• Students Collaborate to Solve Homeland Security Challenges

    In the parlance of homeland security, soft targets are places that are easily accessible to the general public and relatively unprotected. Last month, innovative students from Arizona State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas competed in “Hardening Soft Targets” – a DHS-sponsored 3-day event in which students worked directly with experts from DHS, the Phoenix Police Department, industry leaders, and academics.

  • Cybersecurity Tech for Emergency Communications Centers

    DHS S&T is expanding pilot testing of a technology to improve the cybersecurity defenses of the nation’s emergency communications infrastructure. Odenton, Md.-based SecuLore Solutions in the research and development (R&D) of a cybersecurity defense solution based on predictive analytics and cyber data that helps detect and mitigate cybersecurity attacks against legacy emergency communications systems and new Next Generation 911 (NG911) and Internet Protocol-based technologies.

  • Monitoring Current and Future Biological Threats

    DHS S&T has awarded $199,648 to Mesur.io Inc., for analysis and reporting of outbreak-related data. The Mesur.io project proposes to adapt their Earthstream Platform to provide DHS and NBIC with data that tracks metrics related to an outbreak or emergence to predict various risks of a biological threat.

  • U.S. Set to Retaliate against Russia, China for Massive Cyber Attacks

    Senior officials in the Biden administration on Friday said that the administration is finalizing its decision on how to retaliate forcefully for state-sponsored hacking, as fears in the United States and Western Europe are growing over the consequences of two recent major cyberattacks. Officials said that U.S. retaliatory measures – “some seen, some unseen” – will be coming in matter of weeks, nit months.

  • Employing Science to Secure the Homeland

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) recently outlined the various scientific initiatives and project it has been engaged in to improve homeland security and bolster national security. The brief makes for an interesting reading.

  • Two R&D Projects to Enhance Mobile Network Traffic Security

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are jointly announcing the final two research and development (R&D) awards for the newly launched Secure and Resilient Mobile Network Infrastructure (SRMNI) project.

  • How Biden’s Cyber Strategy Echoes Trump’s

    On March 3, the Biden administration released its Interim National Security Strategic Guidance. Herb Lin writes that the interim guidance document is, by definition, a work in progress, and one would expect a final guidance document to be roughly consistent with the interim guidance but also to contain a more substantial elaboration on the interim guidance. With two exceptions — emphasizing diversity in the national talent base and strongly implies government investment in cybersecurity –”all other areas addressed in the Biden interim guidance, I believe the statements are substantially the same. If this is true, it suggests great continuity in cyber policy and strategy between administrations as different as Biden’s and Trump’s. Of course, the Trump National Cyber Strategy wasn’t all that different from Obama’s cyber strategy, either.”

  • Cyber Workforce Protecting U.S. National Security

    By David Vergun

    The Defense Department’s cyber workforce is tasked with defending virtually every system that the department relies on to protect national security.

  • Biden Orders Review to Bolster Supply Chain Resiliency

    By Patsy Widakuswara

    President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday to formally order a 100-day government review of global supply chains and potential U.S. vulnerabilities in key industries including computer chips, electric vehicle batteries, pharmaceuticals and critical minerals used in electronics. On top of the 100-day review of these four key industries, Biden’s order also directs yearlong reviews for six sectors: defense, public health, information technology, transportation, energy and food production.

  • Four Ways the Biden Administration Can Revamp Disaster Management

    By Jeff Schlegelmilch

    In the United States, 2020 had more billion-dollar disasters than any other year in recorded history, even without accounting for the COVID-19pandemic. This is part of a growing trend of more powerful disasters, such as forest fires or hurricanes, across more susceptible areas. This vulnerability is becoming understood to include a combination of the built environment, governance, and underlying social vulnerability. Among federal agencies in the United States, disasters are managed by as many as 90 different programs across 20 agencies. These programs are an uneven patchwork, leaving significant gaps in some areas, and overlapping responsibilities and authorities in others.

  • No Light at the End of the Tunnel: Chad Wolf’s Unlawful Homeland Security Policies Are Still Unlawful

    Since April 2019, DHS has operated without a Senate-confirmed secretary, even as it adopted a series of radical policies meant to block immigrants and asylum-seekers from lawful refuge in the United States. Brian Frazelle writes that President Trump’s use of “acting” officers to advance his agenda started to backfire once it became clear that neither Chad Wolf nor his predecessor, Kevin McAleenan, was entitled to be the department’s acting secretary. “Every court to rule on the matter has agreed that their tenures violated the Homeland Security Act, one of the laws that governs vacancies in the secretary’s office.”

  • Joe Biden to Pause Border Wall Construction, Issue Protections for DACA Recipients, Roll Back Other Trump Immigration Policies

    By Julián Aguilar

    On the same afternoon he’s sworn in as the nation’s 46th president, Joe Biden will take multiple executive actions that will undo several of former President Trump’s immigration policies, his transition team announced Wednesday. The incoming president also plans to send a comprehensive immigration reform plan to Congress after he takes office.

  • The Role of Congressional Oversight in Department Reform

    By Julia Siegel

    The Scowcroft Center’s Forward Defense project and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted a panel of former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to discuss why now is the time to streamline congressional oversight of DHS. The goal of the Forward Defense project is to craft sustainable, nonpartisan strategies that meet the complex security challenges of today and tomorrow, and the panel explored how fragmented congressional oversight impacts DHS and charted a path forward.

  • Modernizing the Department of Homeland Security

    DHS was born out of the horror of 9/11, but it is no longer clear that counterterrorism and immigration enforcement need to be the department’s dominant missions in the future. Carrie Cordero and Katrina Mulligan write that, instead, Congress and the new administration should evaluate how to keep Americans safe and secure in a world where pandemics, climate change and cybersecurity pose threats to the country’s way of life on a scale that was once the primary domain of terrorism.

  • Guidance Will Improve Critical Infrastructure Resilience

    It is easy to understand the importance of our “critical infrastructure,” such as telecommunications, energy, transportation, and emergency services, but what’s often overlooked are the underlying technologies that enable them. DHS S&T is doing something about it.