In the News – This Week in Critical Infrastructure: Week of December 5, 2017

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This Week in Critical Infrastructure we look at articles on the potential risks of quantum computing for cybersecurity, the approval of a new Homeland Security Secretary, efforts by the World Bank to address urban resilience, plans to renew the push for infrastructure legislation in Congress next year, and a new law in Australia targeting cyber criminals who threaten critical infrastructure.

Quantum Computing Is the Next Big Security Risk

Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) writes for WIRED on the impending challenges facing cybersecurity with the advent of quantum computing. Under current encryption standards, the demonstrated superiority of quantum computing over classical computers at factoring large numbers means data that is securely unreadable today may be easily decyphered in a matter of years. Rep. Hurd argues that the world is unprepared for this security risk, and that the United States must start planning now to meet this threat.

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New Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Brings Her Cybersecurity Focus to Domestic Defense

From TechCrunch, Taylor Hatmaker reports on the confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen as John Kelly’s replacement as Secretary of Homeland Security. With expertise in cybersecurity, Nielsen was favored to be undersecretary of the the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) when Kelly was the department’s head, a position she turned down in favor of continuing as Kelly’s chief of staff. This expertise has led many to believe cybersecurity will be a key focus under Nielsen’s leadership.

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Let’s Make a Deal for Resilient Cities

Carina Lakovits of The World Bank Group writes on the World Bank’s City Resilience Program (CRP)
and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). These programs pursue the goal of promoting private sector investment and financing for strengthening the resilience of cities and their critical infrastructure.

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Trump to Release Infrastructure Plan in January, Official Says

Bloomberg‘s Mark Niquette reports on a statement from a senior Trump administration official who says President Trump intends to renew calls for legislation to address infrastructure investment in January 2018 following completion of current efforts to enact tax reforms. Some advocates have expressed concerns that increased spending will be impossible in light of projected budget deficits resulting from the proposed tax cuts.

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New Sabotage Laws for Cyber Attacks on Australia’s Critical Infrastructure

David Wroe writes for the Sydney Morning Herald on new laws in Australia that address cyber threats against critical infrastructure. Under the new law, foreign-backed attackers who threaten infrastructure systems like power, water, and telecommunications systems could face up to 15 years in jail.

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