Data Breach

Our top 5 findings from IT security audits

What are the top things we have learned from performing 200+ security audits? 1.  The “major issues” do not change Good security is good security, and you can think of the major security issues as being giant “targets” within your organization.  Targets which the bad guys hope will come into their line of fire, and they are regularly shooting at. You can easily spot and name these targets: User awareness, access control, backups/recoverability, etc.  These are the primary topics that most compliance requirements are based on. Identifying these large targets and putting in the appropriate safeguards to make these targets [...]

By | 2018-12-07T16:21:24+00:00 May 25th, 2018|Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Data Breach, Information Security, Research, Viruses, Vulnerabilities|Comments Off on Our top 5 findings from IT security audits

Everything you wanted to know about Ransomware…but were afraid to ask

What is Ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malicious software that prevents users from accessing their computer system or files until a sum of money (ransom) is paid. In the malware landscape, ransomware has earned itself a well-deserved nasty reputation. There are two types of ransomware identified in this branch of the malware family tree; 1) locker ransomware and 2) crypto ransomware Locker ransomware effectively locks Windows access preventing the user from accessing their desktop or files. Typically designed to prevent access to one’s computer interface, Locker ransomware mostly leaves the underlying system and files unaltered.  A message would be [...]

By | 2018-12-07T16:14:54+00:00 May 18th, 2018|Data Breach, Encryption, Information Security, Malware, Privacy, Uncategorized, Viruses, Vulnerabilities|Comments Off on Everything you wanted to know about Ransomware…but were afraid to ask

Security Incident Case Study – A MSSP Run Amok

This is a case study of a security incident that occurred recently. The purpose of sharing this case study is to provide an example as to why proper security measures must be constantly validated both internally AND externally to include Managed Service Providers.     Security Incident Overview A valid user account (UserX) downloaded a malicious executable file on the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) server used by employees for remote desktop access in the middle of the afternoon. The updated security software on the server blocked the file from executing and placed it into Quarantine. Upon closer inspection, after being alerted [...]

By | 2017-01-17T23:33:08+00:00 January 17th, 2017|Computer & Network Security, Data Breach, Uncategorized, Vulnerabilities|Comments Off on Security Incident Case Study – A MSSP Run Amok

Law Firm Breach Used for Insider Trading Profit

Three Chinese citizens are charged for insider trading after allegedly making $4 million by using information obtained from Law Firms.  The breach has to do with stolen credentials and malware planted within Firm systems - a very common tactic.  The Law Firm names have not been released yet.  Firms are typically diligent with Banking and Healthcare data, but this breach had to do with a merger that was in the works.  The hackers bought shares before the announcement and profited from the stock increase.  This highlights the need for more than just basic cyber security products.  A more disciplined approach [...]

By | 2016-12-30T13:19:30+00:00 December 28th, 2016|Computer & Network Security, Data Breach, Information Security, Social Engineering|Comments Off on Law Firm Breach Used for Insider Trading Profit

Ransomware! – It’s here to stay…

“My firm WILL be affected by ransomware.” If you intone that rather gloomy mantra to yourself every morning before you go to work, you might end up being prepared to deal with the situation when it happens. Ransomware is a type of malware that most often encrypts the contents of a hard drive and then rather helpfully offers you an email address or phone number to contact for removal instructions. And did I mention they’re going to ask for payment for the key to your now locked-up hard drive? They’ll ask for payment. And when the email with the funny [...]

By | 2015-10-02T08:39:49+00:00 August 28th, 2015|Compliance, Computer & Network Security, Data Breach|Comments Off on Ransomware! – It’s here to stay…

How Does Ashley Madison Threaten Your Organization?

Extortion is not usually a topic that employers have on their radar regarding their employees.  Most employers know they need to protect themselves against viruses, and "hackers", but they often don't think about the social engineering tactics that attackers may use to target employees.  However, when users put their private information on "secure" websites, they may assume this information is safe.  But, as the old adage goes, "assume anything you put online can be made public", and it is likely that all of the users of the Ashley Madison website failed to consider the implications. For more details about the Ashley [...]

By | 2015-08-27T12:05:05+00:00 August 26th, 2015|Data Breach, Information Security, Phishing, Social Engineering|Comments Off on How Does Ashley Madison Threaten Your Organization?

What every organization should know about HIPAA

What Is The HIPAA Privacy Rule? Accoprding to HHS.gov, "The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically." In other words, the privacy rule sets forth standards to protect health related information specifically controlled by organizations that handle electronic forms of medical records. What is the HIPAA Security Rule? Also according to HHS.gov, "The HIPAA Security Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ electronic personal health information that is created, received, used, or [...]

By | 2014-09-30T08:25:37+00:00 September 30th, 2014|Compliance, Data Breach, HIPPA, Information Security, Research|0 Comments

HHS Enforces Penalties for Losing Less Than 500 Patient Records

The Hospice of Northern Idaho (HONI) has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $50,000 to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule.  Source: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/enforcement/examples/honi-agreement.html HONI reported that an unencrypted laptop was stolen in 2010 and that it contained 441 patient records.  HHS began an investigation and discovered that HONI had not performed a risk analysis to safeguard their PHI nor did it have any policies or procedures in place regarding mobile device security which is required by HIPAA. The HITECH breach notification rule requires covered entities [...]

By | 2014-09-17T08:59:20+00:00 September 16th, 2014|Compliance, Data Breach, HIPPA, Information Security|0 Comments

eBay Asking Users To Change Passwords

Ebay will be forcing users to change their passwords later today, according to their announcement.  According to the announcement, employee credentials were stolen and used to access internal databases containing "customers' name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth."  The theft was not discovered until a couple of weeks ago even though it took place nearly 2 months ago.  This is another example of why proactive log monitoring and correlation is essential for organizations with any type of sensitive data.  As the data breaches continue, Target is quickly finding itself among company. Ebay says that passwords were [...]

Study: Cost of Data Breaches Increasing

A study published by Ponemon Institute, and sponsored by IBM, purported that the average total cost of data breaches increased 15% in the last year to $3.5 million, or $145 per record containing protected information.  The study included participants from 314 companies in at least 10 countries.  There are a number of key facts that the study shows regarding reduction factors in the cost of a breach, as well as factors that increase the cost.  The study found that appointing CISO, maintaining a business continuity management program, and developing an incident response program can reduce the cost per record of a [...]