Morning Security Brief: Superstorm Sandy News Roundup, DHS Needs Cybersecurity Talent

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

 ►USA Today reports that the remnants of Superstorm Sandy are still out there moving toward Canada, but in areas where the massive storm left its mark during the last two days, life and business are beginning to stir. "As New York City buses returned to darkened streets eerily free of traffic and the New York Stock Exchange prepared to reopen, it became clear that restoring the region to its ordinarily frenetic pace could take days—and that rebuilding the hardest-hit communities and the transportation networks that link them together could take considerably longer," notes USA Today.

► says that Superstorm Sandy has taken out one quarter of the region's cell towers. Many of the remaining towers are only functioning with the help of generators that could run out of fuel soon. Thus far, 911 calls have been uncompromised, "but operators may not be getting the automatic location information that 911 centers normally receive," the article notes. Additionally, in Manhattan, one of the "world's densest communication nodes" has been swamped and Verizon reports that facilities in Manhattan were flooded, stopping phone and Internet services.

►In further superstorm-related news: Sandy dumped up to three feet of snow in West Virginia and has left more than 235,000 homes and businesses without power, reports CNN, which also offers a state-by-state damage list. Philly.dom notes that with the exception of some structural damage at Harcum College, all of Pennsylvania's universities and colleges escaped Sandy basically unscathed. Insurance Networking News is reporting that damage from Superstorm Sandy may reach $20 billion. President Obama will tour devastated areas of the New Jersey Coast today with Governor Chris Christie.

 ►In other security-related news, CSO reports that "The Department of Homeland Security, struggling to find enough cybersecurity talent to meet its needs, says it is going to groom the next generation of cybersecurity pros starting in kindergarten. But several security experts say while better education and training is fine, there is plenty of talent out there now--it just comes in the form of people who government hiring managers tend to reject because they are, in the words of Hacker Academy founder Aaron Cohen, 'socially awkward.'"


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