Labor grants will help states secure unemployment insurance info

Friday - 8/6/2010, 5:10pm EDT

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  • States will get some help in securing their unemployment insurance information. The Labor Department is giving out more than $9.5 million to 29 states. The grants will be used to improve states' Unemployment Insurance IT contingency plans and IT security. Specifically, the money will be used to help states start using the guidelines that were given out by NIST to secure unemployment insurance systems. Also, states are being encouraged to achieve security certification and accreditation of their systems through NIST. The grants are also expected to go toward improving whatever weaknesses were found in their IT contingency planning. This is the sixth year the department has awarded the grants.

  • Cyber attacks on business need to be considered a national security threat. An op-ed piece in Defense Tech says cyber attacks on businesses have become more frequent, their level of sophistication is increasing, the monetary damages they inflict are getting worse, and that they need to be considered a threat to our nation's security. Kevin Coleman, a Defense Tech Cyber Warfare Analyst, also writes that the private sector is largely to blame for its own predicament. He concedes there are regulations that come into play, as well as the availability of resources; but he says the biggest reason that the private sector isn't being better protected is that it hasn't asked for help. He also says many in the private sector believe they "know more" or are "better at defending" themselves than the government entities, but that's really no longer true. In addition, he talks about the rapid growth of techniques, tools, capabilities, experience and cyber intelligence on the government side has put them well ahead of every private sector cyber security organization.

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