• BiosecurityImproving biosafety, biosecurity in West Africa

    The Defense Threat Reduction Agency and United States Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (DTRA/SCC-WMD) have selected CH2M to lead efforts in West Africa to broaden its Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) on the African continent and reduce the threat of infectious diseases. The CBEP, developed by the Department of Defense to address global health security issues, was used in 2014 to support international efforts to combat the Ebola virus outbreak and other threats to global health security.

  • DisastersHuman, economic costs of disasters underestimated by up to 60 percent

    The impact of extreme natural disasters is equivalent to a global $520 billion loss in annual consumption, and forces some twenty-six million people into poverty each year, says a new report from the World Bank. “Severe climate shocks threaten to roll back decades of progress against poverty,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “Storms, floods, and droughts have dire human and economic consequences, with poor people often paying the heaviest price. Building resilience to disasters not only makes economic sense, it is a moral imperative.”

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  • Immigration debateEnding DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from U.S. GDP over a decade

    Amid talk that the incoming administration could make good on a campaign promise to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the Center for American Progress estimates that ending DACA would wipe away at least $433.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, cumulatively over a decade.

  • Nuclear wasteFeds sue to block acquisition of Dallas radioactive waste company

    By Kiah Collier

    The U.S. Justice Department is suing to block a Salt Lake City-based company’s acquisition of Waste Control Specialists, the Dallas-based company that wants to expand the nuclear waste dump it operates in West Texas. If the $367 million merger with proposed buyer EnergySolutions goes through, it would “combine the two most significant competitors for the disposal of low level radioactive waste (LLRW) available to commercial customers in thirty-six states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico,” the Justice Department said.

  • R&DFortifying advanced manufacturing, save $100 billion annually by closing tech gaps

    To spur significant innovation and growth in advanced manufacturing, as well as save over $100 billion annually, U.S. industry must rectify currently unmet needs for measurement science and “proof-of-concept” demonstrations of emerging technologies. This is the overall conclusion reached by economic studies of four advanced manufacturing areas used to create everything from automobile composites to zero-noise headsets.

  • CybersecurityDHS releases Strategic Principles for Securing the Internet of Things

    DHS the other day issued a set of Strategic Principles for Securing the Internet of Things (IoT), Version 1.0. These principles highlight approaches and suggested practices to fortify the security of the IoT. They aim to equip stakeholders to make responsible and risk-based security decisions as they design, manufacture, and use internet-connected devices and systems.

  • CybersecurityBolstering small businesses cybersecurity

    Small-business owners may think that they are too small to be victims of cyber hackers, but NIST experts know otherwise. NIST reaches out to small businesses, helping them understands the challenges they face in protecting their data and systems. The agency has just released Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals, a guide written for small-business owners not experienced in cybersecurity, which explains basic steps they can take better to protect their information systems.

  • BusinessTrump's win spurs surge in private prison stocks

    Shares of private prison companies Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group jumped 48.1 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively, on Wednesday following Tuesday’s victory by Donald Trump in the presidential election. If Trump follows through on his campaign pledge to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, this will be a boon for the private prison industry.

  • BusinessValue of Israeli border fencing company’s shares soar in wake of Trump victory

    Magal Security Systems, the Israeli company which built the defensive fence system around the Gaza Strip saw a surge in shares after Donald Trump was confirmed as the winner of Tuesday’s election. Magal had looked with anticipation at the prospect of a Trump victory how it would help the barrier-building business. Magall has built border walls and fences in Egypt, Somalia, and other African countries.

  • Undocumented immigrantsNumber of undocumented immigrants in U.S. unchanged over the 2010-2016 period

    The issue of undocumented immigration has been central to the campaign of Donald Trump — and major motivation behind the surge of Hispanic voters supporting Hillary Clinton. The number of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border may be too high than some Americans want, but experts point out that it has not risen in recent years. The numbers of unauthorized immigrant in the United States grew rapidly in the 1990s and early 2000s, but that trend changed with the onset of the financial crisis. The total number of Mexican immigrants in the United States is virtually unchanged over the 2010-2016 period.

  • CybersecurityCyberSeek: An interactive resource for cybersecurity career information

    The U.S. rapidly growing cybersecurity jobs market has many more openings available than trained workers to fill them. For example, there are 128,000 positions for “Information Security Analysts,” but only 88,000 workers currently employed in those positions — a talent shortfall of 40,000 workers for cybersecurity’s largest jobs. Jobs requesting cloud security skills remain open ninety-six days on average — longer than any other IT skill. NIST last week introduced CyberSeek, an interactive online tool designed to make it easier for cybersecurity job seekers to find openings and for employers to identify the skilled workers they need.

  • InfrastructureEconomic impact of inland waterway disruptions potentially in the billions

    What would happen if a lengthy disruption befell the major mode of transportation of U.S. corn and soybeans? What ramifications would that have on U.S. producers and the national economy? How would that affect U.S. competitiveness in world grain markets? While hypothetical, these concerns are very real as the barge corridor in question contains a total of thirty-six locks and dams that have long since surpassed their designed lifespan. This corridor is the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway (UMR-IWW) that serves as the primary corridor for the movement of bulk commodities in the United States. Corn and soybeans comprise nearly 90 percent of food and farm products on these waterways.

  • Security commitmentsFalse economy: Savings from cutting U.S. overseas security commitments dwarfed by lost U.S. trade

    Proponents of U.S. foreign policy “retrenchment” have called for steep reductions in U.S. overseas security commitments, contending that the U.S. commitments are too costly to sustain, allow partner governments to free-ride off the U.S. defense budget, and fail to deliver the promised security and stability. A new study finds, however, that the policy of engagement the United States has followed since the 1940s has contributed greatly to U.S. prosperity by making the world politically and militarily stable, thus fostering international economic stability which has benefitted the United States by increasing trade in goods and services and access to global capital, leading to higher rates of economic growth at home. Reducing U.S. overseas security commitments, including U.S. troops stationed abroad as well as U.S. security treaties, could lead to greatly reduced U.S. trade with other countries, with the economic costs from lost trade estimated to be more than triple any associated savings in U.S. defense spending.

  • CybersecurityWhat CSPs can learn from the latest DDoS attacks

    Around the world, communications service providers (CSPs) and subscribers were affected by the 21 October 2016 DDoS attack, making it virtually impossible to reach many popular Web sites for several hours. Although CSPs weren’t targeted directly, they were still affected since the outages drove additional caching DNS traffic caused by the errors from failed DNS requests. This spike in traffic slowed overall network performance, likely driving up customer support call volumes from unhappy subscribers. The attacks highlighted the easily overlooked — yet vital — role that DNS plays on the Internet. An expert offers a few key steps CSPs can take to prepare for similar attacks in the future.

  • Fashion terrorParis venue of Victoria's Secret December show kept secret for fear of terrorism

    Victoria’s Secret officials admitted they were worried about a possible terrorist attack during their 5 December 2016 Fashion Show in Paris. The lingerie company typically announces its annual runway show in the spring of each year — but this year the company waited until Monday, 24 October, to announce this year’s location. Several venues in Paris were considered, until one was selected because the French security services concluded it would be easier to secure.