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  • Congress Passes Legislation Standing Up Cybersecurity Agency in Department of Homeland Security

    Congress Passes Legislation Standing Up Cybersecurity Agency in Department of Homeland Security



    Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) legislation passed


    (November 13, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published the following information:

    On November 13, the United States House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass legislation creating the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The CISA Act (H.R. 3359), which passed the Senate in October and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law, would reorganize DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) into a new agency and prioritize its mission as the Federal leader for cyber and physical infrastructure security.

    “Today’s vote is a significant step to stand up a federal government cybersecurity agency,” said Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen. “The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, and we need to ensure we’re properly positioned to defend America’s infrastructure from threats digital and physical. It was time to reorganize and operationalize NPPD into the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. I thank Chairman Michael McCaul and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson for recognizing our critical role and both starting and completing this transformation in the House of Representatives. I also thank Chairman Ron Johnson and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill for their tireless support of the CISA Act in the Senate.”

    “I also want to thank all the hardworking men and women of NPPD for carrying out our important cybersecurity mission each day within DHS. CISA will help bring the recognition this team deserves and will empower the team to more effectively execute its vital mission.”

    “The CISA Act passing Congress represents real progress in the national effort to improve our collective efforts in cybersecurity,” said NPPD Under Secretary Christopher Krebs. “Elevating the cybersecurity mission within the Department of Homeland Security, streamlining our operations, and giving NPPD a name that reflects what it actually does will help better secure the nation’s critical infrastructure and cyber platforms. The changes will also improve the Department’s ability to engage with industry and government stakeholders and recruit top cybersecurity talent.”
    ...
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  • Message from U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on the 2018 Secretary’s Awards

    Message from U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on the 2018 Secretary’s Awards



    (November 8, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published the following information:

    Each year, the Secretary's Awards provide an opportunity to recognize some of the outstanding DHS employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to our missions. It is a time for us to celebrate their accomplishments, and thank them for their service.

    Today, I had the distinct honor of presenting these awards to the more than 660 employees who received individual or team awards. These employees and their stories—full of honor, courage, and ingenuity—represent the very best of our Department. It was a pleasure to be joined by other leaders throughout the Department, as well as the families of our honorees, to celebrate their accomplishments.

    I would like to note, however, that these men and women represent only a fraction of our outstanding employees who, every day, commit themselves to the important work of our Department. I want to thank each of you, and your families, for the sacrifices you make in service to our Department.

    Once again, congratulations to the 2018 Secretary's Award recipients. Thank you for your service to our country and our Department.

    Best regards,


    Kirstjen M. Nielsen
    Secretary of Homeland Security

    With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security Issue New Asylum Rule

    U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security Issue New Asylum Rule


    Applies President’s authority to suspend entry to asylum


    (November 8, 2018) - - Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today announced an Interim Final Rule declaring that those aliens who contravene a presidential suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico issued under section 212(f) or 215(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) will be rendered ineligible for asylum.

    The Acting Attorney General and the Secretary issued the following joint statement:

    “Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so. Today's rule applies this important principle to aliens who violate such a suspension or restriction regarding the southern border imposed by the President by invoking an express authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum. Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it. Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.”

    Section 212(f) of the Immigration and INA states that “[w]henever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

    Further, Section 215(a) of the INA states that it is “unlawful…for any alien to depart from or enter or attempt to depart from or enter the United States except under such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe.”

    In Section 208(d)(5)(B) of the INA, Congress specified that the Attorney General “may provide by regulation for any other conditions or limitations on the consideration of an application for asylum.”

    Today’s new rule applies to prospective presidential proclamations, and is not retroactive.

    Asylum is a discretionary form of relief granted by the Executive Branch on a discretionary basis to those fleeing persecution on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The rule does not render such aliens ineligible for withholding of removal under the INA or protection from removal under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

    The Interim Final Rule can be found here .



    Credit: U.S. Department of Justice...
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  • U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month

    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month



    (November 7, 2018) - - U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on President Trump’s Proclamation of November as National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month:

    “Americans rely on secure and resilient infrastructure to provide access to safe food, reliable electricity and transportation, clean water, and instant communication. These physical and cyber systems—and others across all 16 critical infrastructure sectors—provide the essential services that support and underpin American society.

    “As the Secretary of Homeland Security, I am committed to strengthening our efforts to protect and secure the infrastructure on which Americans rely, in close partnership with other federal agencies, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, and the private sector. Only by working together can we help ensure the nation’s critical infrastructure is secure and resilient, and be ready to respond to any cyber or physical threats we might face.

    “The threat to our critical systems is continuous and outpacing our defenses. We have already seen attempts by countries such as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia to use their power in cyberspace to compromise and disrupt our infrastructure, and advance their own interests.

    “I commend President Trump for recognizing the important work we do to ensure secure and resilient infrastructure, and for pushing his entire Administration to combat these threats head on.

    “I also want to commend the countless employees of the Department of Homeland Security, and all our partners in government and the private sector who work day-in and day-out to make our infrastructure more secure. Our collective success depends on your continued dedication.”





    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • U.S. Government Participates in Fifth Annual Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meeting

    U.S. Government Participates in Fifth Annual Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meeting




    (November 2, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the following information:

    On November 4-6, 2018, Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan will attend the Fifth Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia, which will officially launch the next five-year phase of GHSA, known as GHSA 2024. Delivering on President Trump’s commitment to global health security, he will lead the multi-sectoral U.S. delegation, including representatives from the Departments of Health and Human Services, State, Defense, Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the National Security Council.

    In Indonesia, the U.S. delegation will hold bilateral meetings with government officials from GHSA member countries to discuss ongoing collaborations between the U.S. and our partners on global health security. At the meeting HHS Secretary Alex Azar will deliver a video message and Deputy Secretary Hargan will deliver remarks on behalf of the Trump Administration, reaffirming U.S. support for GHSA and underscoring the goal to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases.

    Following the GHSA Ministerial Meeting, Deputy Secretary Hargan will travel to Thailand and Laos to underscore the U.S. commitment to global health security and to meet with partners in the region who are crucial to our efforts in addressing global health security concerns such as influenza, artemisinin-resistant malaria, dengue, and tuberculosis.

    On November 7, Deputy Secretary Hargan will travel to Thailand where he will visit the CDC Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute laboratories, Bumrungrad Hospital, and meet with his Thai counterparts as well CDC staff in country. This is the 200th year of friendship between the U.S. and Thailand, and his visit will highlight the important work on health we do together as nations. On November 9, Deputy Secretary Hargan will arrive in Vientiane, Laos, to meet with the Ministry of Health before traveling back to the U.S. on November 10. Laos is an important partner in our global efforts to combat emerging and re-emerging disease threats.

    Additional information regarding Deputy Secretary Hargan’s meetings is forthcoming and will be released via social media posts.

    Background:

    Launched in 2014, GHSA is a worldwide effort to help build countries’ capacity to help create a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats and elevate global health security as a national and global priority. Through a growing multisectoral partnership of international organizations, non-governmental stakeholders, and more than 60 countries, GHSA is accelerating efforts to build countries’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases.





    Credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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  • Federal Trade Commission Announces Sessions on Consumer Privacy and Data Security As Part of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century

    Federal Trade Commission Announces Sessions on Consumer Privacy and Data Security As Part of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century



    (October 26, 2018) - - As part of its Hearings Initiative, the Federal Trade Commission will hold four days of hearings in December and February to examine the FTC’s authority to deter unfair and deceptive conduct in data security and privacy matters.

    The December hearings will focus on data security and will take place December 11-12, 2018 at the FTC Constitution Center Auditorium, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC. The hearings on consumer privacy will take place in the same venue on February 12-13, 2019.

    The data security hearings will include five panel discussions and additional discussion of research related to data breaches and data security threats. The first day’s panel discussions will examine incentives to invest in data security and consumer demand for data security. Discussions on the second day will focus on data security assessments, the U.S. framework related to consumer data security, and the FTC’s data security enforcement program.

    The FTC hearings on consumer privacy will provide the first comprehensive re-examination of the FTC’s approach to consumer privacy since 2012.

    “The FTC has a long record of protecting consumers’ privacy interests through enforcement, education, and policy work,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “The upcoming data security and privacy hearings will provide an opportunity to reexamine the Commission’s work in light of changing technologies, legal regimes, and business models.”

    Staff has already begun developing the agenda for the December data security hearing. The FTC is seeking comments from the public on what the agenda for the two-day consumer privacy hearing should include. To be included for consideration, the FTC is seeking comment by December 21 on specific questions to be discussed at the February event.

    In addition, FTC staff welcomes comments on both the data security and privacy hearings until March 13, 2019. If any entity has provided funding for research, analysis, or commentary that is included in a submitted public comment, such funding and its source should be identified on the first page of any submitted comment.

    The FTC will release agendas for the data security and privacy hearings closer to the dates of the hearings.

    Additional sessions of the FTC Hearings initiative will be held throughout the fall and early winter. The following hearings are upcoming:

    November 1, 2018
    Georgetown University Law Center’s Hart Auditorium
    • Vertical Merger Analysis and the Consumer Welfare Standard
    November 6-8, 2018
    American University Washington College of Law
    • Big Data, Privacy, and Competition
    November 13-14, 2018
    Howard University School of Law
    • Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics
    The events are part of an ongoing initiative examining whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement priorities of the Commission. These public events, in conjunction with the public comment process, will provide the FTC with a broad and diverse range of viewpoints and stimulate evaluation of key enforcement and policy issues.

    The FTC Hearings On Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century will accommodate as many attendees as possible; however, admittance will be limited to seating availability. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Request for accommodations should be submitted to Elizabeth Kraszewski via email at ekraszewski@ftc.gov or by phone at (202) 326-3087. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed. Please allow at least five days advance notice for accommodation requests; last minute requests will be accepted but may not be possible to accommodate.




    Credit: Federal Trade Commission...
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  • Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense

    Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense


    (October 26, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the following statement:

    “After receiving a request for assistance from the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense has approved providing mission-enhancing capabilities to Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along the Southwest Border (SWB). This assistance is in addition to the previously authorized support to CBP's Operation Guardian Support mission.

    The DoD will provide Defense Support of Civil Authorities with planning assistance, engineering support (temporary barriers, barricades, and fencing), fixed and rotary wing aviation support to move CBP personnel, medical teams to triage, treat and prepare for commercial transport of patients, command and control facilities, temporary housing for CBP personnel, and personal protective equipment for CBP personnel. USNORTHCOM will be in the lead for the duration of the operation and is in support of Custom and Border Protection.”




    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • Statement From U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on Recent Mail Bombs

    Statement From U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on Recent Mail Bombs



    (October 25, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the following statement attributed to DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen:

    “DHS and the U.S. Secret Service are closely coordinating with the FBI on the active investigation and are working with state and local law enforcement to provide updates on the evolving situation. The Department has heightened the security posture at federal facilities around the country and is actively communicating with our National Network of Fusion Centers. I condemn these cowardly acts in the strongest possible terms. Americans will not tolerate these types of threats, and we will not be intimidated.”
    ...
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  • U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Help Small Businesses Strengthen Retirement Security for Millions of American Workers

    U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Help Small Businesses Strengthen Retirement Security for Millions of American Workers


    President Trump Seeks to Expand Access to Association Retirement Plans



    Washington, DC - - (October 22, 2018) - - The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to help small businesses strengthen retirement security in America.

    The proposed rule would make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement savings plans to their workers through Association Retirement Plans, which would allow small businesses to band together to offer 401(k) plans to their employees.

    "President Donald J. Trump is moving to expand quality, affordable workplace retirement plan options for America's small businesses and their employees. Many small businesses would like to offer retirement benefits to their employees, but are discouraged by the cost and complexity of running their own plans," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "Association Retirement Plans give these employers a simple and less burdensome way to offer valuable retirement benefits to their employees. The proposed rule helps working Americans – and their families – take care of themselves in their retirement years."

    Enhancing workplace retirement savings is critical to the financial security of America's workers. Approximately 38 million private-sector employees in the United States do not have access to a retirement savings plan through their employers. Association Retirement Plans offer these workers – and their families – enhanced savings opportunities.

    Under the proposed rule, Association Retirement Plans could be offered by associations of employers in a city, county, state, or a multi-state metropolitan area, or in a particular industry nationwide. Sole proprietors, as well as their families, would also be permitted to join such plans. In addition to association sponsors, the plans could also be sponsored through Professional Employer Organizations (PEO). A PEO is a human-resource company that contractually assumes certain employment responsibilities for its client employers.

    By expressly permitting these new plan arrangements, the proposal would enable small businesses to offer benefit packages comparable to those offered by large employers. The Department expects the plans to reduce administrative costs through economies of scale and to strengthen small businesses' hand when negotiating with financial institutions and other service providers.






    Credit: U.S. Department of Labor
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  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Wall Gate Construction Project in Texas

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Wall Gate Construction Project in Texas



    Washington, DC - - (October 10, 2018) - - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a waiver to ensure the expeditious construction of gates in existing wall structure near the international border in the state of Texas. The waiver was published in the Federal Register Oct. 10, 2018.

    This waiver is issued pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress. Congress has provided the Secretary of Homeland Security with a number of authorities necessary to carry out DHS’s border security mission. One of these authorities is found at section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended (“IIRIRA”). Section 102(a) of IIRIRA provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical walls and roads near the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States. In section 102(b) of IIRIRA, Congress has called for the installation of additional fencing, walls, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on the southwest border. Finally, in section 102(c) of IIRIRA, Congress granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary, in Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the walls and roads authorized by section 102 of IIRIRA. The Department exercised the waiver authority in Section 102 (c) of IIRIRA on eight prior occasions.

    The geographic scope of this waiver provides for the installation of 11 automated border wall gates and associated site improvements at existing openings in the existing PF225 Bollard Fence alignment in the U.S. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector. The project sites are within the area of responsibility of the Fort Brown, Brownsville, and Harlingen Border Patrol Stations within Cameron County Texas. The gates will be located off the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) Levee at the end or along existing levee ramps. Once installed, the gates will serve as a persistent impediment to illegal entry while still allowing access to the riverside of the gates for the USBP, certain private citizens and other local/state/federal officials, and local emergency responders.

    The Rio Grande Valley Sector remains an area of high illegal alien activity. In fiscal year 2017, the United States Border Patrol apprehended over 137,000 illegal aliens and seized approximately 260,000 pounds of marijuana and approximately 1,192 pounds of cocaine in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. The new segments of wall construction will augment the existing wall infrastructure by closing gaps in the existing border wall. No wall will be constructed within the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge under this project.

    While the waiver eliminates DHS’ obligation to comply with various laws in carrying out the project, DHS remains committed to environmental stewardship. DHS has been consulting, and intends to continue doing so, with stakeholders including federal and state resource agencies and affected landowners. Such consultation facilitates DHS’s assessment of potential impacts and informs its efforts to minimize, to the extent possible, potential impacts to the environment, wildlife, and cultural and historic resources.

    The Department of Homeland Security continues to implement President Trump’s Executive Order 13767 - also known as Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements – and continues to take steps to immediately plan, design and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security...
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  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces Strategy to Protect the Homeland from Electromagnetic Incidents

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces Strategy to Protect the Homeland from Electromagnetic Incidents




    (October 9, 2018) - - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the release of the Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland against Threats from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Geomagnetic Disturbance (GMD).

    The Strategy lays out a clear vision and an approach for DHS to take to protect critical infrastructure and prepare to respond and recover from potentially catastrophic electromagnetic incidents. The Strategy also reflects a consensus Intelligence Community assessment of the EMP threat posed by our nation’s adversaries.

    Electromagnetic incidents caused by an intentional EMP attack or naturally-occurring GMD events, while unlikely, could cause serious damage to the nation’s critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, communications equipment, and transportation capabilities.

    While the Strategy is primarily focused on Departmental activities, it recognizes the importance of continued close collaboration with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial decision-makers, sector-specific agencies, and private sector critical infrastructure owner-operators. This partnership is essential to help critical infrastructure owners and operators to manage EMP and GMD risk.

    The Department is currently developing an accompanying Implementation Plan, which will include measures that enable DHS to evaluate progress toward addressing identified capability gaps. Together, the Strategy and its companion Implementation Plan will improve the Department’s management oversight and optimize resource utilization for our EMP/GMD protection, response, and recovery activities.

    DHS intends to review and update the EMP/GMD Strategy, as needed, and regularly assess the Department’s progress on the Implementation Plan.





    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • Statement from U.S. Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary on Recent Media Reports of Potential Supply Chain Compromise

    Statement from U.S. Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary on Recent Media Reports of Potential Supply Chain Compromise




    (October 6, 2018) - - Today the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the following information:

    “The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise. Like our partners in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story. Information and communications technology supply chain security is core to DHS’s cybersecurity mission and we are committed to the security and integrity of the technology on which Americans and others around the world increasingly rely. Just this month – National Cybersecurity Awareness Month – we launched several government-industry initiatives to develop near- and long-term solutions to manage risk posed by the complex challenges of increasingly global supply chains. These initiatives will build on existing partnerships with a wide range of technology companies to strengthen our nation’s collective cybersecurity and risk management efforts.”





    ...
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  • U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on President Trump’s Counterterrorism Strategy

    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on President Trump’s Counterterrorism Strategy



    (October 5, 2018) - - The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement today on President Trump’s National Counterterrorism Strategy:

    “Since 9/11, the threats to our homeland—and our enemies—continue to evolve. It’s time for our counterterrorism posture to do the same. President Trump’s National Counterterrorism Strategy is the bold framework we need to confront a new age of terror, in which the ‘away game’ and ‘home game’ are now one in the same.

    “Today our country is fighting terrorists groups, such as ISIS and al-Qaeda, on physical and virtual battlefields. Our enemies are crowd-sourcing their violence and spreading their hate to all corners of the globe, including into our own communities. And they are pursuing sophisticated plots using emerging technologies, as well as simple do-it-yourself tactics, in order to cause fear and destruction and to undermine our open society.

    “The President’s strategy puts terrorists on notice that their time is up. We are hardening our defenses at home and abroad, shutting down their plots and obstructing their operations, crushing their networks wherever we find them, and working to prevail over their hateful ideology. In cooperation with our many partners across the country and around the world, DHS is committed to supporting the President’s strategy and implementing his vision for a forward-leaning defense of the homeland.”




    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy Meet with Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, Announce Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy Meet with Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, Announce Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative


    (October 3, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published the following information:

    On October 2, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) met with the Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske and National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Under Secretary Christopher Krebs led the meeting alongside Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Karen Evans and leaders from the oil and natural gas industry. The group discussed ways industry and government can take a more strategic approach to securing pipelines and other critical infrastructure.

    “The National Risk Management Center (NRMC) is DHS’s effort to secure tomorrow’s infrastructure, providing a central point of entry for working with industry to manage long-term strategy risk across our critical infrastructure sectors,” said NPPD Under Secretary Christopher Krebs. “This meeting was a key milestone in the partnership between the federal government and the oil and natural gas industry, as we launched the pipeline cybersecurity initiative that partners DHS NPPD cybersecurity resources, DOE’s energy sector expertise, with TSA’s regular and ongoing assessments of pipeline security to get a broader understanding of the risks the sector faces. Collaborative efforts like this allow us to better understand the threat landscape and direct more targeted and prioritized risk management activities. We look forward to continuing these important meetings with the other critical infrastructure sectors across the country.”

    “TSA is committed to the mission of securing the nation’s natural gas and oil pipelines, and values longstanding relationships with pipeline operators across this great nation,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “This meeting and the ones to follow will build upon the expanded cyber security measures in the recently updated Pipeline Security Guidelines and our collaboration with the National Risk Management Center to minimize the consequences of an attack or disruption.”

    “As the Sector-Specific Agency for the energy sector, the U.S. Department of Energy is committed to working with our industry and interagency partners to enhance our nation's energy security," said DOE Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response Karen S. Evans. “The Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative will leverage the unique expertise of DOE, DHS, TSA, and other federal agencies to support the efforts of the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council to address the threats to our nation's pipelines."

    Secretary Nielsen announced the NRMC during the DHS National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City this summer.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Kicks Off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Kicks Off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month



    (October 3, 2018) - - On October 2, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen kicked off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), with a conversation at the Washington Post’s Cybersecurity Summit. Secretary Nielsen discussed DHS’s continued efforts to secure our nation’s election systems and combat the threats to our cyberspace.
    • The Need for CISA: “The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Act has bipartisan support. It is meant to recognize the importance of the mission that we have at DHS. We are responsible for federal efforts when it comes to both protecting critical infrastructure, working with the owner-operators in private sector, and protecting all those civilian dot govs. To do that, we have to have both a name that indicates that is what we do, and we have to be able to streamline the organization so that we can become more operational.”
    • Information Sharing: “First of all, the information sharing is much stronger than it ever has been before. We’re working very closely with the intel community. The moment that we see something significant, we are, in conjunction with them, sharing with our state and local partners."
    • Preparing for Election Day: “For Election Day, we’re setting up a situational awareness room—a virtual place where everybody can share information quickly. We are actually pre-deploying Hunt and Incident Response Teams (HIRT)…we’ll be there to support our partners if they need it.”
    • Influence vs. Interference: “There are two categories that we’re worried about. One is the direct attacks on election infrastructure. That is where DHS has the lead. The other is this more nefarious, but also nebulous area of foreign influence. That can be done through state spokesmen in a foreign country and through state-run media. In Russia, that could include RT and Sputnik.”
    • Our Adversaries: “Russia is more—at the moment—focused on sowing discord on all sides, and through that chaos, hoping to promote their own policies. So it’s slightly different. China’s playing a longer and more holistic game. Russia is being pretty noisy about it right now in terms of not just their use of state-run media, but also what we attribute to be social media personas.”
    • 2018 Elections: “We currently have no indication that a foreign adversary intends to disrupt our election infrastructure. But I will immediately follow that with, this is a point in time. We know they have the capability and we know they have the will. So we’re constantly on alert. What we see with China right now are influence campaigns, the more traditional, long-standing, holistic influence campaigns.”
    • 2017 Intel Community Assessment: “The President has been clear, I’ve been clear, and the intel community has been clear. We all support the intel community assessment from 2017. I would also say to those in the audience, it’s worth rereading. There’s a lot in there that is still very relevant today, including an entire annex on Russian propaganda and how they actually use state-sponsored media and others to try to influence and sow discord in our society.”
    This October marks the 15th year of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month an annual initiative to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. NCSAM is a collaborative public-private effort to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. DHS’s cybersecurity efforts are not just a one-month effort. However, throughout the entire month, DHS will be highlighting our department-wide efforts to enhance the security and resilience of the nation’s cyber ecosystem.



    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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