Information privacy

Cloud Security Adoption

April 4th, 2015

 

Cloud security is given more and more importance by the health care and pharmaceutical industries. These two represent about 38% from the sample survey for cloud security adoption. Privacy regulations and the related laws require the Protected Health Information (PHI) to be secured.

 

“While these regulations vary by region and local governments, the common theme is to ensure both the data at rest within the cloud application and associated data workflows are protected, which enables these organizations to launch new service portals and provide improved methods for sharing information,” the authors explained.

 

The survey also states that there is rising trend in adoption of data encryption software.

 

“While data encryption is considered the primary method for protecting data in the cloud, additional requirements include the organization’s ability to control access to the encryption keys and preserve search, sort and filtering functions,” the report stated. “Successful cloud security deployments also require workflows and interoperability with both enterprises on-premises applications as well as external cloud-based applications.”

 

Healthcare organization needs to adopt stringent security measures due to HIPAA Omnibus Rule, which also makes third party companies liable for data breach.

 

“For example, a data storage company that has access to protected health information (whether digital or hard copy) qualifies as a business associate, even if the entity does not view the information or only does so on a random or infrequent basis,” the Rule states. “Thus, document storage companies maintaining protected health information on behalf of covered entities are considered business associates, regardless of whether they actually view the information they hold.”

 

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 the 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.

 

Data Breach Round up : Last Month

June 12th, 2014


 

To get overview of recent data breaches, we are summing up the challenges and solutions to prevent information and credibility loss.  All the excerpts are part of communication with Rapid7 global security strategist Trey Ford.

Data Points

It’s crucial, Ford says, to ensure that everyone in your organization is fully aware of the sensitivity of the data they may be handling. “A lot of people are posting data, they’re moving things around – they’re just trying to do their jobs – and for a number of reasons they may not always be aware that, OK, this is a list, this is a database, and some of this data is sensitive,” he says.

While most companies are aware of the importance of protecting clearly sensitive data like Social Security numbers and credit card information, Ford says other data can easily slip through the cracks. “We’re in a culture where it’s been comfortable to give out your phone number, your email address, your mom’s maiden name – and we’ve forgotten that with just a few more data points, you can go through and start creating fraudulent accounts or purporting to be someone else,” he says.

“Attackers are going to be like water – they’re going to follow the path of least resistance,” Ford says. “So it may be that a lot of your core systems are very carefully measured, but you don’t get to wash your hands and shrug off liability when you give sensitive data to external companies.”

Breach Communication

Ford says the recent eBay breach serves as a good example of the importance of responding to a breach correctly. “EBay has historically very heavily invested in great technology, great people. They’ve had a very advanced security program, they’re very aggressive with their measurement strategy, they’re a metrics-driven security organization – and I’m confident that their internal response was actually very swift and well-executed internally,” he says.

Encryption is the answer

Finally, Ford says it’s frustrating to see data breaches resulting from the theft of unencrypted laptops and USB drives continuing to be an issue. “Encryption technology exists, it’s pervasive, every major operating system in production used today has it or has it available, and it’s not even terribly expensive,” he says. “The challenge lies in the fact that it’s hard to manage. There are concerns about, ‘What if the admin leaves, or what if we get locked out of something?’ – and those are valid concerns – but those problems have been solved, they’re addressable, and organizations not using encryption should be the exception, not the rule.”

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.

Data Theft Analysis, Prevention and More

January 26th, 2014

Theft or loss of unencrypted laptops and USB drives is one of the leading causes of data breaches for several past months. There is lot more possibilities of data breach through stolen laptop today as compared to it was decade ago.

“Whether or not, in a particular instance, a thief was looking for the data on the machine, the fact that there is this market in name, address, Social Security number, phone number, credit card data and so on, makes the loss of a device which has got that data on it all the more potentially damaging,” ESET senior security researcher Stephen Cobb says.

“If there’s a difference between a laptop theft today and 10 years ago, it’s that it’s probably got saleable data on it,” Cobb states. “Something that we see in talking to organizations is that a lot of people are not yet fully aware that data about people has a value in a very structured black market.”

“You can buy a 16GB thumb drive at the drugstore for $12, and you can put information on it, the loss of which would cost you a million dollars,” Cobb mentioned.”Not enough people are looking at it like that. For $80, you can buy one that’s encrypted automatically, but they look at the difference in price and they say it’s not worth it. But when you look at the million-dollar impact, it’s a different calculation.”

Another major cause for data breach is related to employees neglect for the policies. He added “Policies and procedures often lag behind the systems that they’re supposed to protect,” he says. Policies have to ensure safety of the data.

“If I were to fault anybody in the employee error side of things, it would be upper management for not realizing the importance of keeping people up to date on these things,” Cobb says. “I’m an opponent of the stupid user theory. Yes, some people do dumb things, and there will always be that element, but an employee isn’t stupid if they haven’t been told what they should and shouldn’t do. And an organization which doesn’t have checks and balances in its processes is more stupid than the employee who makes a mistake and there’s nobody around to catch it.”

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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