News

Internet of things cybersecurity flaws demand holistic cure

FROM BLOOMBERG BNA – Only a holistic, bipartisan cure will fix cybersecurity vulnerabilities pervading the internet of things (IoT) that allowed a massive denial of website access, House lawmakers said at a Nov. 16 hearing.

Companies that manufacture IoT devices should be aware that Congress is looking to regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission, to focus on the security of their products…. Read more.

CIRI seeks a Communications Coordinator

The Information Trust Institute in the College of Engineering is seeking an academic hourly to provide communications support for 20-30 hours per week to help raise awareness of the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute and its accomplishments by articulating an image that inspires support and positions CIRI squarely as the preeminent institute for research, education, and thought leadership related to the resilience and security of the nation’s critical infrastructure. This is an academic hourly position.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Use independent judgment and discretion, work with ITI and CIRI leadership to formulate a marketing communications strategy for CIRI.
  • Develop content for press releases, web sites, digital signage, social media and other platforms.
  • Work closely with the communications teams of the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology office and other Centers of Excellence to promote the COE program to Congress, DHS constituents, and the general public.
  • Interact with faculty and students to promote research activities and other noteworthy accomplishments through multimedia, including video, photography, infographics, etc.
  • Coordinate event planning and other communications-related activities by creating print invitations, sending out invitations, working registration desks, creating presentations, locating needed technologies for presentations, and taking photographs of the event.
  • Drive the execution of promotional programs, image, and materials and help drive, develop, and oversee production and distribution of publications, press releases, and website content.
  • Assist ITI and CIRI leadership in developing materials about our research for industrial, academic, and government partners by designing the layout of communications, choosing the medium to be used, and determining how the media should be distributed (eg., website or print).
  • Other related duties as assigned.

A bachelor’s degree in journalism, mass communication, advertising, or similar degree is required. Please send resume, 3 references, and cover letter to kgudeman@illinois.edu.

Hackers Infect Army of Cameras, DVRs for Massive Internet Attacks

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — Attackers used an army of hijacked security cameras and video recorders to launch several massive internet attacks last week, prompting fresh concern about the vulnerability of millions of “smart” devicesin homes and businesses connected to the internet.

The assaults raised eyebrows among security experts both for their size and for the machines that made them happen….Read more.

Cyberattacks on personal health records growing ‘exponentially’

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST – In 2015, 113 million electronic health records were breached, a major leap over the 12.5 million the year before. In 2009, the number was less than 135,000. The number of reported hacks and breaches affecting records of at least 500 individuals rose from none in 2009 to 56 last year, almost double from 2014….Read more.

Punish companies for cyber security failures, directors say

FROM THE TELEGRAPH — Companies should face severe financial penalties if they fail to keep customers’ data safe, a majority of directors believe, amid a spate of cyber attacks on big businesses.

Seven in 10 board members have demanded stricter punishment for those who fail to meet basic cyber-security requirements, according to research group ComRes….Read more.

Officials Are Scrambling to Protect the Election From Hackers

FROM WIRED – As the United States barrels toward November elections, officials are still looking for last-minute fixes to ensure that the patchwork of voting technology used around the country can fend off the increasingly troubling prospect of hacker attacks. And in the latest of those efforts, Georgia representative Hank Johnson is set to introduce two bills today designed to shore up that fragile system’s security…..Read more.

Cybersecurity Is Every Executive’s Job

FROM HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW – All companies connected to the internet are vulnerable to cyber attacks. And the potential losses are significant. Retail giant Target, for example, estimated its losses from a 2013 data breach at more than $250 million….Liability for data breaches that affect customers leads directly to the C-suite. Executives need to personally know how strong their company’s cyber defenses are, as well as the expected responses for attacks or breaches. But according to the survey, 40% admitted that they lacked a clear understanding of the cybersecurity protocols within their organizations. Read more.

Ensuring Cybersecurity In Fintech: Key Trends And Solutions

CIRI researcher John Villasenor, a professor of electrical engineering, public policy, and management at UCLA, writes about the importance of cybersecurity in financial tech in Forbes.

Exciting things are happening these days at the intersection of digital technology and financial services. The fintech startup ecosystem is thriving, thanks in part to an infusion of $14.5 billion globally in venture funding in 2015, up from $7.3 billion in 2014….Read the entire story.