The Security Buzz: February 16, 2018

Florida’s governor and lawmakers joined together in a call for change to prevent future tragedy after the recent school shooting. The incoming Senate president is proposing $100 million for mental health programs for schools and more to harden them against attacks. SIA supports efforts to improve the safety and security of U.S. K-12 schools. To learn more about SIA’s take on school safety, see our video calling for investment in school security, access  our position statements and additional resources on this subject. We also recommend all members learn more about the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools, a partnership between SIA and the National Systems Contractors Association that offers reasonable security guidelines based on risk levels.

SIA has been actively monitoring right-to-repair bills in several states. SIA Manager of Government Relations Joseph Hoellerer testified before the Vermont Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs in opposition to S. 180, known as the Vermont Fair Repair Act. The bill would require manufacturers to disclose proprietary source code, diagnostic and repair information to independent repair providers, which would jeopardize the security and cybersecurity of certain products and void related warranties intended to protect consumers.

SIA member company Convergint Technologies announced its new financial partnership with a fund managed by the Private Equity Group of Ares Management, L.P. This new financial partnership is said to support the company’s growth plan.

Winter Olympics organizers experienced a cyberattack on their computers during opening ceremonies. Organizers said that internet-connected televisions crashed at the press center; targeted servers were also shut down affecting the official Winter Olympics website. Investigations are still underway to determine who was responsible for the attacks.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to integrate cybervetting into existing supply chain checks. This process will help protect government and contractor technology systems from cyber-risks inside their supply chains. Major goals are of the program are to identify the greatest supply chain cyberthreats, figure out if there are technical ways to mitigate those threats and if not figure out other solutions.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be establishing an office to protect the nation’s power grid and other infrastructure against cyberattacks and natural disasters. A recent budget proposal included $96 million in funding for the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response.

Siemens joins eight industry partners to try to counter large-scale hacking attacks that threaten to cost $8 trillion in damage over the next five years. The group is urging stronger safeguards against assaults on digital systems that control homes, hospitals, factories and nearly all infrastructure.

Let’s Talk About It. SIA members: Join our online discussion forum SIA360 to discuss any of the topics listed above or start a new discussion about current events related to the security industry. Our new community is open to all SIA members.