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Medical diagnoses of 130,000 people lost

June 30th, 2010 by Agent Smith (0) Data Theft & Loss,In the News

New York-based Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center is the center of attention in security news after exposing sensitive patient information. The lost data was the result of a failed FedEx delivery – CDs with unencrypted data was sent to the Center but never made it to its destination.

The lost data included medical and psychological diagnoses and procedures for over 130 000 patients, as stated in an official notification. An investigation trying to locate the missing CDs was launched back in April, but it failed to recover the data: names, addresses, social security numbers medical record numbers, dates of birth and more, enough for any half-decent identity thief to have a blast.

According to the Register, Licoln is at least note alone in this mess:

Lincoln’s notification to the US Department of Health website came the same day officials at the University of Maine said sensitive details for 4,585 individuals who sought services at the school’s counseling center have been stolen by hackers who compromised two servers. The exposed data included names, clinical information and social security numbers for people who used the service over an eight-year span ending last week.

Other medical facilities to fess up to losing patient data in the past 24 hours, according to the Department of Health website, include Silicon Valley Eyecare Optometry and Contact Lenses, with 40,000 people affected, Kentucky’s Our Lady of Peace Hospital, with 24,600 affected, and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which affected 60,000.

SMBs start taking security seriously

June 28th, 2010 by Agent Smith (0) Research and Studies

Tired of being the main target of cybercriminals and other mean characters of the virtual world, SMBs are reconsidering their stand of security and starting to seriously apply it to their corporate infrastructures. These are the finding of a new survey conducted by Applied Research and published by Symantec. The new report shows that SMBs views have drastically changed over the past year, leading to more spendings on IT security and giving security policies a higher priority.

“Last year when we conducted this survey, a lot of SMBs were very confident in their security posture, but they weren’t always clear on the threat,” says Monica Girolami, senior product marketing manager at Symantec, who worked with Applied Research on the study. “This year they realize that they have gaps in their security stance, and they’re getting more serious — in fact, they rated data loss and cyberattacks as their top risks, even above natural disasters.”

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Cyber attacks: Warfare without a Smoking Gun

June 22nd, 2010 by Agent Smith (0) In The Spotlight

Experts, who recently convened at a Conference organized by the Trans-Atlantic Alliance’s IT Defense Unit in Estonia, warn about the seriousness of cybercrime and cyber espionage at a global level. They encourage both NATO governments and the general public to “wake up”, as cyber war is far easier than a conventional attack.

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“It would take two years, cost less than 50 million dollars a year and involve fewer than 600 hackers to prepare a cyber attack that could paralyze the United States,” – a disturbing assessment by Charlie Miller, security expert who launches test assaults on IT systems. Read more

Senior execs love undermining security

When it comes to high-level executives, the rules of the game often change. They are used to ask for exceptions to be made for them, backdoors to be opened and a whole different set of rules to be applied. This is what turns them in one of the biggest threats to corporate security.

According to Jayson Street, CIO and managing partner of Stratagem 1 Solutions, senior executives often circumvent security rules and policies to suit their needs and whims at the expense of security. The negative effect is that the special treatment leads to enabling cybercriminals to easily gain access to corporate networks by impersonating as management personnel. That is why, because of their systems privilege and access rights, they become ideal targets for all those wanting to hack into corporate networks. Read more

Cybersecurity certifications to be recommended by the White House

June 10th, 2010 by Agent Smith (1) In The Spotlight,Laws & Standards

White HouseWhile their cybersecurity czar plans have been delayed for so long we were all a bit tired for waiting, the White House approach to fighting cyber threats seems to have found a new focus these days: recommending training, exams and detailed certification requirements for cybersecurity professionals employed or contracted by the federal government. And this is going through the careful review of a commission whose main purpose is to advise the Obama administration on cybersecurity policy.

The Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, which in December 2008 issued its Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency report to Congress, is currently working on a sequel to that report, due sometime in late June or early July. The commission, made up of a who’s who of experts and policy-makers, is debating strategies for building and developing a skilled cybersecurity workforce for the U.S., as well as issues surrounding an international cybersecurity strategy and online authentication.

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