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Long live the new Cybersecurity Czar!

December 28th, 2009 by Agent Smith (1) endpoint security,In The Spotlight,security breach

A nice Christmas present wrapped up and delivered to the cybersecurity world. When we all started to doubt there will be a czar appointed in 2009, when all hopes were fading after months and months of delay (the initial announcement was made in May), the Obama administration finally chose Howard Schmidt to fill this position.

Schmidt is also a former member of the Bush administration and will be the leading star of the cybersecurity initiative, although experts fear the position does not come with any real power, says the Dark Reading. A little background info on the new czar:

Schmidt, who most recently served as president and CEO of the international nonprofit Information Security Forum and was previously chief information security officer at eBay and at Microsoft, said in a statement that he looks forward to bringing to the table all stakeholders in efforts to better secure U.S. networks and systems. He will work with the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.

Schmidt will have to settle all differences between the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, add a side of Deparment of Defense and other federal agencies involved in related projects, and serve a over common and effective US cybersecurity posture. And all this on a not so significant budget and with not so much power over these US security giants. We all wish him best of luck!

Happy Holidays!

December 25th, 2009 by Agent Smith (0) In The Spotlight

We wish you warm, joyful and safe holidays this year! All the best from the Endpoint Security Info team!


Everyone loves stolen data, even the French authorities!

December 14th, 2009 by Agent Smith (0) Data Theft & Loss,In The Spotlight,security breach

Close-up of test tubes wrapped with Indian banknotes of different denominationsFrench financial authorities might have just blown away an interesting case against people suspected of tax evasion because they have used stolen data in their investigation. The French had come across a list of 3000 of their nationals suspected of using Swiss banking secrecy to pay less or no taxes. But the list has been handed to them by a former IT worker at HSBC in Switzerland who, as it happens, did not have the bank’s approval to give it to the French…

The Swiss HSBC confirmed one of their employees was suspected of stealing data (in the 2008-2007 interval), but said case only involved a list of 10 accounts. A conviction of sorts isn’t confirmed, but the former IT employee is rumored to have fled to France where he benefits from French protection.

French newspapers quoted by The Register claim that the stolen list actually contained 4000 names of French clients, all of them holding abut 6 billion EUR, of which only a part were actually suspected of tax evasion. More on this case in The Register and The Times.

Security pros expected to be in high demand for hiring

December 2nd, 2009 by Agent Smith (0) In the News,Research and Studies

With chief information officers planning to increase hiring, even if just a bit, in the first quarter of 2010, who they are looking to hire is the next big question. And according to a recent survey, they are making the right choices, as security professionals are among their high priorities, together with networking and application development personnel.

Robert Half Technology interviewed 1400 US CIOs to reach their results, which predict a net 3% increase in IT hiring activity, spread across companies of all sizes in Q1 of 2010. The net increase was reached after putting together the 7% who expect additions to their staffs with the 4% that expect reductions.

The health services industry stands out as a bright spot in the hiring report, with 16% of health services CIOs planning to expand their IT departments and just 3% planning cutbacks. Many health services CIOs pointed to increased staff needs stemming from the development of enterprise-wide applications.

I wonder if the high IT pros demands of health companies have anything to do with all the security breaches and data loss or theft of the past year or so… I bet it does!