A West Palm Beach news station WPTC.com, has reported that Police in Stuart Florida, had to let six suspected drug dealers go free, based on lack of evidence. Evidence that was stored on computers at the Stuart Police Department. It has been reported that hackers, using Ransomware, have locked files which would have been positive proof to enable prosecutors to put the suspected drug dealers behind bars.
Ransomware presents a clear and present danger to most companies, governments and non-profits. Here are some of the basic suggestions to help reduce the threat of ransomware:
Patch Management of systems should always be frequent and tracked thoroughly.
Misuse or misconfiguration of remote access techniques that allow outsiders to penetrate systems and networks undetected.
Access Management issues. Users should be classified and given the least amount of privileges to allow them to effectively do their work. Most administrators are not providing a clear and effective means for granting and managing user rights.
Misconfiguration and/or lack of monitoring Anti-Virus/Malware systems.
Backup verification and validation. Making sure the backup are working correctly.
Of course, Security Awareness is the cornerstone of prevention.
Just letting you know, Ascension will be holding Privacy & Security presentations starting in April, if you wish to attend or wish to contact us regarding this new development, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 425-750-0760.
Overwhelmingly the Washington State Senate passes a sweeping Consumer Privacy Law, posed to be one of the strongest consumer data privacy protection statute in the country.
Senators voted 46-1, in favor of Senate Bill 6281, sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle of Seattle. In the Bill, the following summary was provided to outline the scope of the new law:
Provides Washington residents with the consumer personal data rights of access, correction, deletion, data portability, and opt out of the processing of personal data for specified purposes.
Specifies the thresholds a business must satisfy for the requirements set forth in this act to apply.
Identifies certain controller responsibilities such as transparency, purpose specification, and data minimization.
Requires controllers to conduct data protection assessments under certain conditions.
Authorizes enforcement exclusively by the attorney general.
Provides a regulatory framework for the commercial use of facial recognition services such as testing, training, and disclosure requirements.
As of today, the bill has been advanced to the House of Representatives and currently is in the Innovation, Technology & Economic Development Committee. Scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee on Innovation, Technology & Economic Development on Feb 21 at 10:00 AM.
Ascension will be holding Privacy & Security presentations starting in April, if you wish to attend or wish to contact us regarding this new development, please email us at email@example.com or call at 425-750-0760.
Currently the Washington State Legislative will likely pass a very strong Consumer Data Privacy law. As many of you know, California has already made the first step in clear language dictating that businesses must change the manner in which Consumer data is managed and protected. That legislation is called California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Many other states are in the process of legislation this year like CCPA and/or GDPR.
With the California current law and Washington’s new law, Consumers have rights to the following:
Personal Information Rights
Requiring business not to sell their personal data
Requiring opt IN rather than Opt OUT practices
Right to be Forgotten
A Consumer can require a business to permanently remove any and all Personal Information
Right to Know
Personal Information disclosure by company to a person of what personal information exists and how it is used
Right to equal service and price
Consumer will have the right to object to any profiling, direct marketing and statistical research on current or historical Consumer data. Including clear restrictions on any discriminatory actions by a company against Consumers who wish to exercise their right to privacy.
In our discussions with Policy makers, Washington state as well as other states will have adopted very strong data privacy laws that protects consumer’s. We encourage business to begin considering how to accommodate these near-term changes.
For more Privacy related information please request below:
(This information will not be resold or used in any other way, other than to contact you regarding Privacy Legislation)
Without question, we are seeing security become top of mind for leadership. Many organizations are becoming fearful of the almost certain prospect, that they will become victims of a data breach and/or ransom-ware in the near future. More than ever, firms need to take an offensive position and actively secure their organizations–the first step is knowledge.
Here is a primer for developing and managing a Cyber Security process to help you and your firm become more secure. This is a straight-forward process, we use at Ascension, to help companies achieve high levels of security compliance.
Unfortunately, after a breach, leaders call us to help them recover. I hear many of them say:
“What really happened? Are we responsible? Why did I get targeted?
Please feel free to call and ask any and all questions you may have regarding Cyber Security.
Security Week, a well respected online new service, announced that ” Several major industrial and automation solutions providers have issued advisories in response to the recently disclosed Wind River VxWorks vulnerabilities dubbed Urgent/11. “
It is reported that Company’s with systems from the following have issued notices and/or advisories regarding this Zero Day vulnerability.
At Ascension, we are working to insure ourselves and our clients are protecting both corporate and individual data. Again, I think we need to ask ourselves, are we doing enough our systems and the persons affected. Please Ponder this question and free to call or comment. Thank you
As I was reading my Wall Street Journal online this evening. I can see that Data Breach concerns are becoming louder this year than anytime in the past. In a article “Capital One Cyber Staff Raised Concerns Before Hack” (1) the authors shared indications that before the Capital One Data Breach, there were a number of concerns voiced by staff and others. Issues such as high staff turnover, even at the top levels of the organization. Also, improper or possibly negligent configurations of security related software were slow to be implemented. Capital One’s slogan is “What in your wallet?” It’s catchy! However, I think we all wished that the data in our wallet’s should stay in our wallet!
At Ascension, we find new clients sharing similar issues or concerns. CyberSecurity is not easy nor is it sexy. However, in today’s world, CyberSecurity and Privacy are now a cost of doing business for almost any endeavor. Leadership and technical staff alike, need to focus reasonable and consistant energy on CyberSecurity for the security of their respective customers. Security Assessments are essential to understanding the problem.
Assessment is the first step in understand how your company fairs with regard to CyberSecurity and Privacy. Feel free to comment whether you believe assessments are helpful?
It appears that prosecutors have stated that the Seattle Employee arrested for the Capital One 106 Million User Breach, also “include(s) not only data stolen from Capital One, but also multiple terabytes of data stolen by Thompson from more than 30 other companies, educational institutions, and other entities. “
As I stated last week, “Estimating the cost to the company is typically, at least $100 to $150 per user, it would be easy to estimate the initial cost to Capital One will be well over $100M, and most likely upward of $200M, when you factor in all the internal remediations and legel cost that are never recovered by any company.” Now with 30 possible other companies breached, the businesses may be forced to pay over 500 Million or more.
A movie was just released on Netflix, called “The Great Hack“, which was directed by Noujaim & Amer. This movie describing how Cambridge Analytica was able to change the outcomes of elections here and abroad. As I watched the movie, I was first taken by the right vs. left political commentary–finding myself riled up, like most of us concerned with the devisive nature of politics in America today.
However, as I listened to the journalist from the UK publication, The Guardian. I began to recognize the deeper and far more insidious consequence. The real issue is protecting personal data from nafarious uses against the person themselves. What companies like Cambridge Analytica did and do, is exploit user data against the person’s themselves. Brittany Kaiser of Cambridge Analytica, spoke plainly, stating that firms like her’s, used People’s personal data, targeted against that person to change their personal views without their knowledge, understanding or consent. She called it “Weapons Grade Communications.” Wow!
This movie, coupled with the recent $5 Billion Dollar fine levied against FaceBook, has many of us asking the important question: I’m I really protecting my company’s customers data appropriately?
At Ascension, we are working daily to make sure ourselves and our clients are protecting both corporate and individual data in an appropriate manner. Lately, many of our new clients are asking themselves, “Are we really protecting our company’s and customer’s data?”
I would ask you: “Are you responsible….and if so, what are you going do about it?”
Thank you for listening to my opinions. Paul Scott
Wall Street Journal is reporting Apple CEO, Tim Cook, stated “Our own information—from the everyday to the deeply personal—is being weaponized against us with military efficiency,” Mr. Cook said. “Today, that trade has exploded into a data-industrial complex.”*
Washington’s small to mid-size businesses are not the “data-industrial complex.” However, we can expect strong reactions from state and federal legislators to demand businesses, small to large; to implement much stronger defenses to protect personal data. Also, we shall see tighter prohibitions regarding the collection of personal data. I understand and agree to some extent!
More and more, we are finding leaders beginning improve security and privacy as a matter of business cost control–not as a means of compliance. It is better to make effective, measured improvements over time; rather than get forced by legislation to make significant changes–driven by an arbitrary compliance date.
I was personally involved with knee-jerk legislation, when the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was enacted into law. Many of us–attorneys, auditors, business colleugues were all looking at each other, trying desparately, to intreprete the law. We were also realizing the powerful consequences, if we do not meet the regulatory requirements, on time. Tough times. The company I was working with at the time, spent millions over that year, just to produce a report with two signatures. Huh!