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Video: cyber insurance can offset data breach risk

By Byron V. Acohido

More organizations than ever, especially small and medium-size ones, will seek to account for the fast-rising risk of suffering a cyber attack in 2017 by buying a cyber liability policy.

The general state of security of U.S. business networks remains anemic when compared to the vast and growing capabilities of hackers with malicious intent. Companies are beginning to realize the value of offsetting this risk to an insurance carrier—and insurance companies and underwriters recognize a golden goose when they see one.

The fledgling cyber insurance market topped $3 billion in 2015, and ABI estimates the global cyber insurance market is swelling at a clip that will top $10 billion by 2020.

Related: Cyber insurance increasingly includes value-added …more

VIDEO: Why cyber insurance is needed to protect intangible assets, i.e. business data

By Byron V. Acohido

More organizations than ever, especially small and medium-size ones, will seek to account for the fast-rising risk of suffering a cyber attack in 2017 by buying a cyber liability policy.

The general state of security of U.S. business networks remains anemic when compared to the vast and growing capabilities of hackers with malicious intent. Companies are beginning to realize the value of offsetting this risk to an insurance carrier—and insurance companies and underwriters recognize a golden goose when they see one.

The fledgling cyber insurance market topped $3 billion in 2015, and ABI estimates the global cyber insurance market is swelling at a clip that will top $10 billion by 2020.

Related: Cyber insurance increasingly includes value-added …more

Video: NY holds companies accountable for cybersecurity

By Byron V. Acohido

Banks and other financial services companies wishing to do business in the state of New York will soon have to prove they are using first-class cybersecurity policies and practices.

Officials at the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) were so concerned that a catastrophic network hack in the financial sector could have dire consequences that they took it upon themselves to draft a far-reaching set of mandatory cybersecurity requirements.

Two years in the making, it is called the Cybersecurity Requirements for Financial Services Companies. And it is set to take effect Jan. 1.

Heading off hacks

A comment period on the draft proposal closed Nov. 14. Officials now are reviewing the comments, and modifications could yet be made. However, if the rules …more

Video: good guy Chris Vickery hunts exposed data

By Byron V. Acohido

Two more stunning disclosures from self-styled internet watchdog Chris Vickery underscore how organizations continue to routinely expose sensitive data in the cloud, risking dire consequences.

“My findings clearly demonstrate that data breaches happen more often than the general public realizes, and companies are quick to deny and cover up these issues,” Vickery says.

Last Friday, Vickery revealed how Habitat for Humanity of Michigan had been making use of two backup virtual hard drives without taking steps to block public access to those drives, which contained “lots of background/credit checks for volunteers and applicants, as well as thousands of Social Security numbers,” he says. The nonprofit organization helps build and renovate affordable housing for needy families.

Leaked files show grim reality

In mid-October, Vickery broke …more

Q&A: Is ‘FIDO’ on Samsung Galaxy superior to Apple Pay on iPhone?

By Byron V. Acohido

A day after Apple successfully hyped the ability for iPhone 6 users to biometrically authenticate the purchase of a Big Mac, using Apple Pay and Touch ID, Google rolled out Google Security Key, a new type of USB key based on the FIDO standard. Security Key can make your Gmail account nearly impossible to hack.

The two announcements are related. Both point the way to mainstream use of biometric sensors and other mechanisms for affirming you are who you say you are in digital communications and transactions.

LastWatchdog asked Brett McDowell, Executive Director of the FIDO Alliance to handicap the competition to dominate the next generation of authentication technologies.

LW: In plain language, what is FIDO?

McDowell: FIDO stands for Fast …more

VIDEO: Can Shape Security revolutionize Web defense?

By Byron V. Acohido

Shape Security. Remember that name. The Silicon Valley start-up emerged from stealth mode this morning to publicly unveil details of its plan to revolutionize cybersecurity.

If Shape can deliver, its technology could radically disrupt the engine that drives cybercrime: botnets.

Related video: Shape Security creates first “botwall’

A botnet is a sprawling network of thousands of infected PCs or Web servers, referred to as bots. The top dozen or so cybercriminal rings command massive botnets honed to automate and scale up the delivery of spam scams, the carrying out of denial-of-service attacks, the booby-trapping of legit websites and the hijacking of online financial accounts.

Botnets can’t be stopped largely because the bad guys have mastered a technique, called polymorphism, by which they continually …more