January 2021 – Top News in the Security and Risk Industry and Grants

February 2, 2021 | 4 min read
January 2021 industry news

There’s a lot going on in the world of physical risk and vulnerability; it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news and developments. We’ll keep you informed with the best content to keep your organization safe and secure. Check out the top news and headlines from the past month.

Rioters storm the U.S. Capitol to block Biden’s win

From CNN: Five people are dead after supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday Jan. 6, engulfing the nation's capital in chaos after Trump urged his supporters to fight against the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes that confirmed President-elect Joe Biden's win.

Our take: Regardless of your political affiliation, the destruction of the Capitol and the fact that police officers were recorded inviting rioters into the Capitol Building and even taking selfies with people is a disgrace to the security industry. When you’re in public service, you have a duty to the public, regardless of your personal beliefs, religion, or political affiliation. You swear an oath to protect and uphold the law. If you’re unable to do so, you should not be in law enforcement.

After big hack of U.S. government, Biden enlists 'world class' cybersecurity team

From Reuters: President Joe Biden is hiring a group of national security veterans with deep cyber expertise, drawing praise from former defense officials and investigators as the U.S. government works to recover from one of the biggest hacks of its agencies attributed to Russian spies.

Our take: Nation-states are ramping up their cyber attacks on the U.S. Last month’s SolarWinds hack struck eight federal agencies and several corporations. Protecting the U.S. against such cyber espionage is critical, so it’s a good thing to see our cybersecurity’s leadership being built up.

Laptop stolen from Pelosi's office during storming of U.S. Capitol, says aide

From Reuters: A laptop was stolen from the office of the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, one of her aides said. The theft of electronic devices from congressional offices has been a persistent worry following the invasion by pro-Trump followers.

Our take: Information security and physical security are often presented as different issues, but the stolen laptop taken from the Capitol underscores the fact that the two are not only related, they are very much the same. Security is security – IT breaches can lead to physical breaches and, as with the stolen laptop (although it was allegedly used only for presentations) physical breaches can lead to unauthorized people getting their hands on restricted information.

ADT technician hacked hundreds of customers' security cameras

From Security Magazine: A former security technician for home security company ADT admitted he secretly accessed customers' home security cameras more than 9,600 times over more than four years, particularly in homes of women to spy on them.

Our take: Employees in the the security industry are charged with keeping customers safe — but they often have access to the very countermeasures that are supposed to ensure your customer’s safety. If you have the wrong people in this job, they can abuse that access.This is why background checks and oversight is vital. If your people are compromising the safety of your customers, you’re both responsible and liable for their poor behavior.

Security Topic

January’s Top Security Grants

The United States Coast Guard: The purpose of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program is to reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths on America’s waterways and to provide a safe enjoyable experience for the boating public. The program also encourages greater nonprofit organization participation and uniformity in boating safety efforts. This competition is only open to nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS status. Grant closes: Jan. 27

FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Program: The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S. territories, Indian tribal governments, and local communities to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Grant closes: Jan. 29

FEMA: The Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program makes federal funds available to states, U.S territories, Indian tribal governments, and local communities for pre-disaster mitigation activities. The guiding principles of the program are to: (1) support state and local governments, tribes, and territories through capability- and capacity-building to enable them to identify mitigation actions and implement projects that reduce risks posed by natural hazards; (2) encourage and enable innovation while allowing flexibility, consistency, and effectiveness; (3) promote partnerships and enable high-impact investments to reduce risk from natural hazards with a focus on critical services and facilities, public infrastructure, public safety, public health, and communities; (4) provide a significant opportunity to reduce future losses and minimize impacts on the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF); and (5) support the adoption and enforcement of building codes, standards, and policies that will protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public, take into account future conditions , and have long-lasting impacts on community risk-reduction, including for critical services and facilities and for future disaster costs. Applicants must submit applications via FEMA Grant Outcomes (FEMA GO) system: Website. Grant closes: Jan. 29

FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program: Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.Website Grant closes: Feb. 12

FEMA’s Fire Prevention And Safety Grants: The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants are part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. The primary goal is to reduce injury and prevent death among high-risk populations. Grant closes: Feb. 26

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