Morning Security Brief: Security Firm at Fault for Tower of London Key Loss, Canadian Waterway Security, and more
By Ann Longmore-Etheridge
A private security firm released an intruder who stole keys to the Tower of London. Canadian and U.S. reports differ on the threat level to waterways. DHS still doesn't have interoperable radio communication. Cyber defense geeks are in high demand in Washington, D.C.
►The Guardian reports that the Tower of London's famous Beefeaters are not to blame in the theft of keys to several areas of the historic fortress that houses the crown jewels. The fault lies with a private security firm, ITCS, that has handled the site's perimeter security since it was outsourced in 2010. Earlier this week, an intruder was found on the grounds by security guards, but was released without a search that would have revealed a set of keys stolen from the sentry box outside the main gates.
►The threat of a terrorist action on Canadian waterways is small, notes a U.S. Department of Homeland Security report uncovered by the Ottawa Citizen --a view not shared by Canada. "The U.S. government calculates there’s a low risk of terrorism against North American shipping, ports and along shared waterways, in contrast to a Canadian assessment of maritime security vulnerabilities," reports the Citizen. "The U.S. assessment presents a distinctly different picture than that of a January report by Defence Research and Development Canada, which said the threat to Canada’s maritime borders has increased. It analyzed the terror risk posed by millions of small boats in high-traffic border regions, such as the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, against targets such as bridges and nuclear power plants."
►Fierce Homeland Security reports that despite $430 million invested in creating interoperable U.S. Homeland Security Department (DHS) radio communications, the goal is far from met. "Auditors say [DHS] components mainly develop and manage their own radio programs with no formal coordination between them. As a result, when auditors tested 382 radios from various DHS components, they found that only 20 percent contained the correct program settings for the DHS common channel. Of those radios, 54 percent lacked the common frequency in the first place while another 26 percent were programmed for it, but incorrectly," notes the article, which is based on a new report .
►The Washington Post says that in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., region, competition for cyber defense employees is nearly bloody. "Along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the concentration of government agencies and contractors brimming with computer geeks rivals any cyber defense area on the planet. And in this age of growing cyber threats, those firms are engaged in a cyber-hiring competition so fierce that one expert called it 'fratricide on the parkway,'" notes the Post.