Posts Authored by Megan Savage Knox

Drone technology a “next step for security research”

While recent news has highlighted the negative aspects of drone use, including potential threats to physical safety (take for example White House drone crashes and a father/son armed drone concoction), interest in the cyber impact of drones is rapidly increasing. As drone technology advances, both the “good guys” and the “bad guys” are racing to use unmanned aerial devices to gain control over data. A Christian Science Monitor article reveals that mini laptop-like drones have become a popular tool for hackers. Likewise, companies have been able to use similar technology to protect their networks from cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Drone experts are citing UAV research as an important “next step” in online security, implying that it is likely only the beginning of the impact drones may have on cybersecurity issues. 

General News, Prevention

FDIC under fire following recent string of data breaches

A recent data breach at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is just one of many that have occurred in the past several months. The banking regulator is now under fire for its responses following a slew of breaches involving more than 10,000 sensitive and private data records. The FDIC was questioned about the breaches on May 12, 2016, during a hearing held by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Oversight. Representatives criticized the FDIC, suggesting that it handled the incidents too slowly, did not notify Congress in a timely manner and failed to provide requested documents.

The FDIC was also criticized for failing to notify its employees who were affected by the breaches. It is estimated that the personal data of approximately 160,000 people have been impacted by these breaches, which occurred between October 30, 2015, and the present. The information includes names, bank account numbers and, possibly, social security numbers. According to Republican Representative Barry Loudermilk, chair of the subcommittee, the FDIC has still not notified any of these employees that their private information may have been compromised.

Evidence shows that at least seven recent breaches were caused by former employees as they were leaving the FDIC. The FDIC maintains that these breaches occurred inadvertently, but Congress is skeptical that the breaches were not intentional. One case is allegedly the subject of a criminal investigation. While the FDIC has indicated that it is completing a “top to bottom review” of its technology information policies, it appears that Congress will continue to apply pressure to the FDIC related to its response and handling of these breaches. According to Rep. Loudermilk in the subcommittee’s press release, the American people “have good reason to question whether their private banking information is properly secured by the FDIC.” 

Data Breach, General News

Colleges and universities are prime cyber attack targets

A recent cyber attack at the University of California, Berkeley is just one of many recent security threats on higher education institutions. The attack on the university’s computer system, which occurred in late December, jeopardized the financial data of more than 80,000 people, including students, faculty, alumni and vendors. Similar hacking attempts at colleges and universities are becoming increasingly frequent, often occurring on a daily basis and unbeknownst to the institution. Universities are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks, which can be costly. However, there are a few tips in dealing with cyber events that every higher education administrator should know.

Data Breach, Prevention

Bill introduced to repeal Cybersecurity Act of 2015

On January 8, 2016, Michigan’s Republican representative, Justin Amash, presented H.R. 4350 in the U.S. House of Representatives with the intent to repeal the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. Congress originally passed the act, which became law on December 18, 2015, to avoid a government shutdown. Read more

Legislation