• Decades long Arrest Wave Vexes Employers
    Wall Street Journal (12/12/14) Emshwiller, John R.; Fields, Gary

    Companies are struggling with what to do about the growing number of job applicants with criminal records. Nearly 80 million Americans have criminal records, a number which includes those who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime. Some government officials want to make it easier for many of them to get jobs. For example, 13 states and almost 70 local jurisdictions have enacted so-called “ban-the-box” laws, which prevent employers from requesting criminal records from a job applicant until an offer has been made. Meanwhile, other laws in other locations discourage the hiring of people with criminal records for some types of positions. For example, most states do not allow a convicted felon to be licensed as a security guard. The complex legal landscape means that employers could face legal liability if they hire someone with a criminal record or if they choose not to.

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  • Addressing Corporate Espionage in the 21st Century
    Security Magazine (12/14)

    New technology has made corporate espionage easier, to the point that annual U.S. losses to corporate espionage are estimated at $300 billion annually. Some of the most likely threats to businesses include insiders with access to key information, global criminal organizations, competitors, foreign intelligence agencies, or inadvertent disclosure by employees. Corporate espionage may be conducted through foreign surveillance, recruitment of insiders, computer hacking, targeting individuals at trade conferences, mergers, or hiring competitors’ employees. The prevention of corporate espionage requires a comprehensive risk management program that addresses personnel security, such as pre-employment screening and termination procedures; legal protections for intellectual property; employee education; physical security, including access control; good market and security intelligence; strong government and industry relations; information security; and communication among all of an organization’s departments.

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  • Substation Security Challenges
    Security Today (12/01/14) Romanowich, John

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Electrical Reliability Commission (NERC) are collaborating to increase physical security for electrical substations. NERC has strengthened the standards for its Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) program, which are close to becoming federal mandates that can be enforced with fines and other penalties. CIP standards require assets to be protected on the four surrounding sides, above, and below. While most operators use video surveillance to meet these requirements, the technology may be too passive. A better option may be “smart” automated detection solutions that can cover large distances, notice details missed by the human eye, and provide immediate information for faster response. Thermal cameras with video analytics increase intruder detection and reduce false alarms, and provide accurate information that does not require additional verification systems. These systems can send alerts when an intrusion occurs, even if a person approaches a fence line, allowing officials to be alerted, view video, and react sooner. Some smart thermal cameras can automatically control pan-tilt-zoom cameras to focus on the location of an alarm and follow a detected target. Thermal cameras may be used not only for outdoor security, but as virtual barriers along open areas around a building or asset.

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  • Home Depot Facing at Least 44 Civil Suits in Data Breach
    Wall Street Journal (11/25/14) Calia, Michael

    Home Depot reports that it faces at least 44 civil lawsuits in the U.S. and Canada related to a widespread data breach at the home-improvement retailer earlier this year. The company — which is also under investigation by several state and federal agencies — says its investigation of the breach continues, and it is still assessing its financial and other impacts. In a bid to prevent future attacks, Home Depot has completed a project that encrypts customer credit-card data at the point of sale in all of its U.S. stores. It also expects to roll out the encryption system to its Canadian stores by early next year. Additionally, Home Depot says its U.S. stores will soon have EMV chip-and-PIN technology, which helps authenticate transactions with debit and credit cards. The company revealed earlier this month that 53 million customer emails were stolen in a cyberattack that had also compromised an additional 56 million customer credit-card accounts, an intrusion the retailer had previously disclosed in September. The breach resulted in $28 million of pretax expenses in the most recent earnings period.

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    Retailers Beefing Up Security Against Data Breaches
    Detroit News (11/24/14) Abdel-Razzaq, Lauren

    There have been just under 700 major data breaches reported this year, up 25 percent from last year, according to new data from the Identity Theft Resource Center, and there are signs that retailers are waking up to the threat. According to eBay’s Enterprise 2014 Holiday Retail Audit, 65 percent of large retailers say they have heightened concerns about data security, even though 77 percent say they have not experienced a data breach. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of 758 American companies finds that $4.1 billion has been spent to protect respondents from cyber threats this year, a number that PWC expects to grow by $2 billion in 2017. Still, there is more that companies could be doing. Karl Volkman, chief technology officer at SRV Network Inc., says companies will need to bring on security consultants, increase the size of their IT security staffs, and keep themselves up-to-date on the latest threats.

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