Archive for the ‘Security’ Category

3_Zendesk

Zendesk, a company that offers online tech support to more than 25,000 clients, announced a security breach on Feb. 21. Hackers accessed support records for three of its customers: Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr, according to .

The hackers downloaded email addresses and other contact information of users who emailed Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr for tech support. All three sites have alerted affected users and recommend they stay alert to spear-phishing and other fraudulent emails.

The attack, the most recent in a long week of high-profile hacks, demonstrates the inherent data security risks when dealing with third-party vendors. Whether a consultant or business partner, accountant or law firm, if a third-party firm doesn’t have adequate data security policies, your business is vulnerable by association.

In a 2012 survey of data recovery vendors, the that 87 percent of respondents suffered a data breach in 2010 or 2011—and a whopping 21 percent happened at the hands of a third-party vendor. While 83 percent said business partners should ensure safe data-handling practices, only 9 percent actually reported doing so. In an earlier 2010 report, Ponemon found that 39 percent of all data breaches happened on a third-party vendor’s watch. However you slice it, trusting your sensitive data to another business is risky at best and downright dangerous at worst.

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3_Data Diet

Losing some excess flab should be at the top of the list of New Year’s resolutions for your small to medium-sized business.

Not you, owner and proprietor. You look great. It’s the reams of data jiggling around your company’s servers and hard drives that could use some trimming.

Monday is the perfect time to start. It’s National Data Privacy Day, created to raise awareness about the importance of keeping personal information private, especially on social networks and the Internet.

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As more consumers pick up their smartphone and tablet to go holiday shopping, cyber crooks will try just about anything to dupe them out of their hard-earned money.

Forty percent of identity theft victims were targeted while making online purchases in 2011, according to an identity fraud report by Javelin Strategy & Research. Meanwhile identity fraud increased by 13 percent, with more than 11.6 Americans falling prey to the scams.

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One by one, like toy soldiers under fire, the country’s largest banks are being peppered with distributed denial-of-service attacks, or DDos.

In early September, test attacks began on small banks’ sites. Then JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America were assaulted. Most recently , U.S. Bancorp and PNC Financial came under the digital hammer.

DDoS attacks have been around for a long time. Basically, a computer server is bombarded with requests in an attempt to make a site unavailable for intended users. The server becomes overloaded and cannot respond, or becomes paralyzingly slow. In the recent cases, online banking sites received so much traffic their websites went down. Down time, of course, means money lost. A sustained attack can cripple sites indefinitely.

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Younger generations tend to be more in-tune with technology, whether it’s waiting in long lines for the new iPhone, tweeting throughout their day, or downloading the newest app.  But, do youth tend to disregard practical safeguards to keep their information safe? This infographic explains some of their questionable behavior.

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By Henry Alpert

When my fiancée and I evacuated for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, like other New Orleans residents we thought we’d return home in a few days. We prepared for a short trip, but it wasn’t until two months later that we were able to return to our barely functioning city.

As New Orleans got back on its feet and everyone exchanged their Katrina stories, locals developed new game plans about what to do for future evacuations. Hurricane Isaac wasn’t as monstrous as Katrina, but my now-wife, who is seven months pregnant, and I thought it best to take our 3-year-old son and dog out of harm’s way. For the Isaac evacuation, I was better prepared and took steps to safeguard my family’s financial accounts and identities:

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Naming tropical storms has been around since 1950, largely to avoid confusion among forecasters when more than one storm is brewing. But Hurricane Isaac, , has taken this anthropomorphic practice to a new level.

Rush Limbaugh says the storm, or the hype around it, is Obama’s fault. A Ron Paul for President Facebook fan page wonders if the storm has a vendetta against the GOP for denying him the nomination. (The post didn’t get too many “Likes.”) The Examiner.com asks readers if the hurricane’s possible path suggested it was a Democrat. And the Internet wonders if it the storm will be as strong as the drinks served by the Love Boat bartender, Isaac Washington. (See attached image, courtesy of .)

Despite the many faces attached to this hurricane, we know tropical storms are no laughing matter. They endanger you, your loved ones and your personally identifiable information.

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While many consumers have embraced mobile banking and been generally pleased with their experience, data also shows that some consumers still are reluctant to adopt new payment technology that could make their shopping experiences online and in the real world more convenient.

Experts have often cited consumer fears over the security of mobile wallet systems as the largest hurdle to widespread adoption of the technology, ahead of even the fact that the technology required to complete such a transaction is not widely available, according to . As a consequence, the companies developing these mobile purchasing platforms will likely need to do a bit of work to reassure consumers that their systems are secure.

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Does your company follow practices that can lead to data loss? View our slideshow to learn the surprising main causes of data breaches and read our expert tips to protect your company’s data.

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By Ondrej Krehel,

Thanks to modern technology, it’s getting easier to access precious data on databases. The loss of consumer information in high-profile data breaches underscores the need for safe practices.

I’ve identified some common unsafe practices that have led to a number of such data loss incidents. Take a look at these 15 major security flaws:

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