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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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Woman Said Contractor Never Completed Job Of Building Her Nail Salon, And It Turns Out The Contractor Isn’t Properly Registered Either

CHICAGO (CBS) — A South Side woman said she gave a man $30,000 to build her nail salon – and yet a year later, the job is not even close to complete.

CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas discovered the contractor is not even properly registered with the state.

“What you should be seeing by now is the floors done, the plumbing done,” said Cherry Washington.

Washington is a woman with a dream.

“All the manicure tables would have been on this side,” she said as she showed McNicholas the space.

There were contractors working on building Washington a small nail salon at 54th Street and Harlem Avenue when she talked to McNicholas. But those contractors were not the team she originally hired – they were replacements.

They came in after the original contractor fell short of his promises.

“When I tell you it’s been many a days that I cried, I did,” Washington said. “Many a days that I prayed for him, I did.”

In October 2019, Washington hired Derek Covington and Renewable Energy Concepts, who said the whole job would cost $34,000. They asked for $12,000 up front.

Covington’s team cleared out the old storefront and then convicted Washington to make more payments. But since then, she has seen little work and plenty of excuses.

“I was taking pictures. I was coming over at nighttime to figure out what’s going on. And I’m like, ‘Everything looks the same,’” Washington said, “and he was like: ‘Well, it’s the plumber. It’s the heating. It’s this. It’s that. It’s COVID.”

We’ve reported similar stories in the past about people losing thousands to other contractors who didn’t finish the job. So we wondered, what can a person do to avoid trouble with a contractor?

Experts say you should always check that they’re properly licensed.

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Murphy said this test could be our ‘salvation.’ So why isn’t it in nursing homes? | Editorial

Gov. Phil Murphy has done well steering our state through this pandemic, but one big stain on his record is nursing homes.

He blundered in numerous ways: Putting hospitals first, even as the death toll exploded in the nursing homes, failing to get them protective equipment and test kits quickly, and forcing them to take COVID patients from hospital wards.

Now it looks like another misstep is in the works. Rutgers has developed an excellent COVID test that is faster and easier – you just spit in a tube, and it’s analyzed by a lab in 24 to 48 hours.

Nursing homes need it, desperately. It’s not easy to shove a swab down the nasal cavity of an 80-year-old dementia patient, let alone get the results back in a timely manner. Yet they still don’t have it, as we face the threat of a possible resurgence.

Neither do veteran’s homes, which saw the worst death rates. Murphy said this rapid test could be the source of our “salvation” back in April. So why don’t we even have it in our own state-run homes?

Both NJ Transit and Port Authority are further ahead in line, which is disappointing. It shows a lack of urgency where the fire is burning hottest.

“You put your quickest, most accurate test in your most vulnerable population,” as Dr. Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health says. “That’s what should be happening.”

State-run psychiatric hospitals and developmental centers have shown progress on this, too, but the nursing home industry has been mired in bureaucracy with the state, NJ Advance Media’s Ted Sherman reports.

Under state guidelines, only slower swab testing has been allowed, and they haven’t been able to require testing for visitors, like a state inspector or a family member. Requiring temperature

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