Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Dangers of Employee Social Media Usage

Employers are hearing constantly of social media this and social media that. When your employees go on break or eat lunch, they are always on their cell phones talking. But, now there are also applications on phones like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and others where an employee can actually send photo uploads while being mobile and even post to Facebook automatically. Are employees using social media securely?

Does your company have anything in place for protecting confidentiality through social media usage? Do you have a Social Media Security Policy? Employees sign agreements when joining the company but did the business cover disclosing things like pictures or private conversations and even meeting information via Google Buzz or Facebook? What about brand new products being developed that are trade secrets?

If your employees are online working to do their job and Facebook, MySpace, or gaming sites like Pogo are not blocked, how do you know they are doing their work 100% of the time? Just because their production numbers look great, doesn’t mean they are not slacking. Have you done a Social Media Security Assessment?

It is becoming an epidemic in the work force with employees breaking rules and ultimately being fired every day. If security monitoring technologies are in place you could possibly sue the former employee but your trade secrets are gone and so might be your reputation. If an employee is bad-mouthing your company and tells everyone to not buy or shop with you, there goes your business immediately.

You can make a legal policy for employees to sign when they start their job that they will not talk, disclose, or say anything bad about the company on social media sites. If businesses do not step up soon and do something it can be a total free for all!

Here are a few interesting facts to consider. One out of every ten employees admitted overriding their job’s security system so they could access restricted sites. In 2009, 24% of eight hundred employers surveyed said they had to discipline an employee for using social media sites. Another study showed 8% of employees were terminated for accessing Facebook out of two hundred businesses polled. Twenty eight thousand people were polled in the United Kingdom at the beginning of 2010 and a whopping 87% said they can do what they want; it is their right to do so.

It is now believed that social networking will replace email by 2014 as the main way to communicate for 20% of all business owners or users. Is your company prepared for Secure Social Media?

Gary Bahadur

CEO KRAA Security,

*Managed Security Services

*Vulnerability Management

*Compliance & Police Development

*PGP Security

*Free Website Security Test

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Webinar Monday Dec 20: Top 10 Social Media Security Attacks: Reduce Risk and Protect Your Brand

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tips to Avoid Confidentiality Issues When Using Social Networking Media

Social media sites have gained popularity in the past ten years as a medium to keep in contact with loved ones, business associates and friends. However, there can be drawbacks to the usage of said media when one is employed in certain career fields, such as the healthcare industry. Utilizing social media networks can inadvertently give way to the sharing of confidential patient information with people that may not have a need to know which would then cause the company to violate HIPAA Security Rule compliance.

Social media applications are not just a part of one’s personal lifestyle; this has also become incorporated in the corporate climate. Many places use these applications for marketing, file sharing, communication, and employee recruitment. While these applications can open up a great many doors of communication, some type of guidance or governance is necessary. Because banning the use of such sites is most likely unenforceable or impractical, a hospital or other such entity that must shield private information should at least ask or force their employees to adhere to some Social Media Policy guidelines.

For instance, when utilizing social networking sites, one should use separate passwords for the different sites, as an individual can easily hack all of one’s accounts if they know the one password. A security breach of one account could snowball. Passwords should be complex and change every 90 days. Accessing social media sites should be over SSL and only from trusted network connections, not coffee shops especially for business purposes!

In the case of company documents or patient information, if it isn’t found on the company’s web page it probably should not be posted elsewhere. There are sites that exude a feeling of privacy and security, but are far from it. Allowing one’s corporate information security team to determine what sites are acceptable is the best option.

Another thing one should not do is post his or her own identifying information publicly, such as date of birth, his or her social security number, or an employee ID number. If a site requires this information, 1) it is most likely not a reputable site, and/or 2) one could make something up or ensure that it is not going to be displayed in a profile that will be public.

Some information may not be considered confidential; yet not posting these items to public social media sites is probably a good idea. This can include anything from rumors, to purchases the company plans on making, anything about the technology one’s company uses or will use, and any projects the individual may be working on.

So in one’s personal endeavors, it is most beneficial to all involved if confidential information, or information that could be considered secret, stays out of the hands of the public. Follow practical posting guidelines and do not share more information than is necessary in corporate social media activities.

Gary Bahadur

CEO KRAA Security,

*Managed Security Services

*Vulnerability Management

*Compliance & Police Development

*PGP Security

*Free Website Security Test

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

going to TECH TUESDAY Presents the POLITICS of TECHNOLOGY w/ Senator Jeremy Ring at Ecco Pizza in downtown miami today

Saturday, September 25, 2010 Device with sensitive data stolen from Rice University How many victims? 7,250

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Does anyone think that Twitter turning on the geo-tagging feature to make it easy is a security risk? or privacy risk? Could be dangerous
TJX Hacking Conspirator Gets 4 Years
sentenced Thursday in Boston to 46 months in prison and fined $75,000

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Can you protect yourself on Social Media?

One of the greatest challenges to privacy and security in the next several years is Social Networks and Social Media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and others can be the downfall of valuing information. The ability to share and provide information is completely the opposite of network security requirements. This is really encouraging people to do things that are not security conscious activities. Social media encourages:
  • Lack of privacy
  • Encouraging information sharing
  • Giving away answers to security questions
  • Social engineering

As we have seen recently, a lot of spam, spyware and malware is attacking social network. Just in the past week I have probably gotten a 100 requests to be my friend on Facebook from people who i do not know and funny enough, all the message have the exact same personal message. Malicious people are attracted to social networks because of the ease of gaining trust and availability of data for social engineering. Relationship building is easier through social media which can easily lead to phishing attacks.

With these sites, people install applications without knowing what goes on in the background, and its easy to download malicious code to your computer. There are no external third party audits of these applications before the make it to your Facebook application. Your computer can be easily infected by a virus or spyware.

What does the Social Media user to to protect their information?
No Personal information - This is anti-social network, but there are things you can limit about what you post. Don't post your Birthday! Or your address, or your mothers middle name or any really personal data.

Limit who can view and contact you - Don't let your profile be truly public, restrict to people you know for requested users. Remember you can't retract information you put out there.

Dont trust strangers - Your mother was right, don't open the door to strangers. Limit who you accept chat or friend requests from and well as even communicate with.

Trust no one - People lie, its sad but true. So profiles lie, they might say they went to your college or high school. They might be interested in your groups, so dont take anyone at their word.

Restrict your privacy - There are a some configuratin setting in all the social media applications that can allow you to turn on some restrictions on your privcay. Take a minute to actually look at them. One easy example is in Facebook you can creat groups that you can place friend in, you don't want business people seeing what your friends are posting.

Password management - An oldie but a goodie, always use a strong password and don't share it. And change it periodically.

Layers of protection - You should be running a personal firewall and antivirus software on the machine you are viewing social networks. This will help if a malicious piece of software tries to download something to your machine. Keep your protection software up to date as well and run the patch management software on your machine, this is especially important for you Windows users.

Child protection software - You should have some kind of child protection software running on machines where children under 13 are using. This will help with all that shady software that is out there.

Gary Bahadur

Address: 200 Se 1st St #601 Miami FL 33131

*Managed Security Services

*Vulnerability Management

*Compliance & Policy Development

*PGP Security

*FREE Website Security Test

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What is the cost of a Data Breach?

NEW YORK - MAY 20:  In this photo illustration...

SC magazine just reported that the Ponemon Institute has determined the cost of a data breach is $204 per record. "Data breaches last year cost organizations $204 per exposed record on average, which represents an almost two percent increase over 2008, according to the fifth annual "Cost of Data Breach" study released on Monday by the Ponemon Institute... The study, which examined the experiences of 45 U.S. companies that suffered breaches last year, also found that the number of data breaches that were caused by malicious attacks and botnets doubled from 12 percent in 2008 to 24 percent in 2009. In addition, data breaches caused by malicious attacks cost organizations 30 to 40 percent more on average than those caused by human negligence or by IT system glitches." There are a number of ways to protect your data in transit such as PGP Encryption but when the companies looses data, there isnt much the end user can do to protect themselves.

Thats a lot of money. If we look at the data breach of Heartland, which was over 100 million records, that, well let me do the math, may take a minute. Its $20,400,000,000. Thats a lot of money. Condidering I was a shopper mostlikely of Heartland, I do not recall getting a check from anyone for $204. I will not hold my breath for that. We all asked if the retailers like Heartland and TJ Max had a PCI Audit done. Would this have protected our information?

So far, I am pretty sure I recieved a letter offering me free 2 year credit monitoring from Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Countrywide because thet lost my records. I am waiting for my check for $204 from each of those companies. Also, over the past few years I have had to have my credit cards replaced with Chase, American Express, and several Visa versions. So I am still waiting for those $204 checks. Maybe in total I am owed about 9x$204=$1,836. That will be a nice check when I get it.

Security Requirements

So what can a company do to help reduce these data breaches? The easy answers, yet not implemented, include:
1) Encryption of back-up data and tapes
2) Conduct yearly Vulnerability Assessments
3) Conduct Quarterly or Monthly Vulnerability Scanning
4) Implement a Data loss prevention solution
5) Go through a PCI Audit or HIPAA Security Assessment yearly

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Gary Bahadur
Managed Firewall
Managed Vulnerability Scanning