seriously has his mind on the threat of Radical Islam extremist terrorist suicide bomber attacks at football stadiums, as well as brutal hooligan fan issues, but he remains ever optimistic that security measures continue to remain strong with vigilant professional co-ordination between all security parties including intelligence, surveillance, police and armed forces.

It is without a doubt that the host country is doing everything it possibly can, security wise, to maintain a positive reputation, at a time when all the world’s eyes are closely watching.

Starting today June 19th, until Friday 22, in Nashville Tennessee, is ESX – Electronic Security Expo. This year’s 2018 event, according to their program, as revealed to the public online, aims to feature “insights from tech experts, a heartfelt panel on school security, and more”.

The ESX Expo is a “nation-wide event, open exclusively to the electronic security and life safety industry”. It is designed to allow interaction of professionals and those alike in the safety and security community.

Divided into topics of education, events & experiences, Expo and Non-for Pofit, the week’s activities promises to energize its attendees to re-think the future. Key-note speakers are invited to voice their opinions and experiences on security integration subject matters; some of these sessions are also interactive so the community may participate in discussions and brainstorming.

Alongside the business and networking opportunities are anything from breakfasts to cocktail receptions as well as various forms of entertainment; one such highlight includes a performance set to take place in the exhibit hall on June 20, by Kristen Merlin, a finalist on NBC;’s “ The Voice”.

The ESX Expo website also boasts of an upcoming Shark Tank style contest called TechVision Challenge, where contestants enter their creative concepts and are judged by a panel of impressive industry leaders.

It is an Expo that offers expert advice on its showcased products, and services. With a keen intent to help the gathering security integration enthusiasts learn more about installation training, merchandising, marketing and sales, exhibitors are on display throughout.

As stated publically, “ESX is owned by the industry’s leading professional associations. All profits made from the show are reinvested into programs and activities that help grow the industry”.

For more information: http://www.esxweb.com/Schedule/Full-Schedule

Honeywell is globally known for “inventing technologies that address some of the world’s toughest challenges in safety and security”. Their mission is “building a world that’s safer and more secure”. This is indeed proven as Honeywell focuses its attention to SAFE KIDS AT HOME PROGRAM RESEARCH.

In countries where household burns are prevalent, Honeywell’s Safe Kids at Home Program, is working with communities in creating preventative methods to help find positive solutions. Since 2015, Honeywell first introduced the program in Pune, India to inspire a “safety culture”. Together with civic agencies, it is growing in reach.

In compliance with the Indian government’s 100 Smart cities vision, the Safe Kids at Home Program consists of interactive educational training for children under the age of 14, in schools, alongside homework assignments, videos, games, songs and play. Through knowledge, training and awareness it has been developed to help prevent child injuries due to fires and burns.

Mr. Vikas Chadha, President, Honeywell India, recognized in 2017, “ Globally Honeywell understands the space of safety very well”. He proudly commented in an online portrayal of the program, “Honeywell can supply adequate products such as fire alarms, personal protection equipment which are aligned with the safety of a particular individual”

Safe Kids at Home aims to reach out to 25,000 students and 50,000 by mid 2018. This will happen via classroom sessions involving parents as well as caregivers and events with the communities at large. It is a positive initiative offering simple safety suggestions such as “Remember to blow out candles and turn off oil lamps before going to sleep”. In addition, the program includes distributing the correct contact information for first responders in case of an emergency.

Dr. Cinthia Pinto, Program Director, Safe Kids Foundation, stated in one of her previous appearances that the Safe Kids at Home Program was one of the “first of its kind in India, on child injury prevention”.

The Honeywell partnered program works in close collaboration with hospitals, fire departments, police departments, burn units, schools and communities. As it stands today, the Safe Kids at Home Program has become a model for “fire safe schools and fire safe communities”.

Honeywell and Safe Kids Worldwide are dedicated to working with partners to protect children from preventable injuries, and are already implemented and established with their programs in India, China and the United States.

Safe Kids at Home Supported by Honeywell – the power of connected

A recent report issued by the United States of America, Department of Homeland Security, has been making serious efforts to focus on public security. On June 8, Bob Kolansky, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Infrastructure Protection, highlights the release of the DHS Soft Target and Crowded Places Security Plan Overview.

Unable to forget the horrific terrorist type attacks on soft targets that have taken place of late, the Department of Homeland Security strongly emphasizes vigilance and preparedness. Complacency is not an option.

Anyone who frequents crowded public spaces should turn their attention to the Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Security Guide. The catalogue matrix includes advice in the way of tools and resources for businesses, government, and first responders, as well as the general public. It offers resource descriptions and links to understand the basics of security; how to identify suspicious behavior; forms of protection, and ready responsiveness.

“Soft Targets and Crowded Places (ST-CPs), such as sports venues, shopping venues, schools, and transportation systems, are locations that are easily accessible to large numbers of people and that have limited security or protective measures in place making them vulnerable to attack”.

The Department of Homeland security aims to work alongside other organizations and countries to ensure that all citizens are better protected.

“An informed and empowered public is DHS’s greatest ally in its work to enhance the security of ST-CPs”.

The Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Guide was released in April 2018 and can be found via link:
https://www.dhs.gov/publication/securing-soft-targets-and-crowded-spaces

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., and ZTE Corp are prominent Chinese companies that produce telecommunications equipment and mobile phones.

In a recent statement issued by the U.S. Pentagon, the devices manufactured by these companies “may pose an unacceptable risk” to U.S. military bases worldwide.

Senior level, U.S. intelligence officials are concerned the devices might be capable of spying on U.S. service personnel. According to media reports, Blackberry smart phones have also been ousted.

The potential threats have not been completely released, due to security reasons.

The United States Department of Homeland Security recently released documentation accusing Russia of attempting to attack U.S. infrastructure such as critical manufacturing sectors, aviation, water, commercial facilities, nuclear and energy sectors.

Evidence has shown the Russian government has the capability of sabotaging power plants and electrical systems, through cyber attacks. Unidentified hackers have found a way to enter into critical control systems. As far back as June 2017, the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security alerted utility companies to these perpetrations.

With multiple Russian cyber operations, at large, American intelligence officials are keenly aware that Russian invasion is problematic not only to the United States but other European nations.

According to forensic analysis experts, Russian spies are aggressively preparing themselves for ways to infiltrate into crucial infrastructures within the United States, that could cause serious damage to the country.

Cyber security professionals from companies such a Symantec and Cylance, have confirmed that Russia has the capable espionage to sabotage industries within the USA.

Sanctions have been strongly placed upon Russia, as their behavior continues to be troubling. Two entities highlighted include, “FSB, and GRU intelligence agencies”.

Senior national officials are pushing back in meaningful ways. The determined motive of the attacks have been characterized as “multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian cyber actors”. Their intent, “to gather details on computer management systems in the U.S. energy grid”

For confirmation on this article visit:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-074A

 

 

 

Over fifty million users have had their data harvested through social media platform Facebook. Following the crisis of Cambridge Analytica, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits the data scandal was a “major breach of trust”, and has publicly apologized. He has agreed to testify in front of U.S. Congress, and states in a public interview that Facebook has “a basic responsibility to protect people’s data”. He promises a full forensic audit to investigate who is improperly using private data of Facebook users.

Although Zuckerberg, has pledged to restrict access to app developers moving forward, there is still  concern regarding Android users and how data has been collected by Facebook from their mobile devices, without given permission. Fears of privacy invasion on Facebook is at its greatest, although Facebook highlights that two of the Android apps have opt-in/out features with prompts.

Apple iOS mobile devices do not allow access into the users’ calls and texts data unless a certain protocol is followed, therefore iPhones and iPads, are slightly more protected. The architecture of Android is different and not so secure.

There is a growing concern in some circles, that social media platforms could face strong government regulations in the aftermath of these incidents. There may even be a decline in activity since users are also likely to become skeptical, due to privacy protection concerns. This will in turn affect advertisers.

Facebook’s most valuable asset is the user, and the ability to follow the user track. the company monitors pages clicked on, as well as posts tagged and liked. By sharing this information, Facebook makes over 90% of profits on advertising, which according to research is in the realm of close to 40 million dollars.

Zuckerberg, has spoken of a commitment to 20,000 employees, working on security and content review, by the end of the year. In a recent public interview the Facebook guru states, “security isn’t a problem that you ever fully solve; you can get to a level where you are better than your adversaries and then continue evolving”.

Stocks and shares have already plummeted, with a loss estimated around $80 billion in market value. Consumers are now being extra cautious. After-all, no-one wants a “peeping Tom” in their phone.

To read a full report visit Ars Technica.

 

 

VERIZON is partnering with visionaries from different industries, using data and technology to turn innovative ideas into reality, in their operation HUMANABIITY. Their slogan, “ We don’t wait for the future. We build it”, has engaged them in projects that reduce C02, save lives and keep food safe.

By creating a device with a sensor the size of an American nickel (10 cents), environmental conditions can be tracked through an advanced network system that protects food shipments from the risk of contamination.

According to data provided by VERIZON, 4 billion pounds of seafood, was consumed in America during 2009. Their studies also show that 47.8 million Americans get sick from food borne diseases each year, 128,000 people are hospitalized by food poisoning annually, and 3,000 Americans actually die each year from food borne diseases.

Advertisements created by the VERIZON team, proudly demonstrate the effectiveness and necessity of this safety sensor. Tom Villa, VERIZON Global Asset Management, speaks fluently on the product, “ We took our world class network and developed devices to track environmental conditions. This device allows people to understand what’s happening not only with the location of that asset, but also if it is too hot or too cold”. He describes the senor as “completely unique”, Chris Harrison, Shipping Manager, explains how products such as “Fish, beef, poultry, vaccines and insulin”, are protected and monitored by the device during shipping.

Trawler fisherman, Captain Dennis Woloshuck, Ocean Venture, in the VERIZON advertisement confidently states, “ I catch all this beautiful fish, but once its out of my hands I have no control over it. If you have a sensor that can keep track of your product, it can keep everyone honest that way”.

With trillions of transactions a year, a good competent network is vitally important and not many companies on the world have the capacity to handle such volume. There is nothing fishy about VERIZON, they have proven to have a grip on it with their little tiny sensor that is “keeping the food chain safe”.