Public Sector News: Facing cybersecurity threats with analytics

June 2015, Issue 10

Social Media Execution Strategist, IBM

Cyber threats are as prominent an issue in today's digital world as ever. Just this past week, news of another major leak of sensitive information sprouted up. There are still significant dangers in the real world as well, such as the recent flooding in Sochi, Russia. Fortunately, steps are being taken to prepare for the worst in both the digital and physical environments.

Report: E​mails, passwords from 47 government agencies leaked online

A new report based on an analysis of 17 websites where hackers share stolen personal information often referred to as “paste sites” has identified 705 email addresses and passwords that can be traced back to government employees. These employees represent 47 different government agencies and a serious cybersecurity issue. Here's hoping for some new solutions to this growing problem. – Amanda Schupak for CBS News able to hack smart watches and extract personal data

Researchers at the University of New Haven have been able to acquire personal information on two types of smart watches. The unencrypted data includes watch owners’ email addresses, contacts, health information and more. With the proliferation of smart watches—including the recently released Apple Watch—not to mention the Internet of Things, safeguarding personal devices might become a hot topic for manufacturers. – Zachary Walton for WTVOX

EU data protection talks resume

Last week's Public Sector News mentioned the data protection reforms happening right now in the EU. The talks continue to take place around reforming the outdated data protection directive that was implemented in 1995. Claude Moraes, chair of Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee, remarked on the importance of the initial protection law, which consists of “over 4,000 amendments,” saying that it is “an urgent priority.” It has taken 20 years to update the current rules. According to Jan Albrecht, Parliament's Rapporteur on the Dossier, these new proposals must be “technologically neutral and not close the door to future innovations.” There is an agreement on a negotiations roadmap that has not yet been made public. – Julie Levy-Abegnoli for Public Technology

City adopts public safety master plan

The City Council of Patterson, California has approved a $49.5 million public safety master plan that approves the creation of four new fire stations and a Public Safety Facility. The 39,730-square-foot center will house fire, police and Emergency Center Operations (EOC) services. This plan comes in preparation of the city’s anticipated growth to a population of over 66,000 in 2050. City Manager Ken Irwin says the plan is “really a guideline,” and City Planner Joel Andrews remarks that an unlimited number of amendments can be made to this master plan. Hopefully, one of them includes incorporating advanced analytics! – Nathan Duckworth for Patterson Irrigator

IBM is helping towns predict disasters

“I’m watching how those assets are affected to figure out, ‘Where do you begin?’” says Stephen Russo, director of emergency management solutions at IBM. “How do you get the biggest bang for your efforts?” On Monday, IBM launched a new predictive tool in partnership with The Weather Company. The Intelligent Operations Center for Emergency Management combines live weather forecasting with city infrastructure data to predict future damage. The platform records occurrences such as traffic accidents as well as high-profile natural events. Check out Russo's new blog post about this and the wider Safer Planet announcement. – Dan Kedmey for Time

Learn how to create a safer planet using advanced analytics.