Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


DHS funds blockchain-based tech to secure IoT

DHS hopes blockchain can help secure IoT

In its efforts to develop technology to secure the Internet of Things, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate awarded $199,000 to Austin, Texas-based Factom Inc. for a blockchain-based solution.

Factom proposes to create an identity log that captures the identification of a device, the manufacturer, available updates, known security issues and granted authorities while adding timestamps for added security. The goal is to limit would-be hackers’ abilities to corrupt the past records for a device, making it more difficult to spoof.

The award was made under a DHS Silicon Valley Innovation Program solicitation, which launched in December 2015 to encourage non-traditional performers to offer solutions to some of the toughest threats facing the homeland security mission.

Posted on Jun 24, 2016 at 12:47 PM0 comments


NYC library partners with Google to teach coding to kids

NYC library partners with Google to teach coding to kids

The Queens Library is partnering with Google to give free coding classes to more than 300 children across 26 locations in the New York borough. As a partner in the Google CS First program, which aims to increase student access and exposure to computer science, the library can expand its STEM activities and increase computer literacy in the community, library spokesman Joanne King told DNAinfo.

During the two-week programs designed for children between 9 and 14, students will learn the Scratch visual programming language that will then allow them to code projects in fashion, game design, music, animation and storytelling. In addition, 20 high school students will receive high school credit for learning the Google CS First curriculum and helping kids in the summer and fall programs.

The library previously partnered with Google in 2013, when the company donated 5,000 Nexus tablets for library patrons after Hurricane Sandy, Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott said.

In addition to getting more kids interested in computer science, the program also aims to create more diversity in the tech industry by encouraging girls and minorities.

“Diversity is a big goal of ours and if we want more digital creators out there that look like New Yorkers, we need to go out and find them and inspire them,” William Floyd, Google's head of external affairs for New York and New Jersey, told the New York Daily News.

Posted on Jun 21, 2016 at 10:33 AM0 comments


smart city transportation

AT&T joins the Smart City Challenge

The mayors from the seven finalist cities in the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge delivered their city’s pitch to Secretary Anthony Foxx in hopes of securing more than $40 million in funding to build and develop new technologies -- self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors -- for a next-generation transportation network.

Before the pitches were made, Foxx announced that AT&T is joining the ranks of private-sector underwriters with $1 million in hardware, products and services to help the winning city  develop and deploy its smart city transportation solutions.

AT&T will provide the winning city with cellular, Wi-Fi and wireline services and a variety of products and services such as Internet of Things security consulting and big data analytics for traffic modeling and forecasting. AT&T joins Vulcan Inc., Sidewalk Labs, Mobileye, Autodesk, Amazon Web Services and NXP as sponsors of the challenge; all are donating money, technology and expertise to turn the winning city into a transportation hub of the next generation.

For the six cities that do not win the challenge, AT&T will help develop strategies and methods to move forward and see their vision come to fruition.

Transportation officials have been working to connect each finalist city to private, public and non-profit resources for technical assistance for their final proposals.

“The finalist cities have proposed incredibly bold vision for the future of their transportation systems,” Foxx said. I’m confident that with the aid of the cutting-edge technologies and tools being offered by our partners, each city will be successful in bringing their inspiring plan to life.”

Posted on Jun 13, 2016 at 1:34 PM0 comments


DHS optimizes website for mobile

DHS optimizes website for mobile

In response to steadily increasing smartphone use, the Department of Homeland Security has revamped its website to make it more mobile friendly. 

In 2015, over 22 percent of visitors to DHS.gov accessed the website via cell phone or tablet, DHS said.  While the website was originally optimized for desktops, the new modifications make it compatible with tablets and smartphones, “making it easier to get the information you need – wherever you are – in the format appropriate for your device,” DHS said.

According to a DHS spokesperson, frequently requested pages include the National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin, Freedom of Information Act Request Submission Forms, “How Do I…?” information, press releases and blog posts.

DHS also has several resources with important information that can be utilized by a number of individuals from basic citizens to emergency officials.  The new mobile-friendly format eases viewing resources such as the Emergency Communications page, the Active Shooter Preparedness, Emergency Services Sector Resources and Resources for Fusion Centers, a spokesperson stated.    

Other changes to DHS.gov include reformatting over 9,000 pages to simplify presentation, updating slideshows and image carousels and optimizing for faster and more accurate results from internal and external search engines. 

According to the Pew Research Center, almost two thirds of Americans own smartphones, and 10 percent use their mobile devices as their primary way to access the Internet. States are also adapting to smartphone users by making more services such as secure payment available to citizens through mobile applications. 

Posted on Jun 07, 2016 at 2:06 PM0 comments


DHS issues mobile security baa info

DHS calls for secure mobile app research

As part of its five-year cybersecurity broad agency announcement, the Department of Homeland Security is looking for industry partners with mobile application security know-how. 

DHS acknowledges that mobile applications have become more susceptible to cyberattacks and that securing these useful platforms is of the utmost importance. It has identified the need to improve the app vetting process and the ability to update apps with current threat and vulnerability data along with the need to protect against future variants of current malware.

The Mobile Application Security Research and Development project seeks a series of automated and secure-by-design tools for mobile apps that assist developers, analysts and security or network operators.

The goals of the first topic area -- continuous validation and threat protection for mobile applications-- are actionable threat and vulnerability analytics as well as mobile situational awareness. DHS seeks enterprise mobility management solutions that secure mobile applications against vulnerabilities and future threats and should help security/network operators defend the IT enterprise and enable the development of secure mission-centric apps for mobile platforms.

The second topic area -- integrating security throughout the mobile application lifecycle -- focuses on mobile app development platforms that can help developers ensure security and functionality are reliable and optimized to support mission needs.

An industry day is scheduled for June 9, in Arlington, Va. More information is available here.

Posted on May 31, 2016 at 1:28 PM0 comments