Tag Archives: security

5 simple rules for FERPA contracting compliance

Colleges and universities frequently hire third-party vendors to provide services that involve student data—cloud storage, online education delivery, and online grade books to name a few. Although the arrangements are common, they can run afoul of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) (FERPA) and other data … Continue Reading

Is your company really prepared for the IoT?

The IoT, or Internet of Things, connects physical devices containing software, sensors, and/or network connectivity and includes anything and everything from wearable technologies, to drones, to driverless cars. Madison Partner Mindi Giftos explains the business and legal ramifications of this technology in a piece published in In Business Madison magazine online this month. Read more.… Continue Reading

FTC v. ASUS – In the Internet age, being a foreign-based company is no defense

Your business is an international company selling products to U.S. consumers. In the last few years, you may have heard a lot about high-profile information privacy and security cases brought by the U.S. government. Should you be concerned? Most definitely. On Feb. 23, 2016, the FTC announced that Taiwan-based computer hardware maker ASUSTeK Computers, Inc. … Continue Reading

Your HR policies should help, not hinder, data breach response

You may have a top-notch security incident response plan and a crack team for data breach response…but have you checked to be sure that your company’s HR policies are on the same team with you? Personnel Management is one of the most important—yet often overlooked—of the 10 activity channels for effective data breach response. In the … Continue Reading

Adding yet more class to Information Governance (Part 3)

In this series on defining your company’s information security classifications, we’ve already looked at Protected Information under state PII breach notification statutes, and PHI under HIPAA. What’s next? Customer information that must be safeguarded under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), a concern for any “financial institution” under GLBA. GLBA begins with an elegant, concise statement of congressional … Continue Reading

What’s new with the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act?

The Cybersecurity Act of 2015, signed into law on Dec. 18, has four titles that address longstanding concerns about cybersecurity in the United States, such as cybersecurity workforce shortages, infrastructure security, and gaps in business knowledge related to cybersecurity. This post distills the risks and highlights the benefits for private entities that may seek to … Continue Reading

What’s the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield made of?

Marvel fans know that Captain America’s shield is extraordinary, but exactly what it’s made of remains unknown – Vibranium? Adamantium? Unobtanium (oops, wrong movie)? For the time being, similar mystery shrouds the specifics of the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. Four months ago we posted on the European Court of Justice’s ruling that the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor … Continue Reading

Why encryption is less secure than you think

All encryption tools are not created equal. Just ask the folks at Microsoft, who have recently demonstrated that encrypted Electronic Medical Record databases can leak information. Turns out that CryptDB, a SQL database add-on developed at MIT that allows searching of encrypted data, allows search queries to be combined with information in the public domain … Continue Reading

Adding more class to Information Governance (Part 2)

In this series on establishing security classifications for your company’s information, last week’s post looked at one aspect – the widely varying definitions of Protected Information under state PII breach notification statutes. But if your organization is a covered entity or business associate under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the definition of Protected … Continue Reading

Adding some class to Information Governance (Part 1)

When governing information, it works well to identify and bundle rules (for legal compliance, risk, and value), identify and bundle information (by content and context), and then attach the rule bundles to the information bundles. Classification is a great means to that end, by both framing the questions and supplying the answers. With a classification … Continue Reading

What if companies treated their money like their information?

I’m here at RabbitHole, Inc., talking with the company’s Manager of Money in his office, which is buried in the Facilities Department, down in the building’s basement. I’m interviewing him to get a better sense of how RabbitHole manages money as a corporate asset. Pardon my asking, but how much money does RabbitHole have? “Frankly, … Continue Reading

I’m making a list, securing it twice…

For those who observe it, the Christmas season (secular version 2.0) is definitely here. As a child, I cherished the thought of a man with a red suit accessing our house through the chimney. For those of us concerned about computer system security, we worry about a person with a black hat accessing our data … Continue Reading

FTC v. LifeLock — sorry Virginia, there is no Security Claus

Today the FTC announced a $100-million settlement of its most recent data security lawsuit against LifeLock, the ubiquitous B2C provider of credit monitoring and identity theft protection to consumers.  Despite years of litigation with the FTC and 35 states’ attorneys general, LifeLock has continued with a business model that taps into consumers’ visceral fear of identity … Continue Reading

Wyndham checks out of FTC dispute

Yesterday the FTC announced it has settled its claims against Wyndham for inadequate data security, with Wyndham signing on to essentially the same consent order used by the FTC in most of its more than 50 concluded data security enforcement matters. The settlement marks the end of a three-year legal battle in which Wyndham attempted, unsuccessfully, to restrict … Continue Reading

FTC v. LabMD – 50 shades of white hat

The FTC has pursued enforcement actions against more than 50 companies for inadequate data security, and to date only two, Wyndham Hotels and LabMD, have pushed back. On the heels of a Third Circuit victory in its Wyndham litigation, the FTC recently suffered a blow when its administrative complaint against LabMD was dismissed – by an FTC administrative … Continue Reading

Target update: Happy holidays for banks

Talk about a “bank holiday” – under a settlement deal filed in court yesterday, Target will pay $39.4 million  to a litigation class of banks and credit unions to settle financial institution claims related to the retailers’ massive 2013 data breach, which compromised at least 40 million credit cards. The preliminary settlement is the first time … Continue Reading

Paris: privacy & cybersecurity déjà-vu

Only minutes passed between first learning of the Paris attacks and confirming that our son, studying abroad in France, was safe. But it seemed to last a lifetime. My wife and I were with him in Paris just two weeks earlier, strolling happily a few blocks from where slaughter would soon visit the Bataclan Concert Hall … Continue Reading

IG perspective: Are wearable fitness trackers fit for the workplace?

Wow, our group health plan premiums are crushing us. Wait a minute—what if we ramped up our company’s wellness program, using cool technology to help get our workforce in shape? Let’s get all our employees to use those wearable fitness tracker gizmos! We can fold those into our BYOD program, offer a device subsidy, and … Continue Reading

EU view of a post-Safe Harbor world

As the sun sets on the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor, what does the future hold? At the moment, that crystal ball is best viewed directly from the EU. So, I asked Marc Dautlich and Lucy Jenkinson of EU law firm Pinsent Masons‘ Information Law team for their perspective. Here’s what they shared:… Continue Reading

Plug pulled on U.S.-EU Safe Harbor – now what?

You’ve no doubt heard that on Tuesday the European Court of Justice declared the U.S.- EU Safe Harbor invalid. Under European law, the transfer of EU citizens’ personal data to a third country may only occur if the third country ensures adequate protection of that data. A European Commission decision in 2000 declared the United States’ … Continue Reading

90% of information governance is half contracting

Yogi Berra will be missed, but his wisdom will endure. Who else could have observed “No one goes there nowadays. It’s too crowded”? The information governance equivalent is “No one has information anymore. There’s too much of it.” In the last decade we have witnessed the systemic utilitization of computing power. Data used to be housed predominantly … Continue Reading

Will you still love me tomorrow, post-breach?

Do data breaches cause lasting reputational damage for organizations? We all know breach response is expensive –  just ask Target, which posted data breach-related costs of $162 million through fiscal year 2014, plus another $129 million for the first half of FY2015, all net of $90 million in cyber insurance. That’s a lot of zeros, and it’s … Continue Reading

DEF CON 23—Part II: cyber risk management strategy

At DEF CON you’ll often hear that “every company is receiving penetration testing, but some companies pay for the pleasure.” My take is that every company pays for penetration testing – some companies pay in planned expenditures, but others pay in response costs, reputation loss, business interruption, legal liability, and increased insurance premiums. Or as Claus Moser observed, … Continue Reading
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