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Washington’s attorney general and two lawmakers’ favors stronger data breach laws

April 22nd, 2015

Washington’s attorney general and two lawmakers are calling for stronger data breach laws after the recent incidents of Premera Blue Cross and Anthem, Inc. data breaches. Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Sen. John Braun, and Rep. Zack Hudgins wrote an opinion piece in The Olympian this week.

As per the statement, current state data breach law is a decade old and obsolete and more meaningful and timely notification laws are necessary. They are trying to close current loopholes. The proposed legislation would require that individuals and the attorney general be notified within 45 days of a data breach occurring.

“In the present statute, there are too many loopholes about when notification must be provided, leaving consumer’s vulnerable to financial fraud and identity theft,” the opinion piece said. “The current law is alarmingly vague on the timeline to notify consumers when data has been compromised. And unlike other states, our current statute does not require notification to the Attorney General when a data breach puts state residents at risk.”

The proposed legislation states that HIPAA covered entities are “deemed to have complied with the notice requirements” if they have “complied completely with section 13402(f) of the federal health information technology for economic and clinical health act, Public Law 111-5.”

Murray discussed the data breach notification process as he was upset with the Premera data breach. He said that it was troubling that it took Premera so long to notify individuals, the media, and lawmakers that an incident took place.

“These failures are particularly troubling given the scope of the attack,” Murray wrote. “It is my hope that Premera can move with great speed and efficiency to ensure that my constituents receive prompt notice and information about the services that are being made available to them.”

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Possible data breach in UMASS

January 27th, 2015

The University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Memorial Medical Group (UMMMG) found out that an employee allegedly accessed patient billing information outside their normal job functions. UMMMG started investigating in depth for  breach issue and and notified local law enforcement.

UMMMG mentioned that this employee no longer works for the company. According to the reports,local law enforcement also discovered an unauthorized individual in possession of copies of patient billing information. Affected information includes patient’s names, addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, and Social Security numbers. Other information which may get affected includes phone numbers, email addresses and credit or debit card information used for payments to UMMMG.

According to the UMMMG statement:

We deeply regret this incident and any inconvenience it may cause our patients. To help prevent this type of situation from happening again, UMMMG is further strengthening its privacy and information security program, including identifying additional measures and enhancements to existing safeguards to protect patient information. UMMMG is also re-enforcing staff education regarding our policies and procedures to safeguard patient information.

UMMMG is committed to the security of patient information and we are taking this matter very seriously. We began sending letters to potentially affected patients on January 30, 2015, and have established a dedicated call center to assist patients with any questions.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

Big banks and retailers lock horns over Data breach

February 3rd, 2014

 

Target customers personal information of about 110 million was exposed during the data breach. It was notified by the Justice Department after suspicious activity involving payment cards used at Target stores. Also Neiman Marcus computer was attacked by hackers. It was notified late to the customers as company required confirmation for the breach.

Target Executive Vice President John Mulligan started his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee with an apology before blame game started between big banks and retailers. He stated during first part of hearing, “We know this breach has shaken their confidence in Target, and we are determined to work very hard to earn it back.” According to Mulligan, company hired its own independent team of experts to conduct a forensic investigation after the breach.

Personal information like credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, PIN numbers and codes on the cards’ magnetic strips was compromised after 40 million credit and debit card accounts of Target were breached late last year. Also non card information like names, phone numbers and email and mailing addresses of 70 million Target customers were also stolen.

Neiman Marcus computer was also affected by the breach. Michael Kingston, senior vice president of the Neiman Marcus Group said, “The malware was evidently able to capture payment card data in real time, right after a card was swiped, and had sophisticated features that made it particularly difficult to detect, including some that were specifically customized to evade our multilayered security architecture that provided strong protection of our customers’ data and our systems.”

FTC Commissioner Edith Ramierz and William Noonan, a top agent with the Secret Service’s cyber operations branch are expected to report the Senate Judiciary Committee following testimony from retailers.

With the seriousness involved in the breach data it is advised companies to put all security measures in place. Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

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Target: Credit Card Data Breach on Black Friday

December 13th, 2013

No organization or company would like to hear about data breach incident that may put consumer credit card information at stake. US retailer, Target is investigating a massive data breach that begin this Black Friday, the biggest shopping day in the US.

It was reported that the data breach incident occurred in the Target retail store and not online. It could potentially involve millions of consumer credit cards from all Target retail locations. The theft involves grabbing the data stored on the magnetic strip of cards.

The data stolen would allow thieves to create counterfeit credit cards by transferring the stolen data on to any card with a magnetic stripe. If the thieves were also able to capture debit card PIN data, they could create fake cards and use ATMs to remove cash from accounts.

Target consumers who shopped at their stores were asked to be alert about any suspicious activity on cards that they used at the retailer. A victim told that he and some of his friends became the target of a similar kind of breach last year at a very popular establishment in Virginia that has some outlets in US. Fortunately, security departments at banks were on the lookout and caught most illegal transactions using the fake cards. His wife was actually called by their bank while standing in line buying groceries with her debit card when a simultaneous purchase using a fake card with her information was going on in Texas.

During these situations consumer is usually protected but the process of canceling and reissuing of cards proves to be inconvenient sometimes. Lawsuits between banks, that business and insurance companies are still arguing as to who was ultimately at fault.

Most of the times companies and banks do not like to talk about these issues publicly, but if the result of breach incident proves to be accurate, it will be one of the largest consumer credit card data breaches in history.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

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Data Theft at JPMorgan

December 10th, 2013

A warning has been sent across 465,000 holders of JPMorgan prepaid cash cards issued by the bank that their personal information may have been accessed by hackers who attacked its network.

The cards were issued for corporations to pay employees and for government agencies to issue tax refunds, unemployment compensation and other benefits.

JPMorgan reported the law enforcement as soon as it detected that its web servers used by its site www.ucard.chase.com had been breached.

Bank spokesman Michael Fusco said that since the breach was discovered the bank has been investigating to find out exactly which accounts were involved and what pieces of information could have been taken. He declined to discuss how the attackers breached the bank’s network.

Fusco said the bank is notifying the cardholders about the breach because it cannot rule out the possibility that their personal information was among the data removed from its servers. The cardholders account for about 2 percent of Fusco’s roughly 25 million UCard users.

The bank typically keeps the personal information of its customers encrypted, or scrambled, as a security precaution. However, during the course of the data breach, personal data belonging to those customers had temporarily appeared in plain text in files the computers use to log activity.

The bank believes “a small amount” of data was taken, but not critical personal information such as social security numbers, birth dates and email addresses.

Cyber criminals covet such data because it can be used to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards and engage in identity theft. Many states require banks to notify customers if they believe there is any chance that such information may have been taken in a breach.

The bank is also offering the cardholders a year of free credit-monitoring services.

The warning only affects the bank’s UCard users, not holders of debit cards, credit cards or prepaid Liquid cards.

Fusco said the bank has not found that any funds were stolen as a result of the breach and that it has no evidence that other crimes have been committed. As a result, it is not issuing replacement cards.

The bank said it does not know who was behind the attack, though the Secret Service and FBI are investigating the matter.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

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