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Changes Coming to HIPAA Compliance Measures

How safe is your personal health information?  Two studies by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) point out perceived deficiencies in the way Americans’ health information is protected and secured under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  The reports, made public in October 2015, target the audit process and lay out plans to revamp the audit program in early 2016.

Protected health information (PHI) includes a patient’s name, age, gender, prognosis, and payment for treatment.  This information, whether communicated orally, electronically, or in written form, when handled by health care providers, [...]


Bureaucratic Denial of Service and the OPM Breach

Millions of American citizens received letters over the last two months of 2015, advising them that the US Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) experienced a data breach. Although the US Government realized the breach in June, it took nearly 6 months for the letters’ delivery.  Included in the letter were references to identity theft, as in social security numbers of everyone within the government employee/contractor’s family.  An offer for two years of credit monitoring for all involved softened the blow.

Most experts’ concern centers on the applicants for Top Secret or Special Compartmentalized Information (SCI) sensitive information access, commonly referred to as [...]


Carhacking and Cybersecurity

In a move that both attracts young, tech-savvy car shoppers and makes the automobile a mobile device, car manufacturers are making connectivity a top priority.  It’s becoming the norm to see remote start, streaming music, remote locking and unlocking, wireless tire pressure monitors, Bluetooth, and rolling Wi-Fi as standard features on the car lot.  Ford models can send text and email alerts to drivers.  Chryslers and Dodges constantly update traffic information and help the user reroute to save time.  Mercedes’ mbrace, BMW Assist, and GM vehicles with OnStar technology allow for remote disabling of their engines in the event of [...]


Staying Inside the Sandbox

A sandbox, to a child, is a walled area they can play in outdoors.  To an adult it means a little more: the sandbox keeps all of the sand in one place while keeping dirt from the yard out.  It also helps organize their toys and gives them a specific place to play.  When play is done, it can be closed with a lid so the sand stays clean and the leaves, squirrels, and rain stays out.

The same concept can be applied to improve security on the ever-growing trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the workplace.  Instead of [...]


Yik Yak App: Anonymity vs Privacy

Use of a popular app among college students has some users behind bars and others questioning how anonymous the program really is.  Yik Yak, developed in 2013, provides users a real-time feed of comments from people around them geographically.  Simply type in your cell phone number, and share thoughts, jokes, questions, etc. with those around you.  Users may also choose to search other communities to see what people are saying in other places.

However, not everyone uses the free app just for fun.  Just this month, two students at two separate universities were arrested for making racially charged threats on Yik [...]