The Most Important Lesson You Are Not Hearing About Apple’s iOS FaceTime Glitch

 The most important lesson about Apple’s iOS group FaceTime debacle that you are not hearing about should be a wake up call for everyone (Tuma explains this glitch on WFLA in Tampa, FL):

  • If Apple, through a programming glitch, has the ability to allow someone to use your iOS device as a microphone to listen to your conversations without you even touching the device or knowing it was in use, then Apple can do the same thing through purposeful programming.
  • If Apple can use programming to access your microphone, then it can also access your camera the same way.
  • If Apple can do this, so too could nation states with sufficient access to the programming (If you doubt this, read this story of UAE hackers).
  • If Apple and nation states can do this, so too can criminal hackers, with sufficient access. (Tuma explains more about this on WIOD in Miami, FL)

For decades our whole society has enjoyed the benefits of technology without accepting the responsibility of guarding against the privacy and security risks that go along with it. We have taken those things for granted and now it is time to pay the piper and become more responsible by being more cyber aware and using good cyber hygiene.

This is not just for the companies that provide this technology and collect and use our data. This is for all of us — we the people must learn to protect ourselves against these risks. (Tuma explains more about this on WJIM in Lansing, MI)

Here are a few points to consider to think about how we can do this:

  • There is no such thing as 100% security when it comes to technology or data. There is always some measure of risk involved in the cyber realm.
  • As you go through your day, imagine someone is listening and watching you through your telephone and think about what aspects of your private and business life you are unecessarily exposing through the technology and data we use.
  • This isn’t intended to be alarmist and suggest that you purge all technology from your life, however, there are ways to minimize unnecessary risk:
    • Do you really need your telephone in the private places you go, like your bedroom or restroom?
    • Do you really need to share your company’s deepest, darkest secrets in an email when it could have been done in person?
    • Do you need to have your telephone sitting on the table when you are discussing extremely sensitive private personal or business information, or, would that conversation go just as well (or even better) without the telephones?

 

Protect Your Company Against W-2 Business Email Compromise Attacks During Tax Season

The most likely “cyber attack” that your company will face will come in the form of an email. One of the most common forms of email attack is the business email compromise (BEC) and the most popular time of the year for the W-2 version of BEC is right now — tax season.

Read the full blog post to make sure you and your company are equipped with answers to:

• What is a W-2 BEC Attack?
• How Do Attackers Use the W-2 Information?
• Why Do So Many of These Attacks Happen During Tax Season?
• What Can You Do Now to Protect Your Company?
• What To Do if Your Company is Hit by this Attack?

READ MORE

Cyber Insurance – A Better Way to Help Small Businesses Manage Cyber Risk

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, The Case for Protecting Small Firms from Cyber Lawsuits, the authors argue that, because smaller companies lack the resources of larger companies when it comes to protecting data, smaller companies should have legal protections to exempt them from facing the consequences of these laws.

While it seems this argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of these laws, it does offer some productive suggestions and I found it interesting for another reason. The reasons the authors gave for arguing that smaller companies should be exempted from the laws are some of the same reasons I give to smaller companies when I explain why it is so important that they have appropriate cyber insurance coverage:

  1. Small businesses have the same obligations to protect data that larger companies have.
  2. Breach notification laws may have penalties of a certain cost per record breached, regardless of fault.
  3. Breach notification laws may require notifying those individuals whose data was breached, that their data has been breached.
  4. Breach notification laws may require providing identity theft protection services to the individuals whose data was breached.
  5. Individuals whose data was breached may sue and seek recovery of damages and legal fees.

Cyber insurance coverage that is appropriately tailored to meet the needs of a small business will provide them with protection against the risks listed above, and many more, such as the legal fees and costs of having an experienced attorney serve as their breach guide to advise them through the process of managing a cyber incident (see Why You Need a Cyber Attorney) and properly respond to the incident.

I have been practicing in the cybersecurity and data privacy areas of law for nearly two decades and have served as breach guide to hundreds of companies — one of the biggest lessons that I have learned in all of these years is that in many cases, it is not the initial incident that causes most of the harm, it is the failure to properly respond to the initial incident after learning about it that causes it to escalate.

Incident response is expensive. The legal fees, the fees for security services, forensic services, remediation, public relations, and identity theft protection, notification of consumers, and reporting to regulatory agencies — all of these things are very expensive but they are mandatory to properly respond to an incident, in most cases. When a business does not have the resources to pay these expenses, it is not able to properly respond to an incident and that is what can be most devastating of all for small and midsize businesses. That is why it is so critical that small and midsize businesses have appropriate cyber insurance coverage to step in and provide them with the resources needed to help manage and properly respond to such incidents.

Scientists warn brain implants can be hacked and used to control people (and you thought I was kidding?)

shutterstock_66449896Back in early 2012, I wrote a blog post about whether hacking a human would violate the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Shortly after publishing it, I received a call from a guy in Austin who said: “dude, someone finally gets it, I need your help!” … I responded that I was a lawyer, not a psychiatrist and that I was just kidding when I wrote that, kinda.

Now, here we are 6 years later and it seems this is becoming a thing more and more of a thing. What do you think?  Vulnerabilities in brain implants used to treat Parkinson’s disease could be hacked by cyber attackers and used to control people, scientists have claimed.

Come to our session at #PSR18 – Vendor Risk Management: Maintaining Relationships While Limiting Liability

Are you at IAPP – International Association of Privacy Professionals P.S.R.  #PSR18 in Austin? If so, please come to our Thursday 10:30 – 11:30 session on Vendor Risk Management: Maintaining Relationships While Limiting Liability in Lone Star Ballroom A, Level 3. It should be great as I get to be with great panelists Tami Dokken and Melissa Krasnow and we will have Mark Smith as our moderator.

Bloomberg BNA Texas ProfileWhile you’re there pick up your copy of Bloomberg BNA’s  Domestic Privacy Profile: Texas!

If you can’t make it, here is a link to the .pdf (hey, I know people!).

Session Info: https://iapp.org/conference/privacy-security-risk/sessions-psr18/?id=a191a0000028eqTAAQ