Paul's Blog

THOUGHTS ON CYBER WARFARE

GOVSEC 2011

The GOVSEC Conference took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in DC. I had the opportunity to attend this incredible event and was impressed from the beginning with the way the event was organized with helpers throughout the place to answer questions about their tracks. I liked the combination of cybercrime and cyber security, and it ended up being a well-balanced event. 

I really enjoyed the list of keynote speakers and the great variety of the other featured speakers. One of my favorite tracks was the “Insider Threat: Challenges, Technologies & Solutions” with Amanda Woods (Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs), Scott Schober (Berkeley Variatronics Systems) and Dennis Wolfe (Virtual Imaging, a Canon U.S.A. Company). The approach for this panel covered physical security for the most part from an imaging and signals perspective. The presentation by the panel was enjoyable because I had the opportunity to learn about some interesting technologies being used by law enforcement and DHS to help keep us safe. 

Amanda Woods covered some of the initiatives taken by the FPS. The Federal Protective Service (FPS) is the federal police force of the Secretary of Homeland Security. As a component of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Protection and Programs Directorate within DHS Headquarters, FPS is responsible for law enforcement and security of nearly 9,000 federally owned and leased buildings, courthouses, properties, and other federal assets and the personnel associated with those assets. Amanda Woods mentioned the GAO’s report on the FPS: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08683.pdf. FPS faces several operational challenges that hamper its ability to accomplish its mission, and the actions it has taken may not fully resolve these challenges. Because physical security is entirely dependent on network systems, collaboration between physical and cyber professionals is vital. 

Dennis Wolfe’s presentation was probably one of the most educational presentations on “transmission” scanning I have ever seen. He went about explaining the advantages of “transmission” scanning over “Backscatter” and “Milliwave” for airports. I really wish I had his PowerPoint presentation to share. But, the basic idea is to educate the general public about the fact that transmission scanning has the capability of seeing body cavities with less intrusion than its counterparts and with more certainty and security. Dennis Wolfe explained that this form of technology is being used in our prisons in the US to find foreign objects inserted into the human body. Backscatter and Milliwave would not be able to find that, making it easier for terrorists trying to get through our physical security checks at the airports. He made a point that we have been using ineffective scanning technologies at the airports. Perhaps we should be using a combination of the two? With more than 2500 airports in the US, a technological migration could cost us a fortune, but according to Dennis Wolfe, it should be done. It was also explained to the audience that transmission imagining technology is safer, causing less harm on the human body than a normal day outside in the sun. His presentation was quite interesting to say the least. 

GOVSEC was filled with great presentations, one after another, with topics for any kind of security professional. If you think that this event is only for law enforcement, you are mistaken. They had an abundant number of vendor booths with a great selection of physical and cyber security technologies. I would like to point out some of my favorites: Stephen Day from TIBCO http://spotfire.tibco.com/ (Thank you, Stephen, for taking your time to answer my many questions!), Scott Schober from Berkeley Varitronics Systems and his cell phone detector wolfhound product (very interesting solution here!) http://www.bvsystems.com/, the folks from Homeland Security News Wire http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/. There were many vendors with interesting technologies and solutions.

I would like to congratulate GOVSEC for putting together this great event, and I do recommend our CSFI members to attend. I know I plan to go back next year!

Paul de Souza, CSFI Founder Director

Advertisements

Filed under: Uncategorized

Career Thoughts

I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to manage and run one of the biggest and most active forums on the Internet dealing with cyber warfare and cyber security – CSFI (The Cyber Security Forum Initiative). With over 16 years of cyber security experience, I continue to actively raise Cyber Warfare/Cyber Security awareness worldwide. I have worked as a Chief Security Engineer for AT&T, where I designed and approved secure networks for MSS. I have also consulted for several governments, military and private institutions on best network security practices throughout my career.

CSFI and its divisions CSFI-CWD (Cyber Warfare Division), CSFI-LPD (Law and Policy Division) and CSFI-WD (Wireless Division) continue to grow and expand with more than 60,000 information security members.

One of my personal goals is to serve our security community to the best of my abilities, in the protection and defense of our American national security interests, the American people, and that of our international partners. I am always ready to serve and to give of my time and skills to help our society with the growing problems we experience in cyberspace. I thank God and my family for the opportunities I have had in life and the most precious of all opportunities, which is the chance to serve others. I love what I do, and I appreciate all the support I have received from friends, family and our CSFI members.

___________________________________________

Paul de Souza, CSFI Founder Director

%d bloggers like this: