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Sensitive BP info revealed in hacking contest

July 31st, 2010 by Agent Smith (0) Data Theft & Loss,In The Spotlight,security breach

If you think BP have their hands full with the oil spill and the whole environmental mess they’ve caused in the Gulf of Mexico, think again. It seems they lack all kinds of security – not only can’t they drill for oil in a safe environment, their data security is also poor.

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The Defcon hacker contest organized in Las Vegas is a hacking competition that has its contestants trick employees of large companies into spilling out potentially sensitive information. The purpose is – and targeted companies should thank the organizers for that matter – to show how gullible people can be and how this becomes a major security vulnerability. Read more

Lost thumb drive leads to potential data breach

July 29th, 2010 by Agent Smith (0) Data Encryption,Data Theft & Loss

A thumb drive containing personal data of current and past graduate medical education residents and fellows at Cooper University Hospital has recently gone missing. Lost around July 8th, the incident has been reported to the proper authorites a few days later who are now looking into the potential security breach only two weeks later.

According to hospital sources, the lost data includes Social Security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. As it always happens in such cases, the data was not in anyway encrypted or protected.

The University later released the following statement:

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The real cost of a security breach: 1 to 53 million USD per year

If you had any doubt that security breaches cost companies a lot, it is all clear now – the damages companies have to deal with after one breach are overwhelming! According to recent reports by te Ponemon Institute, organizations get hit by at least one successful attack per week, and the annualized cost to their bottom lines from the attacks ranges from1 million to 53 million USD per year. The reports were based on the analysis of 45 U.S. organizations hit by data breaches.

Ponemon Institute’s released two separate reports,  ”The First Annual Cost of Cyber Crime Study” (PDF), which was sponsored by ArcSight, “The Leaking Vault” (PDF) released today by the Digital Forensics Association, both showing troubling findings for companies’ finances: Read more

Obama Administration Issues Progress Report On Cybersecurity

July 16th, 2010 by Agent Smith (0) In the News,In The Spotlight

US President Obama and cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt have both issued statements on cybersecurity presenting very optimistic progress reports and supporting increased activity in the private sector.

Some of the points discussed in the progress reports included the recent organizational changes and new cybersecurity initiatives of the Obama administration presented as evidence that the White House is making advances on the cybersecurity front.

“President Obama appointed a Cybersecurity Coordinator to provide White House leadership on cybersecurity issues,” the progress report says. “The Cybersecurity Coordinator leads a new Cybersecurity Directorate within the National Security Staff (NSS), works closely with the economic team, and has created a close partnership with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.”

As stated before while speding a year to decide who will be the czar everyone expected, cybersecurity is considered a “key management priority” by the white house.

“Enhancing cybersecurity is a central component of the Administration’s Performance Management Agenda,” the progress report says. “The Federal Chief Performance Officer has targeted key performance strategies for improving government operations, which include moving to real time monitoring and integrating cybersecurity into system design, rather than bolting it on as an afterthought.”

I am thrilled to see things are movig along just fine and the White House is also focusing on ecouraging cybersecurity projects in the private sector as well. Let’s hope they keep it up and others start following their lead.

For more details of the two statements, visit DarkReading.