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by CSO Contributor

** UPDATE: Companies Scramble to Bolster Online Security ** U.S. Checkpoints Raise Ire in Iraq; Businesses Learn the Secrets to Winning Government Security Contracts; U.S.-Mexico Border Remains Porous

Mar 07, 20053 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Companies Scramble to Bolster Online Security

In the wake of recent privacy and data breaches at ChoicePoint and Bank of America, companies that rely on online transactions are scrambling to reassure consumers that their data is safe. According to a report in Computerworld (a sister publication of CXO Media), ETrade Financial Corp. last week announced new authentication technology help secure online transactions. Other companies are also turning to technology and reaching out to their customers. “There’s a lot of pressure to respond,” said Robert Garigue, chief information security officer at the Bank of Montreal in Toronto. “What we are seeing here is the issue of risk evolving from an internal technical concern to a trust-relationship issue.”

For more details, read the full article in Computerworld.

U.S. Checkpoints Raise Ire in Iraq

Last week U.S. troops at a roadside checkpoint mistakenly fired on a vehicle transporting an Italian journalist a recently freed hostage killing the driver and wounding the journalist. According to a report in The New York Times this incident was the latest in a series involving U.S. troops and civilians. The problem stems from confusion over the rules of engagement used by the U.S. military. Iraqis tell the Times that they are unclear on what those rules are and may be unintentionally breaking them. The U.S. military won’t publish details because it fears that terrorist might take advantage of such information. The Times reports that at least six incidents since December American troops have fired on vehicles carrying Westerners in the area around Baghdad airport.

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

Cracking the Code to Security Contracts

Companies that wish to do business with the National Security Agency would do well to register on the NSA website, attend NSA events and get security clearance for their employees. According to a report in the Washington Post a gathering of about 50 business executives recently attended panel discussion titled, “The Secret of Winning Contracts with the Intelligence Community,” which is part of a quiet effort by the intelligence community to reach out for new business. According to the article, the intelligence agencies tend to farm work out to companies that they think can handle the job. Rarely do they go beyond their known group of contractors. “It’s probably the most opaque set of customers you can find,” said Richard Fichera, a research fellow at Forrester Research Inc. “The intelligence community tends to stick with a known set of sources.”

For more details, read the full article in the Washington Post.

Upgraded Security at U.S. Border Hasn’t Deterred Illegal Immigration From Mexico

Every day U.S. authorities catch more than 3,000 people along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. The Washington Post reports that despite the high-tech motion sensors and infrared cameras that blanked the border to help prevent illegal immigrants from crossing, they are still coming in waves. Experts say that more than 500,000 cross undetected each year. “What we’re doing is not working,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration and border security, told the Post. “I don’t believe you can build a wall high enough or wide enough to keep out people who have no hope or opportunity where they live.”

For more details, read the full article in the Washignton Post.