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Data Security Should Come Before Compliance

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Many IT managers have to adhere to a growing amount of federal regulations regarding data security. Most IT managers likely spend a great deal of their time making certain that their company is in compliance with these federal mandated regulations. Unfortunately, a lot of organizations and IT departments focus on the compliance portion and begin to lose sight of the main goal which is to protect against data breaches.

Many experts agree that it is very possible that an IT department can meet the basic compliance requirements without actually having their data secure. But fortunately there are tools in the marketplace that can provide security and also achieve the necessary compliance mandated by law.

A recent article provided an overview of the federal regulations that can affect any American business. The authors recommended three steps to help achieve regulatory compliance as well as securing critical data. These steps are:

1. Develop a set of well-defined security and compliance policies for the organization. 2. Deploy the right tools to protect the company’s system and all the platforms and apps within the system and finally 3. Develop a systematic backup strategy for the company’s data.

The alphabet soup of compliance is a jumble of acronyms like SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley), GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act), HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards), and FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). Fortune 500 corporations and organizations with dedicated IT staff have a much easier time understanding and addressing the compliance mandates. But for small and medium businesses, it can be overwhelming to even figure out where to begin.

Unless your business is a publicly traded entity governed by the SEC, SOX should not have any impact on you; unless you work for a government agency, it is unlikely that you need to concern yourself with FOIA. However, PCI DSS affects virtually every business, and many small and medium businesses fall under the guidelines of HIPAA, GLBA, or both.
Each of the individual regulatory or industry compliance mandates was developed to address specific concerns. Achieving and maintaining compliance is no easy feat for organizations of any size, and it can seem overwhelming for small and medium businesses. But if using the steps above and staying focused on security first, then the compliance portion should be met.

For more information check out this secure usb drive review.

Oliver David writes for Lok-it.neet and other publications on topics like data security and usb encryption.



Mobile System to Wipe and Erase Computer Hard Drives and Memories

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The business, Secure Data Sanitization (SDS) has turn out to be the 1st information security business within the United States to create their “Secure Erase” program mobile. In late November, the business took this program literally on the road to Idaho to demonstrate its capabilities. The very first mobile processing units had been tested at no price towards the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The program is able to wipe clean an outdated pc system. The test demonstrated that it might be 100% efficient in permanently erasing hard drives for these older computers. It was also able to reset the computers towards the original manufacturers’ settings.

These new mobile units are accessible to travel to any location to be able to assist businesses effectively eliminate information from old pc hard drives. The program will sanitize the drive in order for the gear to be effectively destroyed with out danger of private information becoming taken at some point in the future.

The mobile program initiates the “secure erase” aspect or “electronic data shredding” activity. This procedure then permanently erases difficult drives, resets them and offers proof in a report format. This new mobile system has attracted an excellent deal of attention, particularly amongst businesses that shop big amounts of information. The business has already secured contracts to make use of the mobile program at businesses all over the world.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare was anxious to make use of the program stated Michael Farley, the IT administrator for the department. "In order to meet federal guidelines and regulations concerning HIPAA, IRS and SSA information, it's crucial that we've a secure and sound procedure for eliminating information from our pc systems before donation or destruction," stated Farley. "Being in a position to have hard drives securely erased or destroyed on website is essential since it provides us 1 much more layer of protection."

The business is poised to be extremely active within the coming years with new federal and state laws that need businesses to securely erase private information. If not carried out properly, businesses in violation could face millions of dollars in fines, lawsuits and cleanup expenses. SDS provides Certificates of Sanitization and Destruction, printed on-site, which guarantee compliance with state and federal laws. These certificates are backed by a $2 million insurance policy. Usb protection is one way to ensure that data is safe.

As part of the service that SDS offers, they also give their customers the choice after erasing the information to either remarket the old system or donate them to the non-profit organization Computers for Kids.

Oliver David writes and contributes articles for Lok-it.net and other blogs on subject matter like usb encryption



Data Security Only Part of Total Security for a Business Executive

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Often times, information security and actual physical security are extremely separate and distinct problems. As such, every of these is much more most likely to be handled by various components of a business. Most frequently, information security is under the management with the CIO or perhaps the CFO, however the physical security of individuals and issues is left towards the facilities individuals who manage the cleaning and upkeep with the physical plant. Much more disparate is the fact that some businesses outsource this physical security to third party vendors.

An Info Assurance Engineer, Darren Wigfield recently stated “There’s no point in getting thorough lock down and difficult passwords and encryption on your servers if individuals can just walk in and take people’s laptops.” He works using the Department of Defense to make sure that the department meets security needs for each information and physical security.

Wigfield analyzes an organization’s security from a holistic approach. He looks at each the network and also the buildings to figure out how protected the business or organization is from either on-line or physical intrusion or theft. Other specialists have noted that the concentrate of be concerned and protection is on the web, but that most businesses miss the overall security picture - that a thief is just as most likely to come through a actual door or window to steal property and private info.

“All everybody worries about now will be the Web,” explained Shane MacDougall, partner at Tactical Intelligence, an info security firm that tests vulnerability and penetration. MacDougall stated that in reality, that is missing the greatest component with the security image. “They’re just as most likely to obtain your information via the back door.” The actual back door, not the virtual 1. He went on to note that he’d frequently encounter poor physical security that may be the catalyst for information security breaches. “When I’ve carried out penetration tests, I’ve discovered network jacks active within the lobby. Frequently they’re not set to a guest VLAN. Or there’s unprotected wireless,” he stated.

The important to security would be to keep in mind that information security is at danger any time that an individual can acquire access to it, whether or not it's more than the web or via an unsecured door or window. Hacking is only 1 problem, but if somebody can plug into a company’s internal network whilst waiting in a reception region or conference space, then it is just as simple to steal the information. An encrypted flash drive is one method to secure data.

Oliver David contributes articles for Lok-it.net and other blogs on subjects such as usb protection.



White House Urges Passage of Legislation to Protect and Defend Against Cyber Hacking

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The White House is urging Congress to create and complete legislation that would defend the country's energy grids, economic networks and transportation systems from cyber hacker attacks.

Harold Schmidt, the White House Cyber Security Coordinator recently wrote that considering that a legislative proposal was sent to Congress in May of 2011, there happen to be many information breaches and hacks cited. He mentioned, "The time is ripe to create proposal into law, and give the government and private sector the added tools necessary to fight people who would harm us."

The President's proposal outlined specifications for firms and state and neighborhood governments to report information breaches based on a brand new national common. Furthermore, the proposed law would enhance penalties for cyber crimes. It also would direct the Homeland Security Department to perform with banks, utilities and transportation operators to generate and implement plans to handle data/cyber security.

The U.S. Congress hasn't acted on the proposed legislation but is in search of other approaches to bring corporations as well as other agencies about to getting far more diligent in protecting sensitive data and supplies. There happen to be advised infrastructure protections against hack attacks by utilizing market standards, delivering incentives and to limit the quantity of government oversight and regulation.

The White House is concerned that with no a federal requirement to alert government officials when a serious intrusion takes place, there is certainly a genuine possibility that each national and financial security is going to be at threat. The White House believes that the Federal government need to and ought to know what exactly is happening when a firm or government agency is hacked as a way to take measures to bring the criminals to justice and to defend Americans.

Government officials in each the Congress along with the White House see the urgency of safeguarding sensitive and secure information, but disagree on the quantity of government monitoring and regulation which is necessary to help keep the country's economic, utilities and transportation systems and infrastructure protected from external cyber hackers.

Oliver David is a writer who has a background in data security with emphasis on encrypted flash drives and usb protection.



Security of Digitally Kept Healthcare Data is Tricky

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Health related data of people that are kept by using a digital platform are really prone to fraud if they may be not safely placed. One particular unpleasant incident of fraud has emerged just lately. SAIC (Science Applications International Corp.) had been liable for lost data of around 4.9 million recipients. They are told to pay for the expense of informing all those folks of fraud. The data had been kept on data tapes, not encrypted flash drives.

Thievery of health related data and various other personal data is a really vital concern and could lead to plenty of trouble for a person. Those details include quite personal data including SSN details, home address as well as contact number. These records could be utilized for identity fraud and various other similar criminal activities.

The data tapes had been ripped off from the automobile of the Science Applications International Corp. personnel. Science Applications International Corp. is lawfully responsible to safeguard health and fitness data and bear the expenses if there is any kind of disclosure of sensitive data. The expected expense that this company must deal with is around seven dollars for every individual. This might imply around thirty five million for 4.9 million recipients of TRICARE health care program.

In an effort to secure the health related data of people, the govt . has approved the '09 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Law. This law is introduced as a portion of '09 U.S. Recovery as well as Reinvestment Law. As per this specific law, a firm could be expected to pay a fee up to one and a half million if they're not able to guard health and fitness data.

In case there is a fraud of files, The Department of Health and Human Services has the 100 % authority to do an intensive examination of situation. if found accountable, the accountable business will need to bear the charges. A right group of professionals will look at the parties involved and subsequently present the verdict for the charges that needs to be compensated.

Health and fitness information is a person’s private belonging and thus must be kept safely and securely. In case any kind of disparity is identified, the liable person or body must be penalized and must be expected to bear the costs of actions necessary for damage control whenever possible.  This secure USB flash drive review provides more info about data security.



USB flash drive in healthcare

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Healthcare institutions are so careful in storing, processing and transferring their data. This is due to the several incidents reported on some companies involving data lost and theft. As you can see, dealing with patients’ information in a healthcare company is very critical since they will be liable in case data leak occurs. That is why they are now so strict in allowing the use of USB flash drives (UFDs) in their facilities.

In case data leak happens and the company is responsible for it then they can surely lose millions for compensation. But that is not all because the welfare of their patients is also at stake especially if confidential information are included in that stolen set of data. Embarrassment can occur to both patient and hospital, and this is something that no one wants to happen.

Considering the circumstances given above, using a UFD in healthcare institutions is not so advisable nowadays. In fact, some hospitals prefer to network their computers to avoid using such storage device. But we should admit it, that UFD still brings lots of benefits for medical staff especially if they are working in a computer unit which is not part of the network. It can also be used to bring a copy of patients’ records to a remote place authorized by the institutions. But again behind the benefits are the threats on data security.

If the only concern of a healthcare company is the security of their data when they reside in a UFD then this is not much a problem anymore. Remember that technology keeps on evolving and different advance security mechanisms are being implemented on UFDs nowadays. Examples of these technologies are hardware authentication and encryption.

Hardware authentication and USB encryption guarantees better security features on UFDs. The technology is not new at all but its implementation on storage devices such as UFDs is one of the greatest developments on its applicability and usability. If you have this technology on your flash drives then you can be confident that all confidential patient information inside it are non-exploitable. Hackers will surely have a hard time bypassing the security walls and most of the time, they will only fail.

If you want to experience the benefits in using UFDs in your healthcare profession then you can do so freely. Just make sure that your UFD implements hardware authentication and encryption because this is so far the best that you can get in the market.