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Bitcoin, Blockchain, Blockchain technology, Cryptocurrency, Cybersecurity

For years, hackers have been sharpening their tools and scouting for new targets to penetrate cyberdefenses, making cybersecurity a major problem that the United States faces today. Both the public and private sectors remain at risk for both nation-state cyber threats, with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea leading the list; as well as non-state cybersecurity threats such as terrorists and criminals. Considering the gravity of the danger every cybercrime poses, what steps has the government been doing to address such threats?

What Has Been Happening

The recent election hacks and government data attacks are some of the government’s motivation to establish a cybersecurity law. According to Thales Data Threat Report, the data breach is becoming a “new reality” for US federal government agencies. Based on its recent study, federal agencies are at a higher rate of breaches compared to other industries, with 71% among U.S. federal agencies recorded to have been breached. Federal government agencies are at much higher risk since they handle private data of citizens.

A research conducted by the US Intelligence Community states that the “potential for surprise” in cyberspace will increase in the next years as there would be more connected devices that have little security in them. The risk increases as both nation states and individual hackers become more encouraged and equipped in executing their cyber attacks.

Aside from federal government agencies, other sectors continue to brace themselves for breaches. Hacks targeting transportation systems, electrical grids, and other critical infrastructures are looming. Data privacy remain at risk as companies that hold social security numbers and birth dates continue to be vulnerable to cyber attacks. Hackers, allegedly from North Korea, have been targeting holders of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The government must also strengthen its guards against potential cyber attack in the upcoming midterm elections in November, considering how hackers have targeted numerous voting systems in 2016.

Recent Developments

Research suggests that encryption technologies are critical tools in helping government agencies to protect their data. Agencies are now starting to consider encryption as the most effective way to support cybersecurity. There are now projects targeting to implement encryption for data protection. Currently, only 23% among federal agencies use encryption, but this number can go up to 84%.

About a year ago, President Trump issued Executive Order 13800 or the Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure, with the intention of toughening the nation’s cyber posture and capabilities amidst the cybersecurity threats. Along with it, more than 240 bills and resolutions concerning cybersecurity were introduced, while 28 states enacted their new policies in 2017.

To address national cybersecurity threats, initial actions were taken by ordering the heads of executive departments and agencies to submit, within 90 to 240 days, a comprehensive report about the country’s preparedness against cybercrimes.

The rollout of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May is a big leap in protecting data privacy in Europe, as well as in holding big tech companies accountable for data breaches. The risks are growing and the government needs to keep up.

This article was originally published at HoganInjury.com.

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Cybersecurity, Marketing, Social Media, Social networking

Social networking has inevitably redefined social interactions for good. Since the inception of every social media platform, its rise had been unstoppable. A recent study shows that Facebook and Youtube continue to dominate this landscape among adults in the US, while majority of the younger users seem to use Snapchat and Instagram more often. If social media platforms are so utilized, how do they impact their users’ social interactions?

The Good

Social networking sites provide an additional avenue for connectivity, interaction, and creativity. Users are able to reach out to family and friends and stay up-to-date on their lives through their posts on social media. With the use of chat, they are able to communicate with peers in a timely manner anywhere. Users are also exposed to people of varied backgrounds and are able to exchange ideas with them, making their world virtually wider and more diverse. Furthermore, users are able to enhance their writing, reading, and critical thinking skills through the use these platforms.

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube have become effective venues for news outlets to reach a larger audience, making social media users more politically aware now. Young users are able to form their own opinions on social issues and share their thoughts publicly.

In case of emergencies, social media platforms also come in handy and become crucial in emergency response and preparedness among citizens. The Federal Emergency Management Agency utilizes social media to facilitate the exchange of information during disasters. Through their smartphones, users can use FEMA’s app to receive alerts, updates, safety reminders, and preparedness tips. Users are involved and given the ability and the social responsibility to spread awareness more rapidly in desperate times.

The Bad

With the benefits, come the risks and disadvantages of social media use. While these platforms are effective in the free flow of ideas among users, it has also become a venue of abuse. The anonymity that these sites provide, through the option to use names and identity other than their own, gives way to unfortunate encounters such as cyberbullying, harassment, and abuse. These encounters have deep and real-life damage on a person’s mental and emotional health, reputation, and safety.

In a 2017 study, it was found that roughly 4 in 10 Americans have personally experienced online harassment, while 66% have witnessed this behavior towards others online. They expressed that they were harassed online based on their politics, physical appearance, gender, race, and ethnicity. The Federal Bureau of Investigation stated in 2014 that 42% of kids had experienced cyberbullying, while 35% had been threatened on social media platforms, as well. Fifty-three percent said that they have said something hurtful towards somebody online. The FBI considers cyberbullying as one of the most significant new issues that law enforcement needs to address.

The Communications Decency Act of 1996 states that online hosts are not liable for the content that users post on the platforms. However, 8 in 10 Americans feel that online services need to step in when harassment occurs, while 3 in 10 feels that stronger laws are needed in order to combat this type of online behavior. A good percentage of US adults expressed that law enforcement does not take online harassment cases seriously enough.

 

If you experience or observe abuse on social networking sites, contact Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.

None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.

This article was originally published at HoganInjury.com.

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Cybersecurity, Defense industry

Technology has come a long way. The advancement of technology has paved the way for much more development in the fields of medicine, transportation, economics, finance, and many more. Along with the multitude of benefits that came with the rapid growth of technology came some issues, one of which is cybersecurity.

Many businesses today rely on technology for the majority of the processes that occur within their organization. From simple document filings to multi-million financial transactions, companies rely on technology to make sure that these tasks get accomplished. Since these tasks are done through the use of technology, they are vulnerable to cyber attacks. Businesses should be as diligent with their cyber security as much as they are when it comes to physical security; they employ security guards and install surveillance cameras so why does their cybersecurity measures be any different?

Cyber attacks can disrupt a company’s daily routine, but the more significant problems that this may cause are substantial financial and reputational damage. Who would want to do business with a company that has been compromised by hackers? There are many instances of companies being hacked in the recent years. Big companies like Adobe Systems, Yahoo!, and eBay have been victims of cyber attacks perpetrated by professional hackers that resulted in data breaches.

If you think that cyber attacks don’t concern you as an individual, you’re sorely mistaken. The personal information that you use on any platform on the Internet, like your social media accounts or personal online banking accounts, can be used by hackers to steal your identity or money. In fact, many of these hackers are intent on getting personal information because of the monetary gain. Online shopping requires your credit card information to finish the transaction, now imagine if a hacker got a hold of this data from millions of people in one fell swoop? That could amount to millions of dollars.

Companies have now realized the importance of cybersecurity and improvements in their cybersecurity infrastructure has been improved. As an individual who uses the Internet, you should also start taking precautions to keep your personal information safe. Here are some tips to protect your personal information:

1. Start offline. – Keep your financial documents and personal records in a safe place at home. Make sure to only bring necessary identification cards, credit or debit cards, and insurance card when you leave your house. Don’t carry your social security card with you unless you will use it. When giving out information at work, the doctor’s office, or a commercial establishment, make sure to ask what they need it for, how they plan on protecting the information, and the consequence of not sharing the information. Destroy documents containing your personal information once you don’t need it anymore.

2. Be vigilant online. – Beware of e-mails that do not come from trusted sources. Do not enter your personal information into any forms online unless you initiated the contact with the website. Banks and other financial entities will never ask you for your personal information online. If you’re unsure, it’s best to contact the company themselves. Go to the company’s official website and contact them through their customer service.

3. Clean your hardware. – Before disposing of a computer or mobile device, make sure that you clear all of your personal information from it. Check user manuals or online resources about how to completely wipe your device. Make sure to delete all messages, contact details, call history, Internet browsing history, voicemails, and media like photos and videos before you dispose of the device.

4. Rules for passwords. – It’s best to have a longer password with a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters; this will make your accounts harder to get into. Do not share your password with unverified sources. Try to change your passwords every couple of months to make sure that your data is secure.

Contact Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.

This article was originally published at HoganInjury.com

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