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PODCAST: Does the iPhone’s facial recognition technology go too far ?

By Byron V. Acohido

The release of the new iPhone X (don’t call it ‘X,’ say ‘ten’or iPhone X), with its facial identification activation feature, has sparked interest in the latest developments in biometric security.

I spoke with Corey Nachreiner, chief technology officer of WatchGuard Technology, about the advantages – and risks – involved in using biometric identifiers with digital devices.

The next steps in authentication

Apple is “really going whole hog” into facial recognition for unlocking a phone, in part because they don’t want buttons, Nachreiner told me. The tech giant removed the home button/fingerprint sensor, meaning users must use facial identification to unlock a phone if they’re not using pass codes.

While aesthetic design was probably a major factor, “there is an argument that facial recognition …more

INFOGRAPHIC: Studies show ‘security fatigue’ may trigger apathy in wake of Equifax hack

By Byron V. Acohido

There is no mistaking that, by now, most consumers have at least a passing awareness of cyber threats.

Two other things also are true: All too many people fail to take simple steps to stay safer online; and individuals who become a victim of identity theft, in whatever form, tend to be baffled about what to do about it.

INFOGRAPHIC: Shaking off cyber fatigue can be tough

A new survey by the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center, scheduled to be released in full next week, reinforce these notions. ITRC surveyed 317 people who used the organization’s services in 2017 and had experienced identity theft. The study was sponsored by CyberScout, which …more

NEWS THIS WEEK: Kaspersky ban underway for U.S. agencies; Equifax data breach lawsuits pile up; Europe plans new agency to quell cyber threats

By Byron V. Acohido

The U.S. government moved to ban the use of a Russian brand of security software by federal agencies amid concerns the company has ties to state-sponsored cyber espionage activities. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke ordered that federal civilian agencies identify Kaspersky Lab software on their networks. After 90 days, unless otherwise directed, they must remove the software, on the grounds that the company has connections to the Russian government, and its software poses a security risk. The Department of Homeland Security “is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting …more

Lawsuits to stop ‘kid spying’ could strir stronger privacy legislation

Dora the Explorer turns out to be something of a spy. And that’s a problem for many parents in the digital age.

The long-reaching arm of online advertising for children is increasingly coming under legal assault as parents seek to limit what large media companies, like Disney and Viacom, can conduct in surreptitious audience monitoring.

Viacom, whose brands include Nickelodeon, the producer of Dora, SpongeBob and other popular children TV shows, is the latest media giant to be sued in class action by parents for allegedly inserting advertising software in children’s game apps without parental consent.

Related podcast: The wider implications of Donald Trump jettisoning Obama’s privacy rules

The legal action, filed on behalf of …more

PODCAST: ‘Web gateways’ provide vital slice of a layered approach to defending networks

By Byron V. Acohido

More employees are working remotely than ever before. According to a Gallup survey, 43 percent of the 15,000 surveyed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. That’s up 4 percent since 2012. In a survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit, 34 percent said over half their work force would be working remotely by 2020.

It’s imperative that companies can protect their employees wherever they are. Whether they are in an airport, coffee shop, client office or at home, they need the same level of protection offered at their business offices. If an employee’s device is infected while using an insecure connection and then they bring their …more

MY TAKE: This serial entrepreneur hopes to unleash full potential of the emerging cyber insurance market

By Byron V. Acohido

Serial entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert M. Ariel Evans is positioning her latest start-up to revolutionize the way insurance companies assess and price policies against cyber threats and how businesses protect themselves against cyber breaches.

An Israeli-American residing in Tel Aviv, Evans is now chief executive officer of InnoSec, a company that analyzes and manages risk from a cyber perspective. InnoSec’s cyber-risk management application, branded STORM, generates data to help companies manage cybersecurity risks and to allow insurance companies to measure prospective policyholders’ risk and price policies appropriately.

Related video: Cyber insurance market bridges gap between tangible, intangible assets

In the event of a major breach—such as the massive 2013 attack that cost retailer Target more than $200 million, or the recent …more

MY TAKE: Colorado joins New York in requiring data security standards for financial sector

By Byron V. Acohido

Coming on the heels of New York state’s trailblazing cybersecurity rules for financial services, Colorado is the latest state to take a cybersecurity stance for one of its critical-infrastructure sectors. In June, the Colorado Division of Securities released its final rules requiring dealer-brokers and investment advisers to establish and maintain written procedures for cybersecurity. While less prescriptive than New York’s, they are designed to achieve the same results—making cybersecurity a priority for covered entities.
David M. Stauss, Ballard Spah LLP partner
“At the end of the day, it gets to the same place, which is thinking about cybersecurity and privacy and taking affirmative steps to address that,” says David M. Stauss, a partner in Ballard Spah LLP’s …more