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Data Security

The latest on data breaches and cybersecurity and data security by Adam K Levin.


  • Why You Are Vulnerable To Tax Identity TheftColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    A few weeks ago, a friend of mine – let’s call her Mallory – got an unsettling call from her accountant. The accountant had been preparing Mallory’s taxes, hit “Send” to e-file the finished return, and it was rejected. Someone had already filed a tax return using Mallory’s Social Security number. She’d been a victim of tax identity theft. The accountant called the IRS, but they wouldn’t talk to her. Mallory called and was directed […]

  • The Data Breach Factor So Many Companies Forget: EmotionColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    Smart business people know that they must secure their systems to withstand the most determined and persistent real-world, as well as cyber, attacks. They must minimize their risk of exposure by deploying the most sophisticated security and anti-malware software, using outside firms to frequently penetration-test their cyber defenses, continuously training their employees to comply with the most stringent security protocols, investigating every vendor and installing state-of-the-art physical security equipment. They must obsessively monitor all of […]

  • Stanford’s $4 Million Data Breach Settlement Proves You Are Your VendorData Security, Blog

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    My alma mater, Stanford University, is awaiting final judicial approval of a $4 million settlement in a class action suit over its 2011 data breach. Each of the 20,000 class members — whose confidential medical records were left up online for almost a year — will receive $100 and Stanford Hospital & Clinics will fund a $500,000 educational program to help prevent similar breaches in the future. The question, however, is who the program will […]

  • Could BYOD Leave Your Small Business DOA?Column, Data Security, Blog

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    There is a line of thinking among many of my small-business colleagues that allowing employees to supply their own computers and phones – known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD – is both convenient and a great way to save money. Whenever I hear that from anyone, the first thing I ask is if they require these employees to take the appropriate steps to secure these personal machines. If their answer is, “huh?” I […]

  • Medical history

    100 Percent Increase in Criminal Attacks on Healthcare EntitiesData Security, Blog

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    The Ponemon Institute released a report today that includes some alarming news: Criminal attacks on healthcare organizations increased by an eye-popping 100 percent since 2010. With a continued ad-hoc approach to security at many organizations and millions of patients signing up for healthcare made possible by the Affordable Care Act, cybercriminals have been presented with an irresistible opportunity for potential crimes. 91 organizations were included in the study—11 more than last time around. The take-away: […]

  • 5 Ways to Keep Your Passport SafeColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    If you’ve had to go get a new passport lately, you have learned (like me) it’s no longer the easiest thing to prove that you’re you. If you’re a first-timer, you must show up in person with a birth certificate, at least one government-issued ID (two if it’s out of state), photocopies, forms and fees, and then wait your turn. If you lose your passport while traveling abroad, you’ve got to show up at an […]

  • Ever Wonder What an ATM Skimming Device Looks Like?Data Security, Blog

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    You probably know that criminals have long figured out how to trick people into handing over their credit card information. One way is the skimmer. If you thought you’d never fall for that trick, think again. Turns out, skimmers can look a lot like the reader that unlocks doors that lead to bank machines. And because it is very difficult to tell the difference and thieves mount cameras over the machines to capture your PIN, […]

  • 4 Things Your Doctor Doesn’t Need to KnowColumn, Data Security, health care, Blog

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    Watch an episode of SVU, Law & Order or CSI on TV, and you’re bound to hear about doctor-patient confidentiality in hushed, almost reverent terms. Go to a new doctor’s office and, amidst all the other paperwork, you’ll be asked to sign a form enumerating your federally-mandated medical privacy rights. Call a hospital to check in on a friend and you’re likely to hear that those rights prevent them from connecting your call. So then […]

  • Data Breaches by Size in Not-So-Tiny BubblesData Security, Blog

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    For those who think I’ve been beating the war drums about data breaches a lot, take a look at this chart brought to you by InformationIsBeautiful.net. The bubble chart shows all the breaches from the past few years in an easy-to-visualize format.                     As I’ve said before, it’s no longer a question of whether or not you will by breached, it’s only a matter of when […]

  • Hacker

    Why Apple’s Surprise Security Flaw Is Such A Malware NightmareColumn, Data Security, Blog, Privacy

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    There is an Apple enthusiast I know – and I’m sure you have a similar friend – who used to gleefully brag about all the suspicious links he could click on from his phone or computer with no fear of consequences. But after Apple’s confirmation this weekend that it was in the process of creating and issuing patches to resolve a massive security flaw in its operating systems and many of its connected programs, he’s […]

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