a touch screen showing links between hacking, defense, people, security, and other concepts in blue to illustrate what is cyber resilience
November 30, 2020

What is Cyber Resilience? Should You Worry About It?

What is cyber resilience? is it really something that your business needs to worry about, or is it just a new buzzword?

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November 03, 2020

Will the Vastaamo Patient Data Breach Set a GDPR Penalty Record?

The huge data breach at Vastaamo is setting a new standard for ransomware demands as cybercriminals try a new kind of double extortion. Will it also set a new GDPR penalty record?

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February 25, 2020

Consumers Are Skeptical About Biometric Data Security: How Companies Can Respond

In 2014, Apple’s introduction of the iPhone 6 was more than just an exciting iteration of its flagship product – it was the launch of Touch ID. This blockbuster device ushered in a new era of widespread biometric data use for the layman. Fingerprints had replaced passcodes as device gatekeepers, charged with protecting the most important, sensitive information.

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February 18, 2020

Six Similarities Between GDPR & US Regulatory Requirements

As companies collect and store more and more personal information, they face data privacy risks on many fronts. Increasingly, they are being held accountable for protecting their customers’ digital privacy. New regulations, led by Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, are quickly becoming normative in countries around the world. In total, 58% of all countries have some form of privacy regulations on the books, and another 10% are drafting legislation.

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February 10, 2020

The NY SHIELD Act is Almost Here: How to Stay Compliant

Data privacy regulations are quickly becoming par for the course in countries around the world, each one bringing new, nuanced responsibilities for companies to follow. While Europe’s expansive General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have made most of the headlines, we are just months away from the latest privacy regulation, New York’s “Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (SHIELD) Act.”

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February 06, 2020

The Importance of Building Better Passwords

Good password hygiene is one of the easiest ways for businesses and consumers to protect their accounts from the millions of attacks threatening personal data every day.

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January 29, 2020

That relationship is toxic for you: Why you may need to swipe left on your favorite p@55wOrD$!

Since the start of the new year, we’ve been sifting through billions of compromised email addresses and passwords found on the Dark Web looking for interesting trends in password behavior. Rather than just give you the top 10 passwords to avoid, we wanted to take a closer look at user behavior when creating passwords and how those behaviors lead to predictability and potential exploits. Passwords are often deeply personal expressions of oneself with the goal of making them easier to remember. However, remembering which password is which is becoming increasingly difficult in our hyper-digital daily lives. In fact, it is estimated that average US adult has between 90 and 135 different applications that require a set of credentials (typically a username and/or email address and password combination) for access.

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December 23, 2019

Consumers Respond to Data Privacy Regulations

After years of seemingly unending data privacy violations, governments around the world have begun enacting regulations intended to bolster personal privacy in the digital age. Most prominently, in 2018, Europe’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) set a new standard for data security, prompting companies around the world to take the issue more seriously by instituting financial penalties against organizations that fail to protect their customers’ data. In the US, California’s Consumer Privacy Act is scheduled to go into effect on January 1st, 2020, bringing comprehensive regulation to the US and further promulgating the legal ramifications of data security standards. In total, 58% of all countries have some form of privacy regulations on the books, and another 10% are drafting legislation. These laws are intended to support rapidly shifting consumer sentiments that value data protection and personal privacy, two priorities that have gone wildly adrift in the digital age. Unfortunately, despite their best intentions, there is growing evidence that privacy laws aren’t improving consumer confidence in data security. In response, every company should be mindful of this attitude, as it will inevitably shape the business landscape for years to come. Consumers Don’t Trust Companies Until recently, digital platforms participated in a quiet arrangement with their customers who gained free access to platforms in exchange for copious amounts of personal data. Today, that information is some of the most valuable in the world, often compared to digital gold, which companies deploy to provide targeted advertising and other personalized services that drive their bottom lines. However, today’s consumers are well-aware of this arrangement, and many are fighting back. For example, after Facebook’s now-notorious Cambridge Analytica scandal, nearly half of users aged 18 – 29 deleted the app from their phones, signaling a distrust of the platform’s data management standards and disgust with its practices. Moreover, after a data breach, 81% of consumers indicated that they would stop engaging with a brand online, and many consider cybersecurity a prerequisite for making purchases.

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December 18, 2019

Closing the doors for hackers on a holiday shopping spree: SMB and consumer edition

Over the past several years, holiday shopping trends have shifted significantly. Standing in long lines or driving to crowded malls has been replaced by browsing on social platforms and entering discount codes at website checkouts. This year, Cyber Monday online sales hit an all-time high, reaching a nearly 20% year-over-year increase with online shoppers spending $9.4 billion. However, the allure of single-day shopping sprees has been extended to encompass a full season. Since November 1st, shoppers have spent a record-setting $81.5 billion. In the days and weeks ahead, the figures will continue to add up as the shopping boon crescendos on Christmas and continues for weeks to come. While this is excellent news for SMBs, bad actors have also taken notice. Hackers are zeroing in on this holiday shopping season as the perfect opportunity to siphon off money and credentials from unsuspecting consumers and unprepared companies. Fortunately, neither party is defenseless in this regard. Follow along to learn how we can work together and protect our privacy and security this holiday season, keeping spirits high to usher in 2020. Shoppers Beware 2019 is on pace to be the worst year yet for data breaches, and hackers are capitalizing on the treasure trove of information available from these events to execute phishing scams targeted at shoppers. In November, the number of e-commerce phishing URLs accessed or sent via email spiked . Already, instances of this malicious activity are up 233% since November 2018. Amidst the slew of holiday deals, it’s easy for cybercriminals to send phishing links or exploit shoppers with seemingly valid websites that deploy hallmarks of internet security, like HTTPS encryption. In 2018, the risk was so severe that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a warning to consumers, urging them to “be cautious of unsolicited emails that contain malicious links or attachments with malware, advertisements infected with malware, and requests for donations from fraudulent charitable organizations, which could result in security breaches, identity theft, or financial loss. Collectively, these threats increase the impetus for consumers to be vigilant about evaluating their digital communications during the busy holiday shopping season. Moreover, they should protect their accounts using strong, unique passwords while enabling two-factor authentication whenever possible. It’s estimated that the vast majority of consumers, as many as 66%, use weak passwords to protect their accounts, and more than half use the same password across multiple logins. In other words, simple password management is a foundational practice for guarding against cybercrime and stopping the Grinch from finding his way to the presents underneath your Christmas tree.

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December 12, 2019

The Relationship Between Healthcare & The Dark Web

A data breach is disastrous for any company in any industry, but the healthcare sector is an especially high-stakes arena where data security is of utmost importance and under continual attack. Few types of data are as valuable as Personal Health Information (PHI) and other health-related data like prescription information, health insurance login information, or insurance data. There is a ready market for this information on the Dark Web where healthcare provider information is known to sell for as much as $500 per listing. While patient information goes for significantly less money, as little as $3.25, hackers can make up the difference by selling in bulk, which is part of the reason that today’s hackers are more ambitious than ever, and they are taking the fight to healthcare providers’ digital front doors. Indeed, no one has been spared from the scourge of data breaches afflicting the healthcare system. In October, we reported on a data breach at Tu Ora Compass Health, a national health service that implicated the personal data for more than a million New Zealanders. However, hundreds of smaller healthcare providers, lab service providers, and other healthcare SMBs managing copious amounts of patient data are also under attack. McAfee Labs identified the healthcare sector as one of the most frequently targeted sectors today, far outpacing finance, media, retail, technology, and many others. In total, more than 38 million healthcare records have been exposed this year alone, and this trend shows little sign of abating, which means that defense is the only option. Keep reading to gain a better understanding about the current state of data security in healthcare, which serves as a cautionary tale for companies in every sector striving to keep their data secure. The Current State of Data Security in the Healthcare Sector Never ones to miss an opportunity, cybercriminals have been upping their game in 2019, adapting their techniques to extract data from healthcare providers. A recent survey by Malwarebytes identified a 60% increase in trojan malware detections in the first nine months of 2019, compared to all of 2018. At the same time, ransomware attacks are inflicting costly damage on patient records. In the first quarter alone, hospitals saw a 195% increase in this attack strategy. These data breaches are more than just a costly inconvenience. In the health care sector, it can cost patient lives. Hard data is emerging that connects data breaches and patient outcomes. For instance, researchers found that, after a data breach, “as many as 36 additional deaths per 10,000 heart attacks occurred annually at the hundreds of hospitals examined in the new study.” In a very real way, data security is a life or death issue that relies on many moving pieces to ensure data security and patient well-being. For better or worse, not all data breaches occur in house. Third-party software vendors continue to be a top attack point; however, in many cases, it’s not the software that’s to blame. According to a report on the state of cybersecurity in the healthcare industry, staff negligence provides an open door for phishing and spear phishing attacks that ultimately compromise patient data. With a robust market for patient data and other healthcare-related information, hackers will continue to innovate their methodologies, making it increasingly difficult to identify their tactics. That doesn’t mean that your business is defenseless. How You Can Protect Yourself Despite a complicated cybersecurity environment, healthcare providers aren’t powerless to protect themselves against costly data breaches. Notably, malware attacks – both ransomware and otherwise – require employees to engage with the malicious material for it to be effective. Simply put, bad actors may be able to target healthcare providers with copious amounts of harmful material, but, without an adequate response, much of their efforts are fruitless. Similarly, phishing and spear phishing campaigns can’t compromise credentials unless users hand them over. It’s estimated that 80% of data breaches are attributable to employee negligence, as scams and other malicious emails routinely make their way to employee inboxes causing breach fatigue that puts patient data at risk. Therefore, healthcare providers who offer comprehensive employee awareness training improves their chances of successfully defending against these attacks. In an ever-evolving threat landscape, this training prepares all employees to become a defensive asset in the quest to protect patient data. At the same time, simple security upgrades like two-factor authentication and strong, unique passwords across all accounts can minimize risk exposure while placing barricades in the way of anyone trying to steal patient or company data. Conclusion In 2019 and beyond, providing the best patient care will require a revised take on the Hippocratic Oath. Simply put, first doing no harm will require intentional efforts to protect patient data. It’s a difficult task, but it’s not impossible. Rather than leave it up to chance, partner with ID Agent, which offers an array of products and services that support your data security initiatives: Designed to protect against human error, BullPhish IDTM simulates phishing attacks and manages security awareness training campaigns to educate employees, making them the best defense against cybercrime. When paired with AuthAnvilTM, you can protect your employees’ password integrity by offering integrated multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, and identity management solutions to protect your credentials and your data. With a robust market on the Dark Web, cybercriminals have millions of reasons to continue attacking healthcare IT, which means that defensive maneuvers need to begin right away.

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