In Spring 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to spread across the globe, a survey of approximately 250 U.S. consumers commissioned by Awake Security found that the two threats from the DHS list that worry Americans most are cyberattacks on core infrastructure (electric, water, transportation etc.) and cyberattacks on corporations.
Diving deeper into the results surfaces something that is contrary to the popular narrative: consumers take responsibility for their personal cybersecurity and even help out those around them. They hold the government and enterprises ultimately accountable, but also understand the role each individual has to play.
Recently, two teens and a young adult infiltrated one of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies in a high-profile hack – and the biggest ever for Twitter. Authorities say the 17-year-old “mastermind” used social engineering tactics to convince a Twitter employee that he also worked in the IT department and gained access to Twitter’s Customer Service Portal. The 130-account takeover proved unique, as it was fundamentally a dramatic manipulation of trust and could have had far more world-changing consequences if the attackers had the aspirations of say, a dangerous fringe group versus that of a teenager. There are a few takeaways to learn here, especially when it comes to considering redefining what we classify as “critical infrastructure” and what must be protected at all costs.
Last week, Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, and Dr. Andrea Jelinek, Chair of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), appeared at a hearing conducted by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and updated committee members on their work since the Schrems II decision.
In his remarks, Mr. Reynders identified three main areas on which the Commission is focusing.
As some U.S. states relax their shelter-in rules, businesses prepare for a slow recovery due to the uncertainty of COVID-19’s almost certain resurgence. The questions arise for those physical businesses in need of unarmed or armed guards: what precautions are to be taken by guards, and what kind of interaction is there going to be with their customers?
The pandemic has redefined what it means to be a resilient business, especially when it comes to retail. “Essential” businesses that have remained open, such as supermarkets or pharmacies, have had to figure out how to operate safely in this new world. No matter the type of retailer, the importance of cybersecurity hasn’t gone away. If anything, it becomes more important as a cyber disruption could be the fatal final straw for a business looking for a smooth return to operations and maintain its brand image and reputation.
As businesses and schools seek to bring people back to brick and mortar establishments, it’s going to be important to make customers, students and teachers feel comfortable, in addition to simply following guidelines. Customers are going to have to feel that it’s worth going out, versus shopping on-line. For retailers, that comfort might in part be derived from visible occupancy monitoring efforts and automated voice-down messages when people aren’t wearing masks or keeping their distance.
In late February 2020, news broke in the United States that the once faraway threat of a “novel coronavirus” had spread to U.S. soil. As COVID-19 case numbers in major cities grew, stay-at-home orders were put in place, businesses closed, restaurants shifted to take-out only, and retailers adopted curbside service. All of this took place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, however, hospitals remained open — accepting new patients at the direction of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working diligently to adhere to new safety guidelines. During virus, or any pandemic outbreaks, we are acutely reminded of our essential frontline healthcare workers, the critical need to enhance their overall safety, security, and to be as efficient as possible when communicating vital information.
Integrated into one of the most complex industries, blockchain technology can help legislation catch up with the exciting developments in cannabis medicine. At the same time, implementing blockchain in pharmacies can help provide patients with a wider variety of treatment options. In a fast-paced industry, where innovation drives growth, blockchain is the next step in encouraging access and security for cannabinoid-based medicine.
The coronavirus pandemic has triggered an unprecedented chain reaction of border closures around the world. This truly is an extraordinary situation, and many countries have also grappled with lack of information, resources and coordination between relevant agents and authorities. These operational issues have raised questions globally about whether border controls are effective in containing such outbreaks, how prepared border agencies were for the emergency and what this will mean for border management in a post-pandemic world.