Federal Agencies, Education and Healthcare Institutions Dealing with Escalating Threat of Cyber Intrusions and Data Breaches in 2012

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While businesses top the charts as targets for cyber intrusions and data breaches, the runners-up for such unwanted honors are quietly putting the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of millions at risk at an alarming rate, much to the pleasure of unscrupulous cyber intruders more than willing to mine that sensitive information to pursue agendas ranging from being simple nuisances, to full blown identity theft. Global Digital Forensics is helping clients respond to these threats with newly updated threat assessment, regulatory compliance and cyber emergency response offerings for federal agencies, colleges and universities, as well as healthcare institutions, putting almost two decades of real-world cyber security experience in heavily regulated industries front and center to protect these important digital assets and avoid the costly aftermath of cyber attacks.

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We help organizations assess the threats, we help them identify and remediate weaknesses in policies and procedures, gaps in training, address weaknesses in physical data security, trouble spots in retention policy and a long laundry list of other things.

There is no denying the fact that the world today is increasingly reliant on digital information. With computing power once thought to be the stuff of fiction now available in devices small enough to fit in a pocket, and the seemingly infinite conveniences the digital world lends to individuals and organizations alike on a daily basis, it should come as no surprise that the criminal element at large has honed in on this virtual world as a means to many ends. Unfortunately, even entities that were typically safe from this unsavory element in the past because they didn’t have any actual “treasure” in their coffers are now prime targets due to the sensitive and confidential information about clients they keep in digital form. Twenty years ago, it would have been an absurd thought to break into the DMV to steal something, and by the same token, the interest level was equally weak to break into places like hospitals and universities unless drugs or equipment were on the five-finger-discount shopping list.

But today, these organizations are prime targets because they are repositories of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which is extremely valuable to the dark forces which scour the digital landscape bent on stealing that prize data which can serve a host of purposes for them in the longer run, the most damaging and fear inducing being identity theft.

According to a recent report by Rapid7 called Data Breaches in the Government Sector, government agencies, educational institutions and healthcare organizations make up a hefty 36% of reported incidents. And it also showed there are many organizations scoring very poorly when it comes to cyber security which is a frightening trend that is gaining more publicity every time a new breach is exposed in the news about another school, hospital or federal office forced to notify those whose records and PII were exposed.

Count Joe Caruso, founder and CEO/CTO of Global Digital Forensics as one of the unsurprised when it comes to the figures from the report. “We see it play out every day, and it bothers me to think about the patients dealing with medical problems, veterans with so much on their plate and college students just getting their footing and then out of nowhere, their personal information gets stolen and bad guys have access to all kinds of personal data to wreak havoc on their lives. These PII incidents may not have the headline power of a large retailer getting “cyber heisted,” but when PII is compromised, damages may be very consequential to the victims at the end of the chain just the same. We help organizations assess the threats, we help them identify and remediate weaknesses in policies and procedures, gaps in training, address weaknesses in physical data security, trouble spots in retention policy and a long laundry list of other things. And we do it with a breadth of experience you can only get from having worked in the cyber security field with universities, hospitals, and government agencies and the unique challenges they face for a long time.”

Regulatory Compliance

“It’s our job to stay current when it comes to regulations and policies regarding cyber security and let’s just say, with the storm brewing in the government arena on cyber security, having industry professionals on your side to help substantially reduce risk, and respond to an emergency if necessary, is no longer going to be a luxury, it will be a necessity, No matter which side of the political fence someone’s standing on for this next election, both sides have expressed a strong will to get a lot more serious about securing people’s data, and that means an even bigger slew of even meaner regulatory watchdogs with stricter reporting rules, heavier fines, and other not so nice forms of accountability. We help clients stay on the edge of the cyber frontier instead of getting swallowed up by it, just like we helped countless clients stay ahead of big shifts in cyber policy and the most advanced threats many times before. If you think regulatory compliance is a jungle now, you better sharpen your machete because it’s going to get a whole lot worse, soon.”

*Global Digital Forensics is a recognized industry leader in the fields of cyber security and emergency incident response, with years of experience assisting clients in the government, healthcare and education arenas. For a free consultation with a Global Digital Forensics specialist, call 1-800-868-8189 about tailoring a plan which will meet your unique needs. Emergency responders are also standing by 24/7 to handle intrusion and data breach emergencies whenever and wherever they arise. Time is critical when a breach has occurred, so don’t hesitate to get help if an incident has already happened. For more information, you can also visit http://www.evestigate.com.

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Aris Demos
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