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#nationalcybersecuritymonth | Security experts explain why unlocking the Pensacola shooter’s iPhones would unleash a privacy nightmare for iPhone owners
- Apple’s decision not to unlock or create a backdoor into the iPhones used by a gunman in a Florida shooting last month puts the tech giant at odds with the United States government yet again.
- Security experts agree, however, that circumventing the iPhone’s security poses a significant risk to iPhone users since it would provide a means to obtain private data that even Apple can’t presently access.
- There’s a risk that such a tool could fall into the wrong hands, some experts warn.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Attorney General William Barr recently called on Apple to help unlock the iPhones used by a gunman in Pensacola, Florida last month – a situation that once again requires the tech giant to balance protecting consumer privacy with its legal obligation to assist in investigating a shooting that’s resulted in the loss of American lives.
But security experts agree that providing access to the shooter’s iPhone could jeopardize the security of the millions of iPhones in use around the world.
„In essence, you’re trying to make a weapon that can only be used on a single target,“ Jacob Doiron, an information systems lecturer at San Diego State University, said to Business Insider. „But that’s not the nature of weapons, or exploits. They are applicable to any device that has that profile or configuration.“
On Monday, Barr said that Apple had not provided any „substantive assistance“ in getting access to two iPhones belonging to the shooter, Mohammad Alshamrani, who killed three people at a naval airbase last month. But Apple has since refuted that characterization, saying that it had provided iCloud backups, information, and other data from Alshamrani’s account in cooperating with the investigation. Now, Apple is reportedly gearing up for a legal battle with the Department of Justice to defend its position, according to The New York Times.
„We have always maintained there is no such thing as a backdoor just for the good guys,“ Apple said in a comment to Business Insider. „Backdoors can also be exploited by those who threaten our national security and the data security of our customers.“
Apple took a similar position in 2016 when it was caught in a stand-off with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over whether it should unlock an iPhone linked to a shooting in San Bernardino, California. Apple refused to unlock the iPhone, and the FBI ultimately ended up working with a private companyto gain access to the device.
The crux of the issue when it comes to unlocking an iPhone or bypassing its encryption , according to privacy experts, is that once Apple creates a backdoor, there’s a risk that it can be used in unpredictable and in some cases harmful ways.
„I would say the chances of it falling into the wrong hands are 100%,“said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud research for cybersecurity firm Trend Micro.
There’s also the question of why Apple couldn’t just create the tool for the purposes of the investigation and then push an update to iPhones that would render it obsolete. For that to work, the backdoor would have to be tied to the software only, not the iPhone’s hardware, says Doiron. „Sometimes these vulnerabilities take place on the hardware, level,“ he said. „That’s not something that could be fixed via software.“
„We’re on your side“
The broader issue, however, may be that creating such a tool would put private, encrypted data from iPhone users in the hands of Apple and its employees – a privilege the company doesn’t want to begin with. Such a move that would be in stark opposition to Apple’s stance on consumer privacy.
„You are not our product,“ Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with ABC News last year. „Our products are iPhones and iPads. We treasure your data. We want to help you keep it private and keep it secure. We’re on your side.“
Foto: Apple CEO Tim Cook.sourceREUTERS/Toru Hanai
Theoretically, if Apple were to create some type of tool or key that would provide backdoor access to encrypted iPhone data, employees from Apple would have access to that information as well since they would likely be assisting in the investigation. What’s to prevent an Apple worker from going rogue and possibly leaking iPhone user data, or using the tool for nefarious purposes?
Nunnikhoven pointed to EternalBlue as an example of how a tool built for specific purposes could fall into the wrong hands. EternalBlue was a National Security Agency hacking tool that leaked to the public in 2017 that was linked to the WannaCry ransomware attack that infected computers all over the world during that same year.
Creating the tool in general would also require a significant effort on Apple’s part. It’s not simply about cracking the passcode of the device, but would likely require that a dedicated team at Apple create a piece of software capable of accessing the data stored on the device, says Nunnikhoven. The government, in other words, is asking Apple to enable something that isn’t even possible on iPhones today.
Unlocking these iPhones for the Pensacola investigation would also likely set a precedent for law enforcement agencies to request similar treatment for future cases as well, says Matt Wilson, chief information security advisor at BTB Security.
„It’s just more evidence to prove this isn’t just [cybersecurity experts] saying, ‚I don’t want to think about it,’“ said Wilson. „It’s [experts] saying we’ve thought about it very long and very hard, and we don’t see a viable way that addresses all of these issues.“
The post #nationalcybersecuritymonth | Security experts explain why unlocking the Pensacola shooter’s iPhones would unleash a privacy nightmare for iPhone owners appeared first on National Cyber Security.
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In the age of GDPR and CCPA, there seems to be more conjecture about compliance and personal privacy than there is about the weather. It’s understandable, as predicting the conditions outside seems a lot easier than devising and implementing an effective data protection strategy.
With headlines about data breaches being far too frequent and substantial fines for non-compliance becoming a growing reality, pleading naivety to the issues and impacts is neither sympathetic nor sufficient for organizations of any size or type. The good news is there are a number of tools and solutions available that can automatically detect risks and protect personal data while reducing exposure to legal and financial risks.
Begin With People, Not Technology
But before jumping into any technology solutions, it’s imperative to start with an understanding of how it will impact all organizational stakeholders. Start by circling the wagons and enlisting the cooperation and insights of your business leaders as well as legal and compliance teams. Too often, chief information security officers (CISOs) face growing compliance challenges due to a lack of cohesive efforts across their companies. Resistance from employees is a tough hurdle to clear, especially if they believe that complying with new security policies will make their jobs more difficult.
C-level buy-in is a prerequisite to successful policy implementation. Unless these important influencers see and feel the element of risk, it’s going to be difficult to implement any sort of program. Consider a two-phase approach as a best-practices tactic. Start by identifying the lowest-hanging fruit and implement something that is relatively easy for everybody in the organization to leverage and get behind.
Making changes where they are easiest to leverage is a good way to build confidence and momentum. Even if this reduces only 15% of your risk, you’re on the road—so stay focused on achieving steady, incremental progress. At times, the process can be daunting, at least at first, but don’t be sidetracked by analysis paralysis. Instead, continue holding meetings on what will be implemented next and move forward.
Putting the Proper Rules in Place
Rolling out plans and policies to employees requires a foundation of proper rules to guide the entire process. While a mandatory compliance course is an admirable start, it’s important not to overwhelm employees out of the gate. However, believing that a 20-minute session provides sufficient preparation is shortsighted. Instead, it’s highly recommended to implement a policy that includes catching and educating employees whenever inappropriate or risky activity is detected.
It’s crucial for everyone to understand—and embrace—the big picture. Rules and policies regarding compliance and personal privacy are not meant to restrict personal productivity. Instead, they aim to protect employees, the business and customers. In short, it’s crucial to drive home the credo that the company cares about its employees and customers and doesn’t want to put anyone at undue risk. The best and most effective way for everyone to participate is to know the rules.
Think about this in the context that typical office workers send approximately 40 work-related emails and receive about 90, according to TechJury. Therefore, a company with 1,000 employees is dealing with 40,000 to 90,000 emails every day, many containing potentially private personal data. Bring the 80/20 Rule into play here: If 80% of the potential data risks are caused by 20% of the behavior, putting policies in place to safeguard personal data as it’s created in emails and files can deliver immediate and significant risk reductions.
Create a Technology Tool Framework
Once everyone knows and understands the rules, it will be easier to construct a technology framework of tools to help detect and mitigate risk. Balance is optimum, so avoid locking down too much data, as the result will stifle employees’ and customers’ ability to transact business. To minimize risk while maximizing reward, it’s important to select technologies and tools that balance the need to protect information with the ability to achieve widespread adoption.
Favor a crawl-walk-run approach, as it is not necessary to roll out the entire strategy on day one. Instead, identify the riskiest endpoints and focus initial efforts there. Then don’t be afraid to rely on test cases along the way. Tweak the process to align with how the organization functions and employees work. Going with solutions that have AI and machine learning capabilities can assist in training the solution to provide the best and most flexible fit while automating some processes to reduce the burden on employees.
Once up and running, continue the gradual rollout: “Walk” with a small group before you “run” with the entire organization. Remember, this is not a set-it-and-forget-it situation; expect to revisit and tweak policies and settings on a regular basis.
Think of your data protection solution as an engine. Once it’s in place, occasional tuning is required to maintain exceptional performance. It’s also important to choose an engine that permits interoperability with other solutions that may be worth adding and leveraging as business and company conditions, as well as regulations, emerge and evolve.
There’s No End and No ‘Compliance’ Button
A comprehensive and compliant data protection strategy is as necessary to businesses today as having a website. In measuring up to regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, as well as others, regulators aren’t expecting everything will be immediately perfect, but be assured they will be judging circumstances according to demonstrative and definitive steps taken. So get moving and keep moving—there’s no end and no easy button. Privacy and security are everybody’s business and everybody’s concern.
The post #cybersecurity | #hackerspace |<p> Compliance and Privacy in the GDPR Era <p> appeared first on National Cyber Security.
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Security researchers say healthcare providers are failing to secure highly sensitive patient medical data. Mind-boggling amounts of health info are just sitting on internet-connected servers, with only a well-known default password—or no password at all.
And it’s despite frequent warnings. The scale of the problem has only grown in recent months.
Imagine that. In today’s SB Blogwatch, we prescribe radical surgery.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Nice pipes (giggity).
HIPAA PACS FAIL
What’s the craic, Zack? Mister Whittaker reports—“A billion medical images are exposed online, as doctors ignore warnings”:
Hundreds of hospitals, medical offices and imaging centers are running insecure storage systems, allowing anyone … to access over 1 billion medical images of patients. … About half of all the exposed images, which include X-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans, belong to patients in the United States.
The problem is well-documented. Greenbone found … more than 720 million medical images in September. … Two months later, [it doubled]. The problem shows little sign of abating.
Medical images … are typically stored in … a PACS server. … But many doctors’ offices disregard security best practices and connect their PACS server directly to the internet without a password. … Some of the largest hospitals and imaging centers in the United States are the biggest culprits.
Many patient scans include … the patient’s name, date of birth and sensitive information about their diagnoses. … Yet, patients are unaware that their data could be exposed on the internet for anyone to find.
HIPAA created the “security rule” … designed to protect electronic personal health information. … The law also holds healthcare providers accountable for any security lapses [which] can lead to severe penalties. … Experts who have warned about exposed servers for years say medical practices have few excuses.
And Renée Fabian adds—“Unsecured Medical Images Are an Underrated Threat”:
Compromised medical data is life-altering — worse than having your financial information stolen — and in some cases, even life-threatening. … But the general public still has their eyes on financial identity theft as the bigger threat.
However, when your health-related information is used by someone else … it can have a much bigger impact than stolen financial data. … Here’s how:
Errors in your medical record constitutes one of the biggest dangers. … A diagnosis you don’t have, medication you’re allergic to, the wrong blood type or treatments you never actually get [can] make it into your permanent health care file. [So] you may end up in a situation where you’re treated with something that’s harmful.
You could also fail a physical job exam because a medical condition you don’t have ends up in your medical record. … It puts you at greater risk of discrimination, especially at work.
Your legitimate [insurance] claims may be denied. The company may flag or cancel your policy because of a suspicious number of claims or another person’s information on your record. [Or] you may be denied health or life insurance in the future.
Medical data includes more personal information than your financial data, which is why it sells for an estimated 10 times as much on the dark web. … Criminals get more bang for their buck out of your health data.
Are you sure we’re not hyping this up a bit? Mark Davis is horrified:
Images, as actually used, usually do contain demographics. But they also often contain indications and sometimes diagnosis and treatments. Those are the absolute most sensitive of all information.
Indications are the reason for the image and would be something like “suspected pneumonia.” Diagnoses are official labels of sickness/illness/disease, like “AIDS.”
I can’t overstate how bad disclosing such information is, when it comes to protecting privacy.
Specifically, what are the legalities? Here’s Oliver Jones:
It’s possible to see so-called “protected health information” (PHI) in these images. … HIPAA and ARRA 2009 (followon legislation) made it a federal crime to knowingly or negligently disclose PHI.
Natural persons can be tried and convicted, even if they were acting on behalf of corporations. … The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a Breach Notification Rule, requiring holders of data to notify patients and CMS themselves if PHI is breached.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the people involved in securing these sloppily configured … servers are in a state of panic. … I was involved in dealing with an unintentional breach of 44 patient records a few years back, and yeah … it stinks to be them.
So doctors are to blame? prostheticvamp thinks that’s too simplistic:
I have never, in all my years of working in healthcare, seen a hospital or physicians office directly install and manage PACS. They pay a third-party—usually the vendor—to install, configure, and walk them through it.
Healthcare-related technologically was largely pushed on the industry via legislation. … When a technology is forced on you at a loss, from a vendor with little incentive to optimize ease of use or utility, you get a terrible piece of **** that no one wants to invest more time and money into than absolutely needed.
When it comes to healthcare, everything is always the doctor’s fault. It’s convenient to have a single target to blame. … Never mind that most physicians are just employees … in massive organizations, with extremely heavy regulatory oversight.
If an organization that runs three hospitals can’t … secure their PACS system with a decent password, that’s the fault of the physician about as much as it’s the fault of the nurse, the janitor, the cafeteria chef, etc. … We’re just line workers. We try to do our best by patients, but we ain’t in charge of anything.
OK, but what can IT do about it? imidan’s suggestion is clouded by their gender presumption:
The IT guy needs to talk to the lawyer and the insurance guy. The lawyer will **** his pants at the HIPAA violation, and the insurance guy will **** his pants at the likely cost of judgment for the inevitable prosecution.
The three of them can go to the person in charge and explain the problem in terms of the technical, legal, and financial. When it’s clear that the fallout of prosecution includes fines so big they make the practice uninsurable, jail time for personnel who wantonly violated, and the loss of license for doctors, I would hope they’d listen.
It gets worse. wswope has this head-meets desk moment:
Fun experiment: use Google Maps API to search a major US metro area for medical practices. Pick out any websites that don’t use TLS. Crawl them for HTML forms that include common PHI keywords. You’ll find a lot.
Meanwhile, what of our neighbors to the north? Here’s ceoyoyo:
Here in Canada, hospitals are super paranoid about their PACS. As originally designed, PACS really couldn’t transmit images over the Internet at all, and most hospitals still have it configured that way.
Riccardo Bonci is going straight to Heck
Previously in And Finally
You have been reading SB Blogwatch by Richi Jennings. Richi curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Hate mail may be directed to @RiCHi or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.
Image source: Stephen Hampshire (cc:by)
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Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans For FastMed Urgent Care, speed and efficiency are about much more than creating operational excellence. It translates into prompt, personal, and high-quality medical care where and when patients need it. With a laser focus on providing best-in-class family and occupational healthcare, FastMed is constantly looking for […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
#nationalcybersecuritymonth | DFARS / CMMC for 2020: Culmination of Efforts to Protect National Security Data and Networks – Cybersecurity and Privacy Alert | Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
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The post #nationalcybersecuritymonth | DFARS / CMMC for 2020: Culmination of Efforts to Protect National Security Data and Networks – Cybersecurity and Privacy Alert | Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP appeared first on National Cyber Security.
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As we close out 2019, we at Security Boulevard wanted to highlight the five most popular articles of the year. Following is the fifth in our weeklong series of the Best of 2019.
Privacy. We all know what it is, but in today’s fully connected society can anyone actually have it?
For many years, it seemed the answer was no. We didn’t care about privacy. We were so enamored with Web 2.0, the growth of smartphones, GPS satnav, instant updates from our friends and the like that we seemed to not care about privacy. But while industry professionals argued the company was collecting too much private information, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg understood the vast majority of Facebook users were not as concerned. He said in a 2011 Charlie Rose interview, “So the question isn’t what do we want to know about people. It’s what do people want to tell about themselves?”
In the past, it would be perfectly normal for a private company to collect personal, sensitive data in exchange for free services. Further, privacy advocates were almost criticized for being alarmist and unrealistic. Reflecting this position, Scott McNealy, then-CEO of Sun Microsystems, infamously said at the turn of the millennium, “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”
And for another decade or two, we did. Privacy concerns were debated; however, serious action on the part of corporations and governments seemed moot. Ten years ago, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council had the only meaningful data security standard, ostensibly imposed by payment card issuers against processors and users to avoid fraud.
Our attitudes have shifted since then. Expecting data privacy is now seen by society as perfectly normal. We are thinking about digital privacy like we did about personal privacy in the ’60s, before the era of hand-held computers.
So, what happened? Why does society now expect digital privacy? Especially in the U.S., where privacy under the law is not so much a fundamental right as a tort? There are a number of factors, of course. But let’s consider three: a data breach that gained national attention, an international elevation of privacy rights and growing frustration with lax privacy regulations.
Our shift in the U.S. toward expecting more privacy started accelerating in December 2013 when Target experienced a headline-gathering data breach. The termination of the then-CEO and the subsequent following-year staggering operating loss, allegedly due to customer dissatisfaction and reputation erosion from this incident, got the boardroom’s attention. Now, data privacy and security are chief strategic concerns.
On the international stage, the European Union started experimenting with data privacy legislation in 1995. Directive 95/46/EC required national data protection authorities to explore data protection certification. This resulted in an opinion issued in 2011 which, through a series of opinions and other actions, resulted in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entering force in 2016. This timeline is well-documented on the European Data Protection Supervisor’s website.
It wasn’t until 2018, however, when we noticed GDPR’s fundamental privacy changes. Starting then, websites that collected personal data had to notify visitors and ask for permission first. Notice the pop-ups everywhere asking for permission to store cookies? That’s a byproduct of the GDPR.
What happened after that? Within a few short years, many local governments in the U.S. became more and more frustrated with the lack of privacy progress at the national level. GDPR was front and center, with several lawsuits filed against high-profile companies that allegedly failed to comply.
As the GDPR demonstrated the possible outcomes of serious privacy regulation, smaller governments passed such legislation. The State of California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act and—almost simultaneously—the State of New York passed the Personal Privacy Protection Law. Both of these legislations give U.S. citizens significantly more privacy protection than any under U.S. law. And not just to state residents, but also to other U.S. citizens whose personal data is accessed or stored in those states.
Without question, we as a society have changed course. The unfettered internet has had its day. Going forward, more and more private companies will be subject to increasingly demanding privacy legislation.
Is this a bad thing? Something nefarious? Probably not. Just as we have always expected privacy in our physical lives, we now expect privacy in our digital lives as well. And businesses are adjusting toward our expectations.
One visible adjustment is more disclosure about exactly what private data a business collects and why. Privacy policies are easier to understand, as well as more comprehensive. Most websites warn visitors about the storage of private data in “cookies.” Many sites additionally grant visitors the ability to turn off such cookies except those technically necessary for the site’s operation.
Another visible adjustment is the widespread use of multi-factor authentication. Many sites, especially those involving credit, finance or shopping, validate login with a token sent by email, text or voice. These sites then verify the authorized user is logging in, which helps avoid leaking private data.
Perhaps the biggest adjustment is not visible: encryption of private data. More businesses now operate on otherwise meaningless cipher substitutes (the output of an encryption function) in place of sensitive data such as customer account numbers, birth dates, email or street addresses, member names and so on. This protects customers from breaches where private data is exploited via an all-too-common breach.
Respecting privacy is now the norm. Companies that show this respect will be rewarded for doing so. Those that allegedly don’t, however, may experience a different fiscal outcome.
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#cybersecurity | hacker | Inside the connected home and its implications for cybersecurity and privacy
the last few years, the introduction of connected devices into our homes has
become a boon for consumer convenience and entertainment. But this dynamic has
important cybersecurity and privacy considerations. The astounding increase of
connected devices has not only given attackers new points of entry but also
allows more of our information to be collected and potentially shared than ever
find out how consumers address cybersecurity and privacy risks of connected
devices in their homes, ESET, in September 2019, surveyed 4,000 people – 2,000 in the United
States, 2,000 in Canada. Overall, the results show a large disconnect between
what people say they do to protect themselves and what they are actually doing
The Heart of the Connected Home
Starting at the central point of a connected home, the router, ESET polled respondents if they had changed their router username and password, either directly or through a technician when it was first acquired. About 57 percent of Americans either said the username and password were not changed or they do not know if they were changed. In a similar vein, 57 percent either could not or do not know if they could name every device connected to their home network.
secure router is the basis of an effective home network. The router is both the
heart of the network and is in the majority of scenarios the single internet-facing
device, taking ineffective security measures (or taking none at all) makes
every device connected to it more vulnerable. At a minimum, passwords and usernames
should be changed from either their factory or ISP/cable provider default. As
the public-internet facing device attackers may be able to gain some
information by default and even the slightest knowledge about a device will
open the opportunity to try connecting to it using the default administrative
credentials, making the device an incredibly easy target.
The devices connected to that network pose a risk as well. Almost 44-45 percent of respondents have between one and five connected devices, which one would think should be easy to keep track of. The respondents that have more than 10 devices is where keeping track of them all starts to get tricky. Giving each device a recognizable name is a must to make it easier to keep track of the authorized vs. unauthorized devices on a network.
Connected Device Security
Consumers claim to be worried about cybercriminals targeting connected home devices, yet 42 percent of respondents are not worried about something they sit in front of for hours every week – their connected TVs.
connected to the internet a connected TV can potentially be taken attacked by
ransomware, the resources abused by coinminers or the credentials used to
access your favorite streaming service could be stolen. Anything connected to
your home router can be targeted by cybercriminals.
Interestingly, about 17 percent of total respondents have connected devices (not just smart TVs) that they did not connect to the internet. Some didn’t have time to set up the features, while others simply don’t care enough about the additional features to connect the devices to the internet.
We found that more than half (61 percent) of Americans don’t turn off features that they do not use. Keeping with the television example, consumers may buy a smart TV for its streaming features only to realize after-the-fact that there are certain apps they want to use to connect to these services are not available on the device. The consumer purchases an additional streaming device, such as Apple TV or uses a gaming console to stream, but they never turn off the internet connection on the TV. That device is now connected to the home network and is likely not monitored or updated. That’s a hazard to home network security.
Start with the Basics
clear there is still a learning curve for many consumers with connected homes.
A whole host of problems can be avoided simply by changing the default username
and password on the router and keeping the software up to date. This is
especially important as consumers add new types of devices to their networks
every year, a trend this set to continue.
Consumers would do well to remember the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Our survey found that, even though 35 percent of Americans and 37 percent of Canadians said they were concerned about the security of their connected homes, only 20 percent of Americans and 29 percent of Canadians did any type of research on the data collection and storage policies of connected home device manufacturers.
who spend hours evaluating price, features and the aesthetics of their home
devices would do well to spend a few minutes researching the reputation of the
manufacturer, the security of the device, known issues and vulnerabilities and
the degree to which their data is shared or sold to third parties.
View full post on National Cyber Security
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans In episode 95 of our monthly show we’re joined by special guest Rebecca Herold, the “Privacy Professor”. Rebecca is a well known expert in the privacy and cybersecurity community and gives us an update on what she’s been working on, what her thoughts are on the […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans What’s been 2019’s scariest cybersecurity trend? There are plenty of candidates, of course, but let’s make the case for one that’s unlikely to be on most people’s worry list – the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If a European regulation sounds a bit underwhelming as […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Continuing a series on how to strengthen your personal online privacy, we are taking personal inventory of how we connect online. These were themes covered during our webinar on “Security Beyond Your Website: Personal Online Privacy” and during a Twitter conversation (through the #Digiblogchat weekly forum). […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com