Browsing: Cybersecurity

Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Two gears together can accomplish much more than one gear alone. And when you connect multiple systems together, whether of gears or computers, you can achieve even greater functionality and performance. We call these “systems of systems,” or SoS, and you can find them everywhere. Hospitals, for example. In a hospital, there are individual computer systems for patient management, pharmacies, laboratories, imaging, and telemetry. Included in this network are the individual machines used to diagnose and treat patients such as MRIs and pacemakers. Hospitals are connecting more and more of these machines to their wireless networks so that doctors and nurses can access and control them using…

Like it or not, email is a central component of modern day life. The average person spends 6.3 hours a day checking their messages, and email continues to be the most popular means of communication, ahead of instant messaging, texting and social media. Scam artists have taken note and are exploiting the relative lack of security around email communications to gain access to your accounts and ultimately steal your money or even your identity. While we are all familiar with the “international” email scam and no longer believe that a stranded diplomat will share millions of dollars with us if we will pay the fees to have it transferred, there are many other scams that seem legitimate enough to fool…

Acronyms. The world, and especially the government, is overflowing with them. You’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. People might even look at you funny if you suggested that you had one. I’m lucky enough to have my favorite one on my business card: NICE—the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education. While I’d like to think I was one even before I got the card, it’s been fun to be officially known as “the NICE guy” since I arrived at NIST a little less than two years ago. My 25-year career has been devoted to higher education, and for the past 15 years I’ve been focused on cybersecurity, so it’s fitting that I now have the opportunity to lead a program…

There’s no cybersecurity silver bullet. Be risk-based. Pick low hanging fruit. We’ve all heard lots of clichés about what it means to—here are some more—be cyber aware, keep a clean machine, even Stop.Think.Connect. The bottom line is that protecting online resources and information is difficult, it’s new and it’s rapidly changing. Compared with other science and engineering disciplines, getting things done digitally is in its infancy. Relative to how long we’ve been building things like finely crafted bridges (think Roman aqueducts), protecting networks, computers and mobile devices is a brand new phenomenon. We’re making great progress, but in many ways we’re just starting to understand the environment … all while it keeps changing before our eyes. As we start National…