Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Security Tibits

News from around the world...

  • UN says 34 aid workers have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.
  • Aid workers accused of kidnapping in Chad. French nationals working for Zoe's Ark held for trying to fly 100 children out of the country.
  • UN Somalia WFP head released after arrest.
  • US aid worker released on bail in Nigeria.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ranger Medic Handbook

For those of you that have or are interested in medical skills that go beyond first aid, here's a .PDF link to the 2007 edition of the U.S. Army Ranger Medic Handbook. This is a concise and very usable field reference with excellent and easy to follow protocols. Highly recommended.


NGO Security Scenario #3

You are performing a safety and security assessment for your organization in India. Press the play button below to experience local driving conditions heading to the country office from your hotel.

Based on the above, what transportation safety policies and procedures should be in place for the office? What vehicle travel recommendations would you make for visiting international staff? Share your ideas by clicking on COMMENTS below.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Flu Pandemic Simulation

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association recently completed a large-scale exercise with a simulated pandemic flu outbreak. Check out this page for the detailed scenarios and more information. Very interesting reading not only from better understanding the global impact of a pandemic but also as a good template for developing scenario-based training.


Humans Not Evovled for Security?

An interesting article that speculates humans haven't evolved enough to handle modern day security risks and on a whole we're still hard wired to recognize and deal with risks the same way our ancestors did 10's of thousands of years ago. Granted, this article is focused on IT security, and the hypothesis is being proposed by someone who isn't an evolutionary biologist or neuroscientist, but it's still intriguing (and would sure help explain some of things I've seen in the field). For more on risk and the brain, read "Why the Human Brain is a Poor Judge of Risk" or if you want to really get deep, Google "Daniel Kahneman."


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Identity Theft Study

Identity theft receives a fair amount of media coverage, and organizations (especially at the headquarters level) will often turn to their security officers for guidance. A new study on identity theft in the U.S. has just been released that dispels a number of popular beliefs. For example, less than 1/5 of the cases involved information obtained from the Internet while low-tech methods such as dumpster diving and stealing mail accounted for the majority of stolen personal information. There's an AP news story with a good summary here and the complete report in PDF format here.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Google Maps and Disasters

With wild fires ravaging Malibu and San Diego County, California, The Los Angeles Daily News is putting Google Maps to good use, communicating information to the public. It's extremely quick and easy for anyone to create maps like this, and as Google adds more parts of the world to its map database, Google Maps could be a valuable planning and information tool for humanitarian organizations during disasters.

10/23/07 Update: Radio station KPBS has an even better implemented Google Map.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

NGO Security Scenario #2

You are a humanitarian security officer working in Kabul, Afghanistan. You receive an early morning phone call that there has been an explosion at one of your organization's program offices. The office is nearby, so you set out on foot. Press the play button below to see and hear what you encounter.

What are your thoughts as you head toward the office? What do you bring with you? What are your priorities upon arriving at the scene? Does your organization have policies and procedures for dealing with this type of an incident? Share your ideas for handling this scenario by clicking on COMMENTS below.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NGO Security Scenario #1

This is the first in a series of "what-if" training scenarios that describe real world incidents and ask you to think through them.

Armed government forces enter your compound during normal office hours and place the country manager (or a program manager or some other senior staff member) under arrest. Much like what just happened in Somalia with the local WFP head, if you've been following the news.

As the on-scene security officer, how would you deal with this situation? What questions would you ask and what actions would you take? Post your thoughts on handling this incident by clicking on the COMMENTS text below (you can choose to anonymously post a reply if you'd like).


Security Tidbits

Drug resistant staph infections on the rise. This bears watching, especially in terms of U.S. (and likely European) headquarter operations. - Myanmar seizing UN computers in hunt for dissidents. And what would the implications be of a government seizing your PCs? - Navigadget is a great site for keeping track of new GPS products. - A good Washington Post read on IEDs. - I've posted in the past about Bruce Schneier's respected, monthly Crypto-Gram newsletter. It's also available in audio format, perfect for MP3 players and long plane trips. - Commtouch's 2007 Third Quarter Email Threats report is out covering the latest spam trends. From a security perspective, there's an increasing use of spam to transmit malicious software.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Avian Flu

Avian flu has been out of the eye of the MSM (mainstream media) for awhile, but may be preparing to make a comeback. Researchers have found the H5N1 virus has been mutating into a form that makes it more easy to infect humans. More details here. As flu season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, it might be worthwhile to dust off those contingency plans from last year.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Acronym of the day

And the computer security acronym of the day is PEBKAC. As in "Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair." There's a great article on the subject here.