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Department of Energy gets IG Report, US Energy Grid is increasingly susceptible to attack and more

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Here are the top cyber news and stories of the day.

  • Cisco Systems to buy Meraki for $1.2 billion - Cisco announced on Sunday that it would be buying Meraki, a cloud solutions provider, for $1.2B. This purchase is intended to help Cisco reach $1B in annual revenue, as well as prop up their cloud computing portfolio. “Meraki technology offers customers Wi-Fi, switching, security and mobile device management centrally managed from the cloud.” Via Bennington Banner, more here.
  • NRC: U.S. Energy Grid Increasingly Susceptible to Terror Attack - A recent report by the National Research Council stated that a terror attack on the US power grid could “cause massive blackouts and cost the country billions.” The NRC found that high-voltage transformers are especially susceptible to both physical and information technology infrastructure attacks. High-voltage transformers are often custom made as well as manufactured out of the US. The report suggests that energy companies stockpile and develop better recovery transformers in the future. Via Property Casualty 360, more here.
  • Army data tracker improves unit readiness evaluations - The Enterprise Management Decision Support system is a tool for senior Army leaders which tracks key data that determines an individual unit’s readiness. This system resides on the SIPRNet and queries over 20 US Army databases which hold information such as rank, MOS qualifications, medical readiness and more. It then provides instantaneous results to the user. In 2013, upgrades to the process and enhanced information will be rolled out. Via Fort Gordon Signal, more here.
  • Dozens of cyber vulnerabilities found at Department of Energy facilities – The US DoE IG found 38 cyber vulnerabilities in their 2012 study of the DoE. This is down from 56 last year, but 16 of the 2011 vulnerabilities remain unfixed. In addition, the DoE was found to have troubles with actually physical security and access rosters. Via Killer Apps, more here.
  • Continuous monitoring: A piece of the IT security puzzle – This Government Computer News article takes a look at how Federal IT security pros are looking at continuous monitoring. While it is required for FISMA compliance, they are seeing it as a means to an end, not the end itself. Via Government Computer News, more here.
  • Cyber Chief Alexander Issues Call For Action; Outlines Who Does What - In a symposium last Wednesday, General Alexander (DIRNSA/USCYBERCOM Commander) outlined where he sees cyber responsibilities landing. Transparent processes and a civilian leader (DHS) are key in his mind. Additionally, he asked that private firms increase their security posture to better protect everyone. Via AOL Government, more here.
  • Pentagon and Reid back cyber exec order, legislation still preferred - After the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was shot down in congress, an executive order from the White House is being drafted. Top DoD officials see it only as a “stop gap” on the way to better cybersecurity legislation. Senator Harry Reid (a proponent of the 2012 act) says much the same. Via Killer Apps more here.

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More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.