Reston, VA

Reston Association’s Board of Directors has unanimously directed the organization’s staff to provide a comprehensive report on security incidents that caused losses of data, money or website capacity in the last two years.

At a board meeting last Thursday, board member Sarah Selvaraj-Dsouza proposed the motion in an effort to provide its membership with transparent information about possible issues

The move comes as some board members advocate for the immediate and swift creation of an IT committee that would guide RA on its security posture and provide recommendations on how to protect membership data, privacy and financial information.

Board members contend that RA’s security posture and IT platforms are incapable of maintaining industr-wide accepted standards of privacy and data security.

At last week’s meeting, board member Ven Iyer, a professional in the field of IT security, has voiced what he described as grave concerns related to RA’s lack of security.

Speaking as an RA member and not as a board member, Iyer says that RA CEO Hank Lynch’s email ID was breached, resulting in a loss of $187,000.

He also stated that RA’s website failed in the summer of 2020 when a system hosting the RA website, a decryption algorithm, and membership privacy and financial data was compromised. At the time, RA staff stated the abrupt shift was prompted because the website’s platform was “extremely outdated and unsupported.”

He also contended that RA’s communications to members — including recent press releases — mislead members into thinking that the shift to the cloud and a new website has resolved any pending concerns.

“That is simply not true. RA’s press releases falsely mislead members to believe that security incidents have occurred due to outdated technology or will not occur against because RA has shifted to cloud platforms,” he said.

Iyer wants the board to swiftly create the IT committee in order to “immediately respond at a SWAT team pace.”

A special meeting on the issue is planned, following a review of the proposal by RA’s board governance committee.

RA spokesman Mike Leone told Reston Now that because the board has not taken an official position on IT-related issues, the association cannot directly address Iyer’s concerns or questions about specific security issues.

The board is expected to review a report on IT breaches and other related issues on March 18.

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Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and 25 other technology companies will be represented at a virtual career fair hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority on Thursday (Jan. 28).

The Cyber and Cloud Virtual Career Fair will focus on the information technology, cyber, and cloud industries. Participation is free of charge for job seekers, and the FCEDA is encouraging professionals of all experience levels to attend. People with security clearances are especially in demand, though that is not a required qualification.

“Our region is a top cyber and cloud hub and there has never been a better time to land a job in this industry because of the thousands of open jobs here,” FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins said in a press release. “We are proud to be working with such a diverse group of companies that are letting us help them cast a wide net to find the right talent to fill these jobs and keep our networks, businesses, agencies and people secure.”

This is the latest in a series of job fairs that the FCEDA has been organizing throughout the past year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous events included fairs focused on hiring and reskilling, and women in technology.

According to the FCEDA, the first three job fairs in the series “collectively attracted over 2,100 attendees and resulted in 3,100 completed conversations between job seekers and hiring reps from a wide range of employers.”

The tech industry is expected to grow rapidly in Fairfax County in the coming years. About half of the more than 86,000 open jobs on the FCEDA’s job board are in technology fields, and the D.C. area is projected to add more than 130,000 tech jobs within the next five years.

The FCEDA’s job fair series is part of an initiative funded by Fairfax County to attract, retain, and retrain workers.

“Cloud and cyber companies are an important and growing facet of the Fairfax County tech economy,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said. “I am delighted to see the talent initiative that the Board of Supervisors funded helping residents find jobs and emphasizing the importance of these sectors to Fairfax.”

Because the cyber and cloud career fair will be conducted virtually, candidates do not need to be currently located in Northern Virginia, and some companies are open to remote work options, the FCEDA says.

Interested job seekers can visit the FCEDA’s Work in Northern Virginia website to register and to see a full list of participating companies.

Photo via Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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More students and teachers in the Fairfax County County Public Schools system have been identified as victims of a ransomware attack that took place in September.

In a letter to parents, FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand said his staff has identified more people who may have been impacted by the attack.

”In line with our commitment to providing credit monitoring and identity restoration services to those who may need them, we have distributed additional individualized notices to ensure all eligible members of our community who wish to utilize these services have access to them,” Brabrand wrote in a letter to parents and students last night.

On Sept. 11 — just a few days after virtual learning resumed — hackers posted personal information of some students and staff on the dark web. Maze, a group of cybercriminals, claimed responsibility for the attack, which uses ransomware to prevent users from accessing files. In some cases, data is extracted and held hostage until a ransom is paid.

While the incident remains under investigation, Brabrand said that the school system is working with the FBI and Virginia State Police to investigate the attack.

Brabrand’s complete letter is below, after the jump.

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The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting a free cyber and cloud virtual career fair next month.

Set for Jan. 28 from 1-4 p.m., the virtual fair will give candidates a chance to interview with 20 companies in Northern Virginia. According to FCEDA, more than 5,000 open positions are available at all experience levels.

“The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is proud to host the Cyber + Cloud Virtual Career Fair,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “We are thankful to the outstanding tech companies that will be participating in this event. This will be a great opportunity for job-seekers to interview virtually for job opportunities in two of the most robust industry sectors in Northern Virginia.”

Candidates with security clearances are strongly encouraged to attend. Attendees will be able to chat with company representatives and can register and attend from anywhere.

A lineup of the represented companies is below:

The career fair is part of FCEDA’s newly-created talent attraction and retention initiative which is funded by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Photo via Unsplash

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Some of the area’s largest cybersecurity companies are located in Herndon and Reston, according to a ranking by the Washington Business Journal.

Three companies in Reston and Herndon topped WBJ’s list, which ranks the largest cybersecurity companies in the Greater DC area by the number of employees, total revenue last year, and total Metro-area revenue.

More information on the local companies is below:

  • Carahsoft Technology Corp. (Ranked #1): The company, which helps the public sector manage and reduce cybersecurity risks, has 1,282 employees, including 948 in the Metro-area. Last year, the company brought in $5.4 million in total revenue.
  • Iron Bow Technologies LLC (Ranked #2): Located at 2302 Dulles Station Boulevard, the company boasted $1 billion in revenue last year.  It has 680 total employees, 510 of which are based in the Metro-area.
  • ThunderCat Technology LLC (Ranked #3): The company, which is located at 1925 Isaac Newton Square, brought in $503 million last year,  roughly $289 million of which was in the Metro-area. The company has 84 employees.

Overall, 18 of the region’s 25 largest cybersecurity companies are located in Fairfax County.

Photo via Unsplash

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FireEye, a publicly-traded cybersecurity company based in Silicon Valley, has acquired a local security company.

The company announced that it has required McLean-based security company Verodin.

A spokesperson for the company wrote the following about the acquisition:

In April, the company announced it was expanding its Reston footprint. Their offices are located at 11955 Freedom Drive… FireEye announced their continued expansion in the Reston area in April and has now taken another step towards establishing its dominance in the growing cyber security industry with the purchase of McLean, VA-based Verodin.  This acquisition will grow FireEye’s footprint in the tech corridor as the region continues to draw top-tier companies.  

Equipped with FireEye’s frontline intelligence, the Verodin platform will measure and test security environments against both known and newly discovered threats, empowering organizations to rapidly adapt their defense.  

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

FireEye offers a single platform for organizations struggling to prevent and respond to cyber attacks. Since it was founded in 2004 by Ashar Aziz, the company has filed more than 150 patents for technology related to cyber threat protections.

The company also has offices in Alexandria, where FireEye’s cybersecurity consultants are located. Overall, the company has more than 7,700 clients in 103 countries.

Photo via FireEye

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Friday Morning Notes

Reston Hospital Center Helps Patient Recover from Coma — The center helped Amin, Hassam, 70, recover from a traumatic injury that left him in a coma. He was transported to the critical care unit of the center after a car crash. [WUSA 9]

Reston Concerts on the Town Kick Off Tomorrow — Reston Town Center’s pavilion will come to life once again with lively entertainment tomorrow from 7:30-10 p.m. The series runs through August 24. [Reston Town Center]

Reston Cybersecurity Firm Acquired and Merged with Two Other Companies — “TruShield Security Solutions Inc., a Reston cybersecurity firm, has been sold and merged with two other companies to form a new company, Avertium, based out of Phoenix. San Mateo, California-based private equity firm Sunstone Partners recently closed on the acquisitions of TruShield, Phoenix-based Terra Verde Security LLC and Knoxville, Tennessee-based Sword & Shield Enterprise Security to create Avertium, which will focus on midsized to large customers.” [The Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Reston companies topped rankings for the most prominent and largest cybersecurity firms in the Washington region.

The rankings, determined by the Washington Business Journal based on last year’s revenue, included 25 companies, 21 of which are in Fairfax County. Based on the rankings, eight of the 25 companies are located in Herndon and Reston.

Reston-based Carahsoft Technology Corp., a distributor, and reseller of services that aim to reduce risks associated with cybersecurity topped the list. The company, which is located on 1860 Michael Faraday Drive, reeled in $4.1 billion in revenue and has 900 employees.

Herndon-based Iron Bow Technologies, which offers services related to defense, threat visibility, policy enforcement, and data protection, came in second, with $862.8 million in revenue last year and 661 employees.

ThunderCat technology, which offers forensic analysis and other services, ranked third, with $320 million in revenue and 70 employees. Knight Point Systems ranked fourth, Amyx Inc. ranked sixth, ITility ranked seventh, SeKON Enterprise Inc. ranked fourteenth and Electrosoft ranked 24th.

Photo via Carahsoft Technology Corp.

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