From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Cybersecurity Report: Cybersecurity police | Pharma cyber flaws | Cyber regulations
Date: Wed Jun 04 17:24:41 MDT 2014
Body:
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Cybersecurity Report
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Needed: Federal cybersecurity law enforcement

The U.S. federal government has recognized the need to address cyber threats, but so far has only made major moves to protect itself, not its citizens -- one example is the creation, in 2009, of the U.S. Cyber Command. On the civilian side, the National Cyber Security Division, under DHS, has only an advisory and cooperative role to help private firms secure their networks. What is needed is a national organization trained to investigate, arrest, and prosecute cybercriminals wherever they reside regardless of where the attacks are taking place or on what scale. We probably should have had this in place years ago when cybercrime was just getting started. Now cybercrime is an industry worth billions of dollars, equal to the revenue of many Fortune 500 companies, and there is a lot of catch-up needed.

U.S. organizations’ cyberprotection lags behind hackers’ skills, persistence

The 2014 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey, an annual survey of cybercrime trends, shows that while the number of cybercrime incidents and the monetary losses associated with them continue to rise, most U.S. organizations' cybersecurity capabilities do not match the persistence and technological skills of their cyberadversaries. The report notes that only 38 percent of companies have a methodology to prioritize security investments based on risk and impact to business strategy.

U.K. not prepared for cyber challenges of 21st century

Consumers will continue to be the victims of cybersecurity crises unless businesses take more steps to protect the personal information of users, Christopher Graham, the U.K. information commissioner, has warned. Graham said he was worried that the United Kingdom was not sufficiently alert to the security challenges of the twenty-first century. On 30 May, a joint operation led by the FBI, Interpol, and the U.K.'s National Crime Agency, led to the closure of a criminal network which was using the cryptolocker malware, a "virus" that infects computers, encrypts files, and demands a ransom (usually of about £400) to decrypt files. People have been tricked into paying after ransom messages accusing them of illegal activity.

Healthcare, pharma score poorly on cybersecurity rating

A new report by BitSight Technologies, a security ratings firm, finds that out of four key industries -- finance, utilities, retail, and healthcare -- healthcare and pharmaceuticals companies have the worst cybersecurity ratings. The study was based on S&P 500 companies, and it ranked sectors with a security rating between 250 and 900, with the higher score reflecting a higher security rating. The healthcare and pharma sector scored an average of 660. Retail came in second-to-last with an average of 685 -- and a decline in performance over the last year. Finance, meanwhile, was the highest, with a score of 765, followed by utilities with 751.

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Regulatory scrutiny comes to cybersecurity

Cyberespionage and data breaches at major retailers suggest that no business is immune to virtual threats. For private equity firms, these threats are not only endangering their financial interests and reputations -- they are also prompting increased regulatory scrutiny. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority have both moved recently to conduct cyber exams of broker-dealers and investment advisers.

Microsoft launches cybersecurity accelerator in Israel

Microsoft Ventures, the start-up arm of Microsoft, said it would open a new cybersecurity accelerator in Israel, capitalizing on Israel’s expertise in the field. Israel is called "The Startup Nation" because it has the highest density of start-ups per capita in the world, with one start-up for every 1,844 citizens (which is 2.5 times the U.S. rate), and the country has been the birth place of a number of successful security companies, including Cyvera and Fortscale. Microsoft is keen to get to know some of these.

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Building a successful cybersecurity software business is not easy

Building a successful security software company is difficult to get right over the long haul. Computer security is a fast-moving, ever-changing target. There is still need for anti-virus software, for instance, but it is no longer enough. The same is true for firewalls, malware detection, spam blockers, and other security measures. There is never-ending opportunity here as the good guys try to keep up with the bad guys. The problem is that over time the bad guys have gotten smarter and the threats more ominous. The stakes keep getting higher. Thirty years ago, we were dealing with amateurs. Now the bad actors are international organized crime groups and nation-states.

Government agencies cannot always ascertain they have responded to breaches: GAO

About 65 percent of the time, federal departments did not have sufficient evidence of the steps they took to respond to cyber incidents, according to a GAO report. They could often show the extent of the breach, but not the severity of the impact on agency operations. One mistake highlighted in a report: An agency learned from DHS that system login credentials at two divisions may have been compromised. When agency personnel responded, they "mistyped the potentially compromised credentials for one component," did not respond when that component asked for clarification, and failed to follow up with the other component when no one there responded to an alert. Despite these errors, personnel closed the incident without taking further action.

Also noted

The U.S. is right to indict China's state hacker unit | Expert wants nuclear plants taken "off the table" in cyberwarfare | Israel, Iran wage cyber warfare in the battlefield of the future | Lockheed develops tools to fight viruses | Heartbleed, Cupid and wireless | The dizzying complexity of cyber warfare | Security vendors form cyber consortium | Distil Networks raises $10 million | Israeli cybersecurity startup Fortscale raises $10 million, plans move to Bay Area | Automating Cybersecurity

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Progress and Modernity in Arab Societies
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State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Modern and Contemporary Syria
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