Two weeks ago, the ExxonMobil complex in Baytown, Texas caught fire after a petrochemical unit exploded. This was the latest in a series of incidents at petrochemical units in the area: in March and April a series of fires occurred at the same ExxonMobil complex and nearby petrochemical storage facilities, releasing pollutants. Harris County, the county where these facilities are located, conducted an analysis of how local agencies and officials were responding to these incidents. As a result, the county decided to focus on improving communications during incident response—specifically, improving communications between agencies responding to the incidents and keeping the public informed.
With over 106 million customers and applicants’ personal data exposed, the Capital One breach is one of the biggest breaches of a financial institution in US history. A former employee of Amazon’s cloud-computing unit was able to exploit a vulnerability in Capital One’s cloud service provider AWS,exposing some 140,000 Social Security Numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers of US customers.
The US nuclear industry’s safety record is stellar, in part thanks to NRC regulations that arose from Three Mile Island. But complying with NRC regulations is costly: annual ongoing regulatory costs can range from $7.4 million to $15.5 million per plant and can have significant impact on plants and companies’ profitability—with regulatory costs in some cases exceeding profit margins. But while complying with NRC regulations is necessary, the high costs don’t have to be. Nuclear plants can easily and cost-effectively meet NRC regulations with streamlinedemergency preparedness plans that rapidly address events while reducing potential for error.
With severe weather becoming the norm across the world, businesses in the United States are faced with the challenge of ensuring that your business can continue to operate if a disaster strikes. In 2018 alone, 11 weather and climate-related disasters struck within our boarders – so it’s not a surprise that severe and extreme weather events are a leading concern for businesses when It comes to emergency communications, response and business continuity.
The rate at which sensitive data gets compromised is growing exponentially. In a recent series of tech articles, the Wall Street Journal examined how people in the public and private spheres are vulnerable to and seriously impacted by various cyber-attacks. Governments experience losses of upwards of fifty-thousand dollars from ransomware attacks, and that is just in ransom alone. Corporations are wrestling with protecting computer and network supply chains from information-stealing software. And individuals must now contend with new methods of phone hacking, such as when hackers swap SIM cards. The answer? An alternative secure communications channel that runs independently from your public, private or individual networks.
On Tuesday, May 7, Baltimore city employees came into work to find that their computer screens were locked. “We’ve been watching you for days,” the message on their screens read, “We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up!” The city of Baltimore had been hit by a ransomware attack; the hackers were demanding $100,000 in bitcoin to release their files.
Consistent communication and collaboration can be tricky when it comes to home healthcare—especially since it involves so many different people in many different places. Along with home healthcare professionals, a patient’s care team can include anyone from their primary care doctor to a range of specialists to family members and other caregivers. Fortunately, HIPAA-compliant mobile messaging (from mobile devices or tablets) is one way to address that challenge, keeping care teams in the loop no matter where they are and with minimal interruption to their schedule.
Companies have been harvesting our data without our knowledge for years now. Whether its because they didn’t inform us, we didn’t read the terms and conditionsor because the language in the terms and conditions was so complicated and misleading that we didn’t understand what was about to happen – many of us now feel duped.
When it comes to privacy, it’s typically the consumer who’s held responsible for maintaining their own privacy, not the company (take Facebook, for example). But the introduction of facial recognition into our lives could change that dynamic. Consumers’ haven’t been blindly accepting it into their lives but questioning it—and questioning it hard. The result? Companies are being pushed to take responsibility for consumers’ privacy. Which is a good thing for consumers andcompanies—it creates an opportunity for companies to foster trust with consumers and strengthen their relationships with the public at large.
Mobile devices have become ubiquitous in day-to-day life. The majority of Americans own a smart phone and use it not just for personal matters but for professional matters, too. It’s a technology that spans gender, location, profession and age – with 46% of senior Americans owning a smart phone. With smartphones this ubiquitous, it’s not a surprise that senior living residences are starting to leverage smart phones to streamline their operations.
Secure communication is nothing new but it israpidly evolving as technology advances. Vaporstream CEO Dr. Galina Datskovsky recently presented a webinar on “Secure Communications in an Insecure World.”In the webinar, Dr. Datskovsky touches upon the importance of secure communications and as technological advances how privacy is becoming increasingly elusive.
For the third year in a row, Vaporstream is a winner of the Cyber Defense Magazine Infosec Awards—this time winning Best Product in Messaging Security. Cyber Defense Magazine (CDM) is a leading electronic information security magazine. Of the 3,000 companies considered for this prestigious award, less than 200 were ultimately selected by CDM as winners for the 2019 InfoSec Award.
Today, pretty much everyone is texting. It’s made life so much easier – send a message on your own time and preferred device, usually without having to stop what you’re doing, and rest assured that the recipient will receive the message and be able to respond on their own time, without having to take too much time out of theirlife either.
In this modern day and age, mobile business messaging—specifically, secure mobile business messaging—is a must-have for the transportation and logistics industry. Today, electronic data is a critical part of supply chains, making secure communications a necessity for both efficiency and security.
End-to-end encryption is often touted as the end-all be-all. When it comes to text message security, encryption is definitely important. End-to-end encryption essentially ensures that while a message is in transit—that is to say, from the time send it hit until it reaches the intended receiver’s device—it cannot be read by an outsider.
At one-point, email may have been the standard communication tool for businesses because of its convenience, but its limitations have become increasingly clear. It’s time for email to take a backseat. As major news stories in the past few years have indicated – email is often simply not secure. It also is often a medium through which hackers target business—think phishing emails, for example. Finally, it is simply not efficient—people are slow to open their email and slow to respond. Compare this to text messaging (used these days one survey found by over 80% of people for business), which people are much more responsive to.
In emergency situations, speed is key for first responders. Law enforcement agencies need to have the tools in place to be able to communicate and coordinate quickly. Using old and clunky tools—like desktops and laptops—are simply not sufficient for teams to make decisions quickly and securely. And, the traditional radio system can present interoperability problems.
As we come to the end of cyber security month – we must admit to ourselves that to err is human. You can employ the latest technology at your company to bolster defenses but you cannot always keep employees from making stupid and unintentional mistakes. This lone fact is why cybersecurity training, and repetitive training, is so important.
Natural disasters, mass shootings, and cyber-crimes are on the rise, and it isn’t just sensationalism. According to NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), there are 10 – 15 disasters per year with costs in the billions, up from 1 or 2 in the 1980s. Not only that, but according to the LA Times, mass shootings are becoming more frequent, and deadlier. Add that into the pot with the numerous cyber-crimes against big and small businesses alike, and it’s time to create a plan.
HIPAA may be twenty-two years old but the HIPAA Security Rule—which assures the security of confidential electronic patient information—hit its twenty-year mark just this year. HIPAA was signed into law in 1996 to protect Americans from losing health insurance coverage when changing jobs or dealing with a lay off and to protect the privacy and security of individual health information. Rules that govern HIPAA’s implementation requirements include the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule, which followed the initial rule 2 years later, issued in 1998.
These days, it feels like everybody’s talking about encryption and privacy. Whether you work in healthcare, energy and utilities, financial services or some other enterprise—you’ve probably come across debates around privacy, encryption and how to securely communicate to maintain privacy. But with all the news reports and use of buzzwords being thrown around it’s easy to forget the basics. So what do terms like encryption, privacy and man-in-the middle attacks really mean?
If you’re in healthcare, you are familiar with MACRA, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization act of 2015—bipartisan legislation that requires the US Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) to implement an incentive program. Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) evaluates clinicians in four areas—Quality, Improvement Activities, Promoting Interoperability, and Cost.
The California wildfires have been especially devastating this year, with fires reaching unprecedented sizes. Hundreds of thousands of acres have been burned and it may take until September to contain the fiercer fires. When it comes to emergencies like wildfires, strong incident response is important for protecting those affected.
Since prenatal care shifts into postnatal care and pediatrics, patients are likely to continue seeing the same healthcare provider (or providers) for years to come – so the need to improve doctor-patient communication is paramount in order to ensure quality of care and patient retention.