Bradley Manning, US Army soldier who released 750,000 documents to wikileaks
Jacob Tyler Roberts, another young man who shot up an Oregon mall
Adam Lanza, young man who killed 26 at a Newtown, CT school
Marijana Bego, NYC art gallery owner who jumped to her death yesterday
The answer? One or more people knew something was wrong BEFOREHAND.
I am now convinced that EVERY incident, whether it is a tragic shooting, a terrorist act, espionage, or a sole suicide, there were signs ahead of time that something was not quite right with the individual(s) involved.
So what can we do? We have to take better care of each other. When we see signs that someone isn’t quite the way they used to be, call them on it. Ask questions. Take action BEFORE something bad happens.
Scared that you’ll embarrass them? scared you’ll embarrass yourself? If so, just think how you will feel if you don’t take action and something even worse happens…how will you feel then?
In Bradley’s case, the Army knew there were reasons NOT to put him in a position of trust, and they did anyway!
In Jacob’s case, his own roommate said he acted weird and talked about moving and selling his possessions!
In Adam’s case, the school district security officer knew he had disabilities!
And, in Marijana’s case, many people around her knew she was erratic and not happy.
I would hate to be in any of those person’s shoes…
so, for 2013, let’s try and take better care of each other, and vow to intervene early, maybe we can save a life.
“When Johnny reports to work for you on Day 1, they DO NOT intend to do you or your organization’s information systems any harm; something happens to them, either in their personal or work life that changes this – the CEO’s or Agency Head must be held responsible for making sure they know what’s going on with all of the Johnnys (and Janes) in their organization to prevent the good people they hired from becoming insider threats.”
While most of the world is focusing on “technology” as a solution to preventing insider threat attacks to organization/agency information and systems, hardly anyone is focused on leadership’s responsibility to create and sustain a work environment that minimizes the chance for an employee to turn into an insider threat.
On October 21, 2012, I had the chance to speak on this issue at the 2012 International Cyber Threat Task Force(ICTTF) Cyber Threat Summit in Dublin, Ireland a few weeks ago; here is a video recording of my presentation, I hope you find it informative and useful.
I just found this report published by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS). Developed by Nils Krahnstoever, General Electric (GE) Global Research, it describes the development of a wide range of intelligent video capabilities relevant to law enforcement and corrections, and describes features of video surveillance that can help to enable early detection and possibly prevention of crimal incidents.
The British Standards Institute (BSI) issued ISO/IEC 27001:2005 Lead Auditor (TPECS) certificate to Chuck Georgo today. ISO/IEC 27001
ISO/IEC 27001 is an Information Security Management System (ISMS) standard published in October 2005 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
ISO/IEC 27001 formally specifies a management system that is intended to bring information security under explicit management control. Being a formal specification means that it mandates specific requirements. Organizations that claim to have adopted ISO/IEC 27001 can therefore be formally audited and certified compliant with the standard.
NOWHERETOHIDE will be publishing a series of blog posts over the next few weeks to help educate organizations about the standard, its criteria, and strategies for achieving compliance.
It is important to understand that ISO/IEC certification is not a one-off exercise. To maintain the certificate the organization will need to both review and monitor the information security management system on an on-going basis.
So it’s no great revelation that public safety has benefited greatly from public private partnerships, and I’m cool with that, especially when we are dealing with technology that saves lives. However, a press release hit my email inbox today that made me think of the risks to security and privacy when we implement innovative technologies.
Before I get into the story it, let me be v-e-r-y clear…I am NOT here to debate the effectiveness or morality of red-light/speed enforcement systems, nor am I here to cast dispersions on any of the organizations involved in the press release…this blog posting is strictly about using the Gatso press release to emphasize a point about security and privacy - when we engage in innovative law enforcement technology solutions, we need to take extra care to adequately address the security and privacy of personally identifiable information.
Here’s the press release from Gatso-USA:
GATSO USA Forms Unique, Strategic Partnership with Nlets
Earlier this month, GATSO USA was approved as a strategic partner by the Board of Directors of the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets). Nlets is….general narrative about NLETS was deleted. The approval of GATSO is an exciting first for the photo-enforcement industry.
Nlets will be hosting GATSO’s back office and server operations within the Nlets infrastructure. GATSO will have access to registered owner information for all 50 states plus additional provinces in Canada. The strategic relationship has been described as a “win-win” for both organizations.
From Nlets’ perspective, there are key benefits to providing GATSO with hosted service. Most importantly, it virtually guarantees personal data security. Due to this extra step of storing personal data behind the DMV walls of Nlets, the public can be assured that security breaches — such as the recent incident with PlayStation users — are avoided.
From GATSO’s perspective, hosting the system with Nlets will provide a ruggedized, robust connection to comprehensive registered owner information — without the security issues faced by other vendors in this industry. Nlets was created over 40 years ago…more stuff about NLETS was deleted).
The main points I took away from this press release were:
Nlets is going to host the back-end server technology that GATSO needs to look up vehicle registration information of red-light runners;
Gatso is going to have access to vehicle registration information for all vehicles/owners in ALL 50 states in the U.S. and (some) provinces in Canada; and
And, because it’s behind Nlets firewalls, security is not an issue.
Again, please don’t call me a party-pooper as I am a huge advocate for finding innovative ways to use technology to make law enforcement’s job easier. However, I am also painfully aware (as many of you are) of the many security and privacy related missteps that have happened over the last few years with technology efforts that meant well, but didn’t do enough to make sure that they covered the bases for security and privacy matters. These efforts either had accidental leakage of personal information, left holes in their security posture that enables direct attacks, or created opportunities for nefarious evil-doers with legitimate access to use that access to sensitive information for other than honorable purposes.
After I read the press release, I thought that it would be a good case-study for the topic of this blog - it involved innovative use of technolgy for law enforcement, a psuedo-government agency (Nlets), two foreign-owned private companies, and LOTS of PII sharing - some might even say it had all the makings of a Will Smith movie.
To help set the stage, here are a few facts I found online:
Gatso-USA is a foreign company, registered in New York State, operating out of Delaware; its parent company is a Dutch company, GATSOmeter BVGatso.
Gatso does not appear to vet all of the red-light/speed violations itself; it uses another company – Redflex Traffic Systems to help with that (Redflex is not mentioned in the press release).
Redflex seems to be a U.S. company, but it has a (foreign) parent company based in South Melbourne, Australia.
Finally, there are no-sworn officers involved in violation processing. Red-light/speed enforcement cameras are not operated by law enforcement agencies; they outsource that to Gatso, who installs and operates the systems for local jurisdictions (with Redflex) for free, (Gatso/Redflex is given a piece of the fine for each violation).
There are no real surprises here either; there are many foreign companies that provide good law enforcement technologies to jurisdications across the U.S., and outsourcing traffic violations is not new…BUT what is new here is that a sort-of-government agency (Nlets), has now provided two civilian companies (with foreign connections) access to Personally Identifiable Information (PII) (vehicle registrations) for the entire U.S. and parts of Canada…should we be worried?
Maybe; maybe not. Here are nine questions I would ask:
Personnel Security: Will Nlets have a documented process to vet the U.S. and overseas Gatso and Redflex staff who will have access to this information through direct or VPN access to Nlets systems?
Data Security: Will Gatso or Redflex maintain working/test copies of any of the registration information outside of the Nlets firewall? If so, are there documented ways to make sure this information is protected outside the firewall?
Data Access: Will Gatso/Redflex have access to the entire registration record? or, will access be limited to certain fields?
Code Security: Will any of the code development or code maintenance be done overseas in the Netherlands or Australia? If so, will all developers be vetted?
Network Security: Will overseas developers/site suport staff have access to the data behind Nlets firewalls? What extra precautions will be taken to protect Nltes systems/networks from abuse/attack?
Code Security: Will Nlets conduct any security testing on code loaded on the servers behind their firewalls?
Stakeholder Support: Have all 50 U.S. states, and provinces in Canada, been made aware of this new information sharing relationship? Do they understand all of the nuances of the relationship? And, are they satisfied that their constituents personal information will be protected?
Audit/Logging: Will all queries to vehicle registration information logged? Is someone checking the logs? How will Nlets know if abuses of authorized access are taking place?
Public Acceptance: How do states inform their constituents that their personal vehicle registration information is being made available to foreign owned company? Will they care?
How these questions are answered will determine whether or not we should worry…
Did I miss any other important questions?
Beyond this particular press release and blog posting, I suggest that you consider asking these kinds of questions whenever your agency is considering opening/connecting its data systems to outside organizations or private companies—it may just prevent your agency from becoming a headline on tonights news, like St. Louis –> St. Louis Police Department computer hacked in cyber-attack .
The bottom-line is that whenever you take advantage of opportunities to apply innovative technologies to public safety, make sure that you cover ALL the bases to protect your sensitve data and PII from leakage, direct attacks, or misuse and abuse.
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.
AN AUTHORITATIVE “NEED_TO_KNOW” ON THE STATE-OF-THE-THREATS MATRIX FOR THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY – with Lessons Learned from Mumbai & BEYOND
Jointly presented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and InfraGard’s Maryland Chapter, with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Maryland Coordination & Analysis Center (MCAC) and Eastern Maryland Regional Information Center.
Major General Kalugin, The former Chief of KGB Foreign Counter-Intelligence whose job it was to penetrate all hostile intelligence and security forces worldwide. Now one of Russia’s “Most Wanted,” General Kalugin just celebrated his 7th year as a U.S. Citizen. He is the ultimate insider, whose fascinating autobiography, SPYMASTER*, documents secrets from his 32-year career.
Carl D. “Dave” Dalton, Former 29-year veteran LAPD, a sought-after source in the Security Industry for executive protection, high-profile/high-risk event security, emergency & disaster preparedness, Mr. Dalton has weathered unimaginable events: from the LA 1984 Summer Olympics and first-ever Papal visit in 1987, to the 1992 LA Riots; the Northridge Earthquake; firestorms, floods, and mudslides; epic structural fires; and major crime scenes. Heavily involved in the community in various key Security & Emergency Preparedness roles, he was personally invited by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to help prepare the Chinese National Police and Military to provide security for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
Darryl Kramer, Public-Private Sector Partnership Coordinator, Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence & Analysis. Mr. Kramer draws on a deeply informed and credentialed background in military and other sectors to bring a substantial breadth of understanding and resourcefulness in speaking to a State of the Threats Briefing and overview of the DHS Public-Private Sector partnering program – how it works, & how businesses can benefit.
Registration & Attendance: This invaluable event is FREE to Attend
Caught this article in Times of India (PTI, Sep 27, 2010, 01.29pm) website today…funny it didn’t make any of the U.S. cyber security sites…here’s a couple snippets…
“A sophisticated malicious computer software, is attempting to infiltrate factory computers in China’s key industries, threatening the country’s national security, cyber experts have warned.”
“Called Stuxnet, the worm was first discovered in mid-June and was specially written to attack Siemens supervisory control and data (SCADA) systemscommonly used to control and monitor industrial facilities – from traffic lights and oil rigs to power and nuclear plants, the state-run Global Times daily reported quoting experts.”
“Globally, the worm has been found to target Siemens systems mostly in India, Indonesia and Pakistan, but the heaviest infiltration appears to be in Iran, the report said. According to Wang, there might be large financial groups and nations behind the malicious software.”
“Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder of security firm Kaspersky said the Stuxnet worm could prove that “we have now entered the age of cyber-warfare. – He believes that Stuxnet is a working – and fearsome – prototype of a cyber-weapon that will lead to the creation of a new arms race in the world.”
This event, generously hosted by DCS Corp, one of Southern MD’s most engaged community stakeholders, is being jointly produced by the Maryland InfraGard Chapter, the Southern Maryland Industrial Security Awareness Group, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Maryland Coordination & Analytic Center (MCAC) and Southern MD Regional Information Center (RIC), in cooperation with regional authorities.
DATE: September 21, 2010
TIME: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
LOCATION: DCS Corp, 46641 Corporate Drive, Lexington Park, MD (There is plenty of free parking available.)
REGISTRATION: You must be registered to attend. Go to http://securesouthmd.eventbrite.com. The Deadline to register is Friday, September 17th. Admission is FREE and open to U.S. Citizens (bring valid photo ID).
Ex-KGB Major General (ret.) Oleg Danilovich Kalugin — former Chief of KGB Foreign Counter-Intelligence whose job it was to penetrate all hostile intelligence and security forces worldwide. Now one of Russia’s “Most Wanted,” General Kalugin just celebrated his 7th year as a U.S. Citizen. He is the ultimate insider, whose fascinating autobiography, SPYMASTER*, documents secrets from his 32-year career.
* Pre-Order your autographed copy of SPYMASTER by September 17- a limited number of copies are available for personal inscription — an historic takeaway and remarkable value at $20. Proceeds benefit InfraGard Maryland Members Alliance, a MD chartered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, in its mission of public-private partnering for critical infrastructure protection, and programs like these. Ordering & payment details are on the registration site, or contact M. L. Kingsley at MLKingsley@msn.com to arrange your personally inscribed copy. Subject to supply, copies will also be available for purchase by cash or check at the 9/21 event.
Noted Cyber Guru Dr. Gary Warner — voted Nation’s top Cyber-blogger – See http://garwarner.blogspot.com/ “Cyber Crime and Doing Time” – Dr. Warner is the Director of cutting-edge Computer Forensics Research at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Plus, representatives from InfraGard, the FBI, MCAC, and RICs will speak on reporting suspicious activity, information sharing ventures and private sector partnerships.
This jointly presented forum represents an unparalleled gathering of public safety, law enforcement & intelligence authorities, to teach the crucial lessons of situational awareness, promote learning and sharing between essential stakeholders using a collaborative process to improve intelligence sharing and, ultimately, to increase our collective ability to predict, prevent, and preempt terrorist activity and manage the consequences of a diverse number of threats.
For more information about InfraGard, and to join, go to www.infragard.net and/or www.infragardmembers.org, or contact Special Agent Lauren Schuler, FBI Baltimore’s InfraGard Coordinator, at 410-265-8080 or Lauren.F.Schuler@infragard.org.
The Poneman Institute, considered the pre-eminent research center dedicated to privacy, data protection and information security policy, released its 2009 Ponemon Institute “Cost of a Data Breach” Study on January 29, 2010.
In the report, they published the results of their fifth annual study on the costs of data breaches for U.S.-based companies. They surveyed 45 companies represnting 15 various industry sectors–significant contributors were financial, retail, services and healthcare companies.
Numbers-wise, the companies they interviewed lost between 5,000 and 101,000 records, at a cost range between $750,000 and $31 million.
What was really interesting was that the average per-record cost of the loss was determined to be $204.00–and how many records does your law enforcement/public safety agency hold?
Some factors they considered in computing the cost of the breach included:
Direct costs - communications costs, investigations and forensics costs and legal costs
Indirect costs - lost business, public relations, and new customer acquisition costs
The report also lists a number of causes for the data breaches, such as:
82% of all breaches involved organizations that had experienced more than one data breach
42% of all breaches studied involved errors made by a third party
36% of all breaches studied involved lost, misplaced or stolen laptops or other mobile computing devices
24% of all breaches studied involved some sort of criminal or other malicious attack or act (as opposed to mere negligence).