U.S. Agencies Revamp Standards for Cybersecurity Program

From: Chronicle of Higher Education

By Megan O’Neil

Nearly 200 college and university cybersecurity programs will have to reapply for a coveted federal designation under new curriculum standards being rolled out by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The retooling of the joint National Centers of Academic Excellence program includes the elimination of dated, controversial federal training standards. They are being replaced with curricular blocks, dubbed “knowledge units,” that officials say will enable colleges to develop cybersecurity focus areas while also allowing them to respond to employers’ needs in a fluid marketplace.

NSA in new SHOCK ‘can see public data’ SCANDAL!

From: The Register

What you say on Twitter doesn’t stay on Twitter

By  Richard Chirgwin

In the latest round of increasingly-hyperbolic leaks about what spy agencies are doing with data, reports are emerging that the NSA has been graphing connections between American individuals. Moreover, it’s using stuff that people publish on their social media timelines to help the case along.

According to this item in the New York Times, the NSA extended its analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in 2010 “to examine Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes”, something that was previously prevented because the agency was only allowed to snoop on foreigners.

The four layers of smart grid security

From: SmartPlanet.com

By Charlie Osborne

Smart grids are slowly becoming part-and-parcel of the modern city, but what are the key factors to consider when protecting them?

Smart grids provide a network for consumers and energy providers to better regulate the flow and demand of energy, allowing real-time data analysis and the remote control of energy use down to the device level. However, they are not impervious to attack — and while utilities can benefit from improving the efficiency of energy flow, they are also responsible for keeping hackers out of the network.

Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce?: Criteria for Decision-Making

Editor’s Note: The complete text of the National Aademies report  is available here.

From: The National Academies Press


Committee on Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce: Criteria for Future Decision-Making; Computer Science and Telecommunications Board; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences; National Research Council

Government IT Leaders Wrestle With Security Risks

From: CIO

Federal officials say that their cybersecurity operations won’t be disrupted by a shutdown if Congress can’t reach a budget deal. However, persistent threats associated with big data, open data initiatives remain.

By Kenneth Corbin

WASHINGTON — Should a fractious Congress fail to reach an agreement to keep the government funded and avert a shutdown, departments’ and agencies’ cybersecurity operations should continue to operate without disruption, federal technology leaders said today.

Charles McClam, deputy CIO at the Department of Agriculture, said that mission-critical applications in his organization are housed in data centers around the country, and the employees responsible for keeping them secure are considered exempted personnel, meaning that they would continue to work even in the event of a government shutdown.