• DHSSandia Marks 20-year Partnership with DHS

    In response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security was created and began operations in 2003. Sandia has been involved with the homeland security mission from the department’s inception.

  • CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTUREProtecting Critical Infrastructure During Uncertain Times

    By Dimitri Kusnezov

    Throughout November, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will commemorate Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month. The timing of this year’s monthlong spotlight on our nation’s critical infrastructure is especially significant. Between ongoing severe weather events affecting the nation (and our neighbors to the south), a resurgence of COVID-19, the looming threat of a government shutdown, and more, now is the time to turn research into action. 

  • DISASTER RESPONSEHow Big Institutions Stymie Disaster Response, and What to Do About It

    By Christopher D. Shea

    Large institutions like government, the private sector, non-profits, and academia, are unprepared for disasters—both natural and human-created—because their incentives are not well-aligned.

  • SUPPLY-CHAIN SECURITYDARPA Selects Teams to Boost Supply-and-Demand Network Resiliency

    DARPA selected teams to develop new tools and analytics capable of helping the Department of Defense and its commercial partners improve systemic resilience in various supply-and-demand networks. Resilient Supply-and-Demand Network performers will create a general-purpose toolkit to improve systemic resilience in modern supply chains.

  • ARGUMENT: DHS & AUTOMATED SYSTEMSDHS Must Evaluate and Overhaul its Flawed Automated Systems

    DHS is likely the single largest collector and consumer in the U.S. government of detailed, often intimate, information about Americans and foreigners alike. Rachel Levinson-Waldman and José Guillermo Gutiérrez write that “these systems and the data that powers them operate behind a veil of secrecy, with little meaningful documentation about how they work, and are too often deployed in discriminatory ways that violate Americans’ constitutional rights and civil liberties.”

  • DISASTERSNew Tool Helps Communities Plan for and Mitigate Disasters

    When hurricanes make landfall, coastal communities are especially vulnerable to storm surges, high winds, and freshwater flooding. Residents can be left without clean water, food, shelter, electricity, and access to medical care for days.  Communities need proper tools to adequately prepare for these storms, especially as climate change worsens the impact of these extreme weather events. The Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard (PIRS), recently launched by S&T’s Coastal Resilience Center, helps local governments plan for hurricane season—and beyond.

  • ARGUMENT: CRITICAL MINERALSThe U.S. Government Should Stockpile More Critical Minerals

    The 2022 National Defense Strategy describes China as America’s “most consequential strategic competitor for the coming decades.” Yet, Gregory Wischer and Jack Little write, the United States is unprepared to fight a major war against the Chinese. “A longer, more intense U.S.-Chinese conflict over Taiwan would expose even deeper cracks in the defense industrial base and undermine the U.S. military’s ability to defeat the Chinese military: The United States lacks sufficient stocks of critical minerals to support the defense industrial base, from nickel in superalloys for jet engines to rare earth elements in magnets for guided munitions,” they write.

  • POWER GRIDDOE Invests $39 Million to Support a 21st Century Electric Grid

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $39 million for projects across DOE’s National Laboratories to help modernize the electricity grid. The investments will support the development and deployment of concepts, tools, and technologies needed to measure, analyze, predict, protect, and control the grid of the future while incorporating equity and the best available climate science.

  • ARGUMENT: FALLING SHORT ON CYBERSECURITYA Review of NIST’s Draft Cybersecurity Framework 2.0

    Cybersecurity professionals, and anyone interested in cybersecurity, have noted that the gold standard of cybersecurity is getting a needed polish. “But all that glitters is not gold,” Melanie Teplinsky writes. NIST’s voluntary cybersecurity framework leaves organizations vulnerable to the nation’s most capable cyber adversaries. NIST’s proposed overhaul won’t change that.

  • DISASTERS2023: Record Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

    2023 still has three-and-a-half months to go, but it has already broken the record for $1-billion climate-driven disasters, that is, disasters which have caused damage of at least $1 billion. So far this year, the United States has experienced 23 such disasters. The previous record – 22 $1-billion climate disasters – was in 2020. The 1980–2022 annual average is 8.1 $1-billion events; the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2018–2022) is 18.0 $1-billion events.

  • ENERGY TRANSITIONRailroads May Use Their Monopoly Power to Buffer Coal Plants from a Carbon Emissions Tax

    Railroads are likely to cut transportation prices to prop up coal-fired plants if U.S. climate policies further disadvantage coal in favor of less carbon-intensive energy sources. A new study argues that “If policymakers ignore real distortions in the market, like monopoly power in rail shipping, their climate policy efforts may not achieve the intended results.”

  • AIAI Cyber Challenge Aims to Secure Nation’s Most Critical Software

    In an increasingly interconnected world, software undergirds everything from financial systems to public utilities. As software enables modern life and drives productivity, it also creates an expanding attack surface for malicious actors. This surface includes critical infrastructure, which is especially vulnerable to cyberattacks given the lack of tools capable of securing systems at scale. New competition challenges the nation’s top AI and cybersecurity talent to automatically find and fix software vulnerabilities, defend critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

  • WILDFIRESTowns Could Save Themselves from Wildfire — If They Knew About This Money

    By Alex Brown

    There is a huge pot of federal money available to communities across the country — an unprecedented amount that would allow towns to quickly tackle work that otherwise would take decades. But local leaders in many small towns say they have not heard of the program, and most have not drafted the protection plans needed to apply for grants – in fact, less than 10 percent of communities facing wildfire risk have a protection plan.

  • DISASTER RELIEFUsing Hydrogen to Power Disaster Relief

    A new vehicle will not only get emergency responders safely to the site of an emergency, but also directly provide power at the scene for up to 72 hours as they assess next steps. And it does all this running on hydrogen—a much more sustainable solution for our environment.

  • CYBERSECURITYMajor Update to NIST’s Widely Used Cybersecurity Framework

    The world’s leading cybersecurity guidance is getting its first complete makeover since its release nearly a decade ago. NIST has revised the framework to help benefit all sectors, not just critical infrastructure.