Brian Nussbaum is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the State University of New York at Albany. His research and teaching focuses on cyber threats, terrorism, homeland security, risk and intelligence analysis, and critical infrastructure protection. Dr. Nussbaum formerly served as Senior Intelligence Analyst with the New York State Office of Counter Terrorism (OCT), a part of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES). He oversaw both terrorism and cyber threat analysis efforts at New York's designated state fusion center, the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC). Dr. Nussbaum served as a subject matter expert on international terrorism, and helped to create NYSIC's Cyber Analysis Unit (CAU). Additionally, Dr. Nussbaum served as the first-ever Visiting Professor of Homeland Defense at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, PA (2012-2013), where he worked with the Homeland Defense and Security Issues (HDSI) group in the Strategic Wargaming Division of the Center for Strategic Leadership and Development (CSLD). Dr. Nussbaum received his PhD and MA in Political Science from the University at Albany and BA in Political Science from Binghamton University. His work has appeared in numerous books and journals including Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Global Crime, and the Journal of Applied Security Research.
The State of Washington has undertaken a series of efforts around cyber security that are unique, noteworthy, and potentially of interest to other state and local governments. First and foremost, Washington has made an important conceptual choice, centering its efforts within the broader discipline of emergency management.
Tracking the institutional response of state and local governments to cyber threats is relatively tough in many cases. Security concerns, rapid changes, and limited transparency all collectively make finding official and primary sources challenging. As such, when there are useful data sources to help understand these issues, they’re worthy of note. One such set of data comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Annual Fusion Center Assessmen
The rapid growth of embedded computing and the “Internet of Things” (IoT) have been felt in many industries and areas, but few organizations and jurisdictions have been affected as quickly and as deeply as cities. The emergence of “smart cities” – those cities that “…integrate cyber-physical technologies and infrastructure to create environmental and economic efficiency while improving the overall quality of life” –
In November, the Pell Center at Salve Regina University released a report - State of the States on Cyber Security - on cyber security efforts in eight state governments across the US. (The chart on page 8 provides a nice snapshot) This is an important topic, and one that has been wildly under-examined. Additional information on state cyber efforts is available in papers and studies by organizations like the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (
This article examines the challenge facing cyber intelligence analysts who have to explain threat information and analysis to non-technical consumers, like executives or law enforcement. It explains why these challenges are common, but are often more pronounced in state and local government contexts. Finally, it proposes a conceptual framework to think about the tradeoffs such analysts face, examines similar challenges in other policy areas, and offers strategies for communicating threat information effectively under various constraints.
The recent tumult around the emergence of a dossier suggesting salacious things about President Donald Trump has cast light on a series of for-profit intelligence firms with names like “Orbis International” and “Fusion GPS.” Such organizations are part of a huge industry providing information, analysis, and “decision advantage” for companies, investors, political parties, and often government agencies. It is a giant industry, and one that was predicted with remarkable insight i
During the presidential primary, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz suggested increased surveillance and policing of Muslim neighborhoods in the United States. This suggestion has rightly provoked the ire of many people across the political spectrum. Even more than being out of step with American values, these strategies are counterproductive to good counterterrorism policy.
"Brian Nussbaum, a former intelligence analyst who now is an assistant professor of public administration at University at Albany in New York, said that because the hoaxes are low-cost and fairly easy to make with advanced phone technology, he expects this is only the start for school administrators.
“It’s not the case that these technologies are totally foolproof,” Nussbaum said, “but they are much more complicated to monitor and trace back.”
"Because their livelihoods depend on it, technology companies are developing more secure encryption, which safeguards the lawful and unlawful alike, said Brian Nussbaum, a former senior intelligence analyst with the New York state homeland security office and now a professor at the University of Albany, State University of New York.
“The technology is only moving in one direction,” Nussbaum said. “Encryption is only becoming more widely available, less expensive, more effective and — the really important driver is — easier to use.”"
"University professors Brian Nussbaum and Jim Steiner, and Rick Mathews, Director of the National Center for Security & Preparedness were among the panel of six experts who gave brief talks and took questions from the audience. Nussbaum is an assistant professor of Public Administration. “There were a lot of interesting questions about security, and the tradeoff that comes with certain kinds of security measures and the implications for France, homeland security here in the United States,” Professor Nussbaum said."
"The institute has been the model for what academia can do for government in the cybersecurity field and has led innovation both in government practices and major research, said Brian Nussbaum, a cybersecurity professor at the University of Albany in New York.
“On both sides they're a well-known and well-respected brand,” he said."
"“Once data is breached, it is almost impossible to know whether or not, or when, that data has made its way into these black markets,” said Brian Nussbaum, a cybersecurity professor at the University of Albany in New York. “It is probably best to assume that breached data is likely to end up in such dark corners of the Internet and to exercise caution as such.”"
"That inability to address growing cyber risk is part of what makes state and local governments easy targets for hackers, says Brian Nussbaum, a professor focusing on cybersecurity at the State University of New York at Albany. At the federal level, defense and intelligence agencies have large security staffs with deep expertise that other federal agencies often rely on. “States really don’t have that deep well of technical assistance to draw upon,” says Nussbaum."
"FBI Director James Comey has said that voter-registration sites in at least a dozen states — including Arizona — were targeted by hackers.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has broached the idea of increasing the protection for the nation’s voting systems. They could potentially be put under the umbrella of critical infrastructure, which currently includes the electrical grid and the banking system, among other things.