Securing Electronic Health Records: Report from HHS Reinforces Need for Contingency Plans

Posted by Ross Moir on Aug 29, 2016 9:06:22 AM


Type “EHR” and “information security” into Google and you will find tons of Internet websites, news articles, and even YouTube videos on touting the various plusses and minuses of electronic health records, or EHR.  In the last few years, the EHR has become the physician’s best friend, as it helps provide better care, better population health and lower heath care costs.  While EHRs might be changing the way hospitals and practice offices operate, there are still issues with using EHRs securely.   According to the HHS Office of Inspector General, nearly “60 percent of hospitals participating in the federal meaningful use incentive program reported an unplanned disruption in their record systems in 2014 and 2015.” [Note that the meaningful use program is a federally backed program designed to encourage adoption of EHRs by doctors and hospitals].  It is also important to note that most of the reported unplanned disruptions were caused by hardware failure, not from cyber attacks.  While hardware failures are a concern, cyber attacks should also be at the top of the list.  Hospitals are facing an increasing number of directed cyberattacks aimed at disrupting and disabling the IT and health record infrastructure. 


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Topics: Cyber Attack, EHR

Kaspersky Report: Malicious Insiders Uncommon, But Devastating

Posted by James Creamer on Aug 25, 2016 11:01:47 AM


Security researchers at Kaspersky Labs released their Threat Intelligence Report for the Telecommunications Industry Monday, revealing the top attack vectors against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Cellular Service Providers (CSPs). The report found that attackers commonly target employees with blackmail. Surprisingly enough, the report found that there are a number of employees that help voluntarily too. Threat actors have been identifying employees from a combination of publically available and data breach information, while dark web forums are full of employees offering their services in exchange for payment and often aide in the blackmailing process. Hacker-recruiters leverage the employee’s access to exfiltrate sensitive information.

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Topics: PAM

Sandboxing: In the Ring with Ransomware

Posted by James Creamer on Aug 18, 2016 3:02:20 PM


Shakur Stevenson, U.S. Olympic Boxer, is set to advance to the Championship bout of the Men’s bantam 56 kg weight class. The young prospect has already secured at least a silver medal for the U.S, and is looking to break the gold medal drought, which hasn’t been won by an American since 2004 in Athens. Staying ahead of your opponent is key in boxing; having the ability to react quickly and counter are instrumental to a fighter. Those same qualities are imperative to organizations too, and should be baked into one’s security posture; and today, one of the toughest opponents is ‘Ransomware’.

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Topics: ransomware

Easier and Faster Two-Factor Authentication from Google: How to Enable Google Prompt

Posted by Adam Byars on Aug 17, 2016 12:33:17 PM


Two-factor authentication is an immensely more secure option for securing your accounts than just using a password. The process has typically been as simple as putting in a spontaneously generated code that is provided to you via an app or SMS, in addition to your password. The extra time that it takes to fetch and type in the generated codes ensures that your account stays secure even if your password is compromised, offering an extra layer of account security. The extra time is also why astoundingly few people take advantage of two-factor authentication.

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Topics: cybersecurity

One APT to Rule Them All: ProjectSauron Remained Hidden for 5 Years

Posted by Ross Moir on Aug 11, 2016 10:03:44 AM



Researchers and security experts at Kaspersky Labs and Symantec have identified a new type of malware platform that has been so advanced and secretive that very few details are just coming to light now.  ProjectSauron as the malware has been named, has been active since at least 2011. What distinguishes ProjectSauron from other APTs and zero day exploits is that it has operated virtually undetected for five years and has multiple modules that can be installed based on needs of the attacker(s).  Security professionals are stopping short of naming its country of origin but suspect that the advanced persistent threat (APT) malware could “…probably have been developed only with the active support of a nation-state,” according to ARS Technica

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Topics: ProjectSauron, malware

The State of Cybersecurity: Some Alarming Statistics

Posted by Jeff Schroeder on Aug 10, 2016 3:19:29 PM


(ISC)2 recently released a report based on the survey results of a targeted pool of executive-level government officials and contractors with the goal of reporting on the state of cybersecurity in the Federal Government. The individuals surveyed are accountable for enterprise-wide security and the key findings from the report paint a rather bleak picture for the federal workspace. While some federal entities protect their assets better than others, it’s hard not to feel like cybersecurity is still consistently put on the back burner when budgets get tight and hard decisions have to be made.

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Topics: cybersecurity

DIY GRC – Using Archer to Build Your Organization

Posted by Lia Konieczny on Aug 9, 2016 3:46:38 PM


Wouldn’t it be great if there were an “easy” button for developing your organization’s governance, risk, and compliance departments? There are several aspects to consider when building out each sector, such as, what kind of control assessments should we have and how often? What kind of approval chain should our policy documents be following? How should we conduct our business impact analyses? Where should we house our asset inventory? How do we tie all of these aspects together? Why is GRC even important?

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Topics: eGRC, RSA ARcher, policy

White House Unveils Color-Coded Scale for Cyber Security Threats

Posted by Ross Moir on Jul 29, 2016 11:39:17 AM


On July 26, the Obama administration released a framework for incident handling around cyber-attacks.  The framework is part of the Presidential Policy Directive on United States Cyber Incident Coordination and action plan that was released in February of this year.  It provides a clear standard of when and how government agencies will handle cyber security incidents. Included in the directive is a new color-coded scale that assigns specific colors and response levels to the danger of a cyber-attack.

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Topics: Cyber Attack, cybersecurity

The Power of High Cyber Security Confidence: What High-Performing Organizations Understand

Posted by Adam Byars on Jul 27, 2016 1:02:45 PM


Cyber security has historically been viewed as something you HAVE to pay for, not want to. This way of thinking is outdated today. Highly successful organizations today understand that confidence in their cyber security is what enables them to grow boldly in today’s world. Confidence in cyber security as a foundation for success is still not often talked about at the executive leadership level. The following are three core values that today’s high-performing organizations understand:

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Topics: cybersecurity

Three Things You Can Do to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Posted by Ross Moir on Jul 26, 2016 1:54:19 PM


With ransomware attacks on the rise in 2016, a lot of organizations are scared.  According to the KnowBe4 2016 Ransomware Threat Concerns survey, many organizations don’t have faith in their backup systems, which compounds the fear of a Crypto-Locker style attack.  The survey of over 1100 companies found that 38% of the companies asked had been hit with a ransomware attack in 2016, up from 20% in 2014.  Ransomware attackers aren’t just limiting attacks to a single industry.  They are hitting hospitals, banking institutions, the manufacturing industry and state and local governments.


What can you do to protect your organization and prevent ransomware attacks from occurring in the first place?  Here are three things you can do today to shore up your defenses:


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Topics: ransomware