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SM Online November 2014


Recent incidents involving hazardous anthrax and bird flu samples at government laboratories have raised concerns about safety violations that might be occurring at other sensitive labs. A Government Accountability Office publication, High-Containment Laboratories: Recent Incidents of Biosafety Lapses, explores the latest incidents at high-containment laboratories and discusses the importance of a national standard for operating the facilities. The report found that there is a continuing lack of oversight and assessment in high-containment labs, which may contribute to future safety lapses.


A new Congressional Research Service report finds that high-voltage transformers, which carry 60 to 70 percent of the nation's electricity, are vulnerable to terrorist attack. Physical Security of the U.S. Power Grid: High-Voltage Transformer Substations reports that such an attack could have catastrophic consequences.  


Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories studied high-value heists of the last three decades to discover principles for designing security systems to protect vital assets. Their conclusions are reported in The Perfect Heist: Recipes from Around the World.​ 


At least 70 percent of devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) are vulnerable to attack, according to a report from Hewlett-Packard's security unit Fortify, released in July. The study analyzed a range of IoT devices, from remote power outlets to home alarms and even sprinkler controllers. According to the study, vulnerabilities include weak passwords, insecure password recovery mechanisms, and poorly protected credentials.​ 


The ASIS Foundation and the University of Phoenix have released The Security Industry Survey of Risks and Professional Competencies, a security industry survey and research report that sheds light on the crucial talent and training needs of this high-growth industry. The survey was initiated to identify top enterprise security risks; to better understand the industry's talent needs; and to generate actionable recommendations for strengthening the industry's work force.