cyber

Federal Contractors Argue Cyber Insurance Isn’t a Safe Bet for Better Security

A broad range of federal contractors fear a watchdog report on the government’s role facilitating coverage of cybersecurity risks—included in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act—will lead to a mandate that their companies hold related insurance policies.

In a recent letter to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, the Professional Services Council opposed a provision in the House bill calling for the Government Accountability Office to produce recommendations after studying the state of the insurance industry and the extent to which it’s tied to minimum standards for cybersecurity.

The provision—Sec. 1710A—doesn’t require federal contractors to have cyber insurance policies, but it is grouped together in the letter with a number of other proposals around cyber threat hunting and intelligence sharing that are based on recommendations of the public-private, nonpartisan, congressionally established Cyberspace Solarium Commission. 

The commission’s lawmakers—who represent the political spectrum—are trying to get as many of its recommendations as possible to survive conference negotiations and make it into the final annual defense authorization bill.  

“PSC appreciates the extensive work of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and believes that the report and many of its recommendations will significantly improve cybersecurity and cyber hygiene,” the group wrote. “That said, the inclusion of these specific provisions would require significant contractor community investments while providing few if any benefits to cybersecurity.” 

The commission proposes a whole new ecosystem of government and government-adjacent structures based on its preference for financial incentives instead of regulatory mandates. For at least a decade, policy makers on both sides of the aisle have posited that given a boost, cybersecurity insurance could perform the same role of government regulations in improving organizations’ cybersecurity practices. One way they saw of helping the market along, then and now, is to use the government’s purchasing power. 

“Insurers will require a

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Battle Creek Air Guard Base completes $5.1M renovation to support cyber and air operations

A $5.14 million renovation project is complete at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.



a group of people standing in front of a brick building: Lt. Col. Terry Brennen, 217th Air Component Operations Squadron commander, from right to left, Col. Shawn Holtz, 110th Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, Michigan Air National Guard commander, and Lt. Col. Daniel Guy, 110th Wing Mission Support Group commander cut the ribbon on a newly renovated building at the 110th Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, Battle Creek, Michigan, Oct. 2, 2020. The newly renovated building will house operations for the 272nd Cyber Operations Squadron and the 217th Air Component Operations Squadron.


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Lt. Col. Terry Brennen, 217th Air Component Operations Squadron commander, from right to left, Col. Shawn Holtz, 110th Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, Michigan Air National Guard commander, and Lt. Col. Daniel Guy, 110th Wing Mission Support Group commander cut the ribbon on a newly renovated building at the 110th Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, Battle Creek, Michigan, Oct. 2, 2020. The newly renovated building will house operations for the 272nd Cyber Operations Squadron and the 217th Air Component Operations Squadron.

State Sen. John Bizon and ranking members of the Michigan Air National Guard held a ceremony Friday to open facilities for cyber and air operations support in Africa and Europe.

The renovations in the 22,789-square-foot building on the base will house the 272 Cyber Operations Squadron and the 217 Air Component Operations Squadron.

Formation of the cyber squadron was announced in 2015, one of 12 air guard installations in the country which will detect and protect the Department of Defense against electronic attacks. The unit was activated in January 2018 and employs 70 people.

The base has about 1,000 employees.

“Our primary role will be in support of the Department of Defense and statewide,” Col. Bryan Teff, then base commander, said five years ago. “Right now we experience millions of cyber attacks each day against the Department of Defense. We will defend networks and infrastructure when it comes to cyber communications. We will be focusing on the defense of that.”

No a Brigadier General and commander of the Michigan Air National Guard, Teff was present for the ceremony and said the renovation of the building will provide the men and women assigned to the squadrons to “fully execute

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