Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Potential Government Shutdown

What is the likely impact of a government shutdown?  Will it effect our critical infrastructure?  

If the Federal Government were to shut down on April 8th, 2011, we can look to the last prolonged shutdown (from Dec. 16, 1995, to Jan. 6, 1996) and a report by the Congressional Research Service for potential impacts, examples include:
  • Health - New patients were not accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical center; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ceased disease surveillance.
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety - Delays in alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives applications and cancellation of federal law enforcement hiring.
  • Parks, Museums, and Monuments - Closure of National Park Service sites and significant impact to tourism.
  • Visas and Passports -  Applications by foreigners for visas and U.S. applications for passports went unprocessed; and U.S. tourist industries and airlines reportedly sustained millions of dollars in losses.
  • American Veterans - Multiple services were curtailed, ranging from health and welfare to finance and travel.
Past government spending shutdowns did not directly or immediately impact the function of critical infrastructure and key resources.  Nonetheless, as I assert in opinion on my personal blog, there is a potential for effects due to a prolonged shutdown.  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inspire Magazine Releases Their 5th Issue

Inspire Magazine, an English language online magazine reported to be published by the organization Al Qaeda released their 5th issue last week. 

Michael Rozin, our newest board member provides great insight on this new release below.

Thank you Michael for sharing your knowledgeable insight.

On Tuesday, March 29th AQAP released their 5th Issue of the Inspire Magazine.  It should serve us – security professionals- as a fresh reminder of the motivation, thinking and modus operandi of terrorist perpetrators.

In this issue AQAP:
  • Encourages attacks against western targets.
  • Focuses the perpetrators on easy & soft targets.  
  • Encourages the perpetrators to act individually.
It is therefore our responsibility to:
  • Ensure our protected environments aren’t easy & soft targets.  Terrorists have for a long time been selecting potential targets based on ease of execution and damage potential.  We (security professionals)  must establish effective measures that challenge the perpetrators, thus eliminate the “ease of execution” factor and affect the psychology of the adversaries.  
  • Initiate and empower public awareness on all levels. From people on the street to employees, from tenants to visitors, from our family to our friends it is our responsibility to increase public’s awareness, thus creating a very challenging environment for terrorist perpetrators to carry out their attacks.
The threat is here, it is real and it is our role to mitigate it every day.  I believe that one InfraGard’s strengths is in its number of members.  Through that platform we can achieve both, provide suggestions for effective security measures and continue to spread public awareness.

These are some of my thoughts / ideas that I hope you find relevant.