The NFL Twitter Hack Shows We Need to Move Past Password Protection

Libraries, professional athletes and the general public can invest significant time developing complex passwords to protect their accounts, but nothing can change the fact that a malicious attacker with an internet connection can hack an account with nothing more than a keyboard. For decades, the public have happily relied on passwords—those unique combinations of letters, numbers and symbols—to protect their online accounts and information. While most know that anything connected to the internet is accessible by anyone on Earth, including the criminal with a keyboard… Continue Reading

Cyber Insurance: Enabler of Ransomware Events? Not Quite

Ransomware is once again front and center in the news with reports of a rash of attacks on public and private entities throughout the United States. Some suggest that the proliferation of cyber insurance is fanning the flames of cyberattacks, but there is scant evidence to support that conclusion. In fact, cyber insurance merely offers insureds options in how to respond to a ransomware event. A recent ProPublica article speculates that cyber insurance’s ability to assist insured’s operations to quickly recover from a ransomware event… Continue Reading

Considering Legal Privileges in the Cybersecurity Context

Any organization that is cognizant of its cybersecurity obligations faces a fundamental problem: the greater the effort to increase security, the greater the number of documents generated, memorializing those efforts. Those documents could be discoverable in the event of litigation. The law of privilege in the context of pre-breach planning, including application of the attorney-client relationship to third-party technology vendors and security engineers, remains largely uncharted. The thought leaders at The Sedona Conference are taking steps to help frame the dialogue and set the stage… Continue Reading

Breach Settlements Are Helpful Cybersecurity Reminders

Over the past month, a number of high-profile cybersecurity settlements have been reported. These cases continue to remind companies to take steps both to secure personal data and sensitive materials, including data stored by third-party vendors, as well as to conduct a prompt and comprehensive forensic investigation into any incident to ensure both a factually correct determination, and, if necessary, timely notice to impacted individuals. On April 18, 2019, a multi-million dollar class-action settlement out of Washington State University was approved relating to the theft… Continue Reading

Congress Concludes Additional Federal Oversight Needed after Equifax Data Breach

“Equifax…failed to implement an adequate security program to protect this sensitive data…Such a breach was entirely preventable.” So concludes the December 2018 report on “The Equifax Data Breach” by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The cause, according to the report, was Equifax’s “acquisition strategy [to benefit] bottom line and stock price,” which “growth brought increasing complexity to Equifax’s IT systems, and expanded data security risks.” Risks, it seems, Equifax did not manage. In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security… Continue Reading

Data Privacy Goes [Back] to Washington

One of most interesting parts of the “Framework to Advance Interoperable Rules (FAIR) on Privacy” released on October 22, 2018 by the Information Technology Industry Council, a lobbying group representing Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Visa and many others, may be the admission that the fundamental privacy principles intended to inform the development of future legislation were designed some 45 years ago in Washington D.C. by the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In July 1973, the United States Department of… Continue Reading

Encouraging Greetings from BlackHat USA 2018: the world’s leading information security event in Las Vegas, Nevada

As this author, and 10,000+ other attendees were reminded yesterday at Day One of the BlackHat USA 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, cybersecurity (and data protection) has extended beyond a technical issue to encompass one of the most pressing social and political problems in the world today. For those technical specialists who create, maintain and secure the digital space in which we not only conduct business, but also live a significant portion of our lives, the message was clear: only by collaborating with other… Continue Reading

New York Cybersecurity Regulations Extended to Credit Reporting Agencies

This week, Governor Cuomo has directed the Department of Financial Services to issue a final regulation requiring credit reporting agencies to comply with cybersecurity regulations applied to financial service companies, previously adopted in 23 NYCRR 500, et seq. The new regulation, 23 NYCRR 201, et seq., obligates credit agencies reporting on 1,000 or more New York consumers to register annually with the DFS, and, beginning November 1, 2018, to comply the previously adopted standards, including adoption of a cybersecurity program and CISO, and other controls.… Continue Reading

Shared InfoSec Language Fosters Shared InfoSec Goals

While most business leaders agree that cybersecurity has significant value, determining exactly where and how to spend company dollars on training and infrastructure continues to be a point of disagreement within organizations. Intelligent communication using a shared vocabulary, according to a recent Focal Point Data Risk report by the Cyentia Institute, is vital to achieving consensus, and a comprehensive security plan. As the barriers between the c-suite and IS department continue to diminish, thanks, in part, to widespread adoption of a chief information security officer… Continue Reading

Litigation Opportunities follow Cryptocurrency Market Vulnerabilities

The Coinrail cryptocurrency exchange based in South Korea fell victim to a “cyber intrusion” causing a 10 percent decrease in bitcoin price, and similar losses across other digital currencies around the globe. Approximately 30 percent of the coins traded on that exchange were “lost” following the attack, valued at approximately $40 million, of which two-thirds were promptly “withdrawn or frozen in partnership with related exchanges and coin companies.” As for the other third, the exchange is reportedly analyzing the server access history, which was… Continue Reading