U.S. moves to ban Kaspersky software in federal agencies amid concerns of Russian espionage.

The U.S. government on Wednesday moved to ban the use of a Russian brand of security software by federal agencies amid concerns the company has ties to state-sponsored cyberespionage activities.

In a binding directive, acting homeland security secretary Elaine Duke ordered that federal civilian agencies identify Kaspersky Lab software on their networks. After 90 days, unless otherwise directed, they must remove the software, on the grounds that the company has connections to the Russian government and its software poses a security risk.

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Author: Ellen Nakashima and Jack Gillum

Cybercrime Costs to Reach $8 Trillion by 2022

“Some 2.8 billion data records expected to be breached in 2017, according to a report released today by Juniper Research.
Cybercrime costs are expected to saddle businesses with a whopping $8 trillion price tag over the next five years, as connectivity to the Internet rises but security system upgrades don’t keep pace, according to a Juniper Research report released today.

In this year alone, 2.8 billion data records held by business customers are expected to be breached, according to the report, The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Enterprise Threats & Mitigation 2017-2022. And in the next five years, that figure is anticipated to balloon to 5 billion breached records.

Small-and mid-size businesses (SMBs) are expected to face the brunt of the attacks, given these organizations shelled out an average of under $4,000 a year in 2017 on cybersecurity efforts. The amount they spend is not expected to substantially increase over the next five years, despite rising threats and the fact that a number of small businesses run older software.

Running older software that has not been patched is just one problem that SMBs face. Another growing problem is the greater availability of easy to use ransomware toolkits that requires little to no programming skills on part of the cyberattacker, according to the report.”

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Author: Dark Reading Staff

Hacker Attacks, Ransomware, Trojans and Viruses – German Healthcare Industry under Massive Attack

“The healthcare industry is ranked in the top 5 industries of medical identities becoming more and more lucrative on the black market. Cyber criminals have sophisticated intrusion ways against healthcare organisations leaving them exposed to the most advanced persistent threats.

But how can it happen to you? Take a look at Locky for example. What a cute name for a dangerous threat. Camouflaged as Invoice or other ‘important’ document this new virus is the current scourge in Germany and has already caused serious problems in many business sectors. Locky’s target? Your employees.

Once opened, a malicious link containing Trojan gets downloaded that encrypts all data stored in all accessible data stores such as local hard drives (Ransomware), backup media and even cloud storage. German experts estimate 5,300 new infections per hour.”

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Author: Tenego Partnering

Hackers’ delight: Businesses put selves at risk for invasion

“David Cingari reaped the benefits of backing up a year ago, when an employee at his catering company came in around 7:30 a.m. to find her computer was taken hostage by ransomware. When she logged in, she got a notification that her files had been encrypted, or locked up so they couldn’t be read, and that it would take paying a ransom to get them unlocked.

“I just freaked out,” recalls Cingari, owner of David’s Soundview Catering in Stamford, Connecticut. But he quickly called the company that maintains his systems. Technicians replaced his files with safe ones that had been backed up offsite. Instead of losing $30,000 in sales and the cost of being robbed of all its information, the company was back in business around 10 a.m.

“That made it so effortless,” he says.”

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Author: Joyce Rosenberg, The Associated Press

68% of Healthcare Organizations Have Compromised Email Accounts

“Evolve IP has published the results of a new study that has revealed the extent to which healthcare email credentials are being compromised and sold on the dark web. The FBI has also recently warned about Business Email Compromise (BEC).

Email credentials are highly valuable to cybercriminals. A compromised email account can be plundered to obtain highly sensitive data and an email account can be used to gain access to healthcare networks.

63% of data breaches in the United States occur as a result of compromised email credentials and healthcare email credentials are being sold freely on the dark web.”

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Author: HIPAA Jounal

Study: Cybersecurity Skills Gap To Widen To A Massive 1.8 Million Worker Shortfall By 2022

“The cybersecurity skills gap – widely recognized as one of the biggest challenges facing the IT security industry – is only going to continue to widen in the years to come, a recent report found.

The deficit of cybersecurity professionals is now expected to grow to more than 1.8 million workers globally by 2022, according to the Global Information Security Workforce Study, sponsored by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education and surveying over 19,000 cybersecurity professionals. That is a 20 percent increase over what the same study predicted two years ago.

The study also noted that the security industry seems to have a challenge recruiting millennial workers in particular, with only 12 percent of the workforce under 35.”

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Author: Sarah Kuranda

Cybercrime: The Price Of Inequality

“Cybercrime costs are projected to reach $2 trillion by 2019 predicts Juniper Research, and $6 trillion by 2021 posits Cybersecurity Ventures. Cybercrime has already cost U.K. business over £1 billion in the past year according to the U.K.’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting center. And the 2016 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report states that global cybercrime hit $126 billion in 2015 and probably affected 689 million people in 2015, one of the lowest estimations of the global cybercrime cost.

Cybercrime is one of the biggest challenges that humanity will face in the next 20 years. Our economies are becoming more dependent on technology, and thus more vulnerable to emerging variations of cybercrime and e-fraud. A recent study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) indicates that, with the exception of the U.S., most countries have underplayed the risks of cyberattacks on their economic well-being.”

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Author: Ilia Kolochenko, High-Tech Bridge