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by CSO Contributor

FBI Questions Protesters; Corporate Security Spending Flat for Many in Post 9/11 Era; Slow Going on Securing Power Grid from Hackers

Aug 16, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

FBI Questions Protesters

The FBI has intensified its questioning of political demonstators expected to gather in New York City for the Republican National Convention at the end of the month, according to a report by The New York Times. The inquiries, which also took place before the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July, are focues on possible violence and not political dissent, according to the FBI. But protesters believe otherwise. Sarah Bardwell, a 21-year-old intern at a Denver antiwar group that was visited by six investigators a few weeks ago told the Times, “The message I took from it was that they were trying to intimidate us into not going to any protests and to let us know, ‘hey, we’re watching you.'”

For more details, read the full article in The New York Times.

Corporate Security Spending Flat for Many in Post 9/11 Era

According to a recent survey, almost half of 100 companies surveyed said they had not increased annual spending on security since 9/11, and 40 percent of executives said that security was an expense to be minimized. According to a story in The New York Times, Thomas E. Cavanagh, a security researcher, has spent three years surveying companies, including those in critical industries like transportation, financial services and telecommunications, and their responses to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “What we are seeing is an evolution instead of a revolution in corporate security,” Cavanagh said. “For a lot of companies, the sense of urgency isn’t there. There may be a sense of complacency because there hasn’t been a serious incident since 9/11.”

The study did note, however, that some companies have gone to great legths, and expense, to improve security. For instance, Yellow Roadway Corp. has added $50 million per year to its operating costs in the name of security since 9/11.

For more details, read the full article in The New York Times.

Slow Going on Securing Power Grid from Hackers

It’s been a year since the northeast blackout of 2003 that left 50 million people in eight states and one Canadian province without power. As the north American Electric Reliability Council, the not-for-profit industry group responsible for keeping the power on in the United States and Canada, released its list of measures taken to shore up grid reliabilty, many are wondering if the group is going far enough. The minimum cyber security standards, critics say, are relatively small in scope. Lou Leffler, NERC cyber security chief, says the industry didn’t want to impose standards that it could not meet. Says Leffler, “There are some areas where the technology doesn’t exist at this point in time to provide all the protection that we’d like.”

For more details, read the full article at The Register.

Also, read Out of Control from the August 2004 issue of CSO.