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Mobile, cloud computing are source of most healthcare security worries, Reverse auctions to help slash costs and more

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gsa_logo1Here are the top cyber news and stories of the day.

  • Survey: Mobile, cloud computing are source of most healthcare security worries – ‘The study, “The Risk of Regulated Data on Mobile Devices & in the Cloud,” which surveyed 781 IT and data security practitioners, found that 33 percent of respondents said that they need to access protected health information (PHI) to do their work and yet few understood how to keep data secure.’ This is a pretty dismal state of affairs for healthcare technology. In addition, many respondents reported having to disable security controls. Via MobiHealthNews, more here.
  • Business users visit most malicious websites, security academics find – “Business users account for 57 per cent of malicious attacks while one in eight Australian IP addresses is hit by one or more Web attacks on any typical day, according to a Deakin and Macquarie University analysis of more than 200 million Web requests from Australian Internet users.” This study also found that most of the malware sites visited by the Aussies were hosted in the US. Via ComputerWorld, more here.
  • Reverse auction platform aims to slash costs, up transparency – “This service is expected to produce considerable savings for federal agencies. In the past, GSA’s customers have saved as much as 17 percent through reverse auctions, according to the Tuesday announcement. Agencies can reduce costs on commonly purchased office products, services and equipment, all while making it easier for small businesses to compete for the government’s business.” By changing acquisition models, the GSA can help federal agencies better contend in today’s cyber domains. Via FedScoop, more here.
  • Economic impact of cyber espionage and IP theft hits U.S. businesses hard – “Gorton cited the commission’s estimate that cyber espionage and other forms of IP theft from foreign countries account for annual losses of $300 billion for U.S. companies. The group attributes between 50 percent and 80 percent of those losses to China.” These attributions and numbers are becoming quite a point of contention between China and the US. $300B is no drop in the pan of our GDP, and can affect thousands of individual American citizens to an extreme degree. Protecting these networks could save money, and jobs, and has to be a priority of the US Government. Via ComputerWorld, more here.
  • Amazon Cloud Security Cleared by Federal Government – “Amazon.com’s cloud security gained a nod of approval from the U.S. government, according to a recent announcement by the online retailer. Through a new accreditation process with the federal government, Amazon.com can more easily provide IT services to various federal agencies looking to utilize the cloud.” This will make Amazon the de facto cloud provider to the federal government, because only they can easily scale to the needs of federal agencies. All other vendors will have to compete against Amazon both in technical capabilities and price, a hard feat to accomplish. Via Midsize Insider, more here.
  • Microsoft Fills 34 Holes – “Patch Tuesday brought out seven bulletins from Microsoft this month, which addresses 34 vulnerabilities. Six of the bulletins rate as “critical” and allow for Remote Code Execution. Of the 34 holes in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office among other products, a Windows kernel vulnerability that affected the Windows privilege system for over a month ended up fixed.” The kernel issue was exceedingly dangerous, because it allowed a user to open a system level command prompt, regardless of the user’s permissions. Via ISS Source, more here.
  • U.S. Security Chief Sees Danger in Israel’s Cisco Digital Plan – “Israel’s plan to allow Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) (CSCO) to turn the country digital with a super-fast fiber-optic network may compromise national security if precautions aren’t taken, a U.S. security chief said. “There is national security and innovation and you have to find the right balance,” said Paul de Souza, chief executive officer of the Washington-headquartered Cyber Security Forum Initiative, a non-profit organization to assist the government, military and industry, said in an interview in Tel Aviv. “You can’t compromise national security just because you want the country to be extremely innovative.” Via Bloomberg, more here.
  • Agency destroys $170K worth of IT gear over non-existent malware threat – “The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration destroyed about $170,000 worth of IT equipment including computers, printers, keyboards and computer mice last year on the mistaken belief that the systems were irreparably compromised by malware. The bureau was poised to destroy an additional $3 million worth of IT equipment but was prevented from doing so by a lack of funding for the effort, a report released by the Commerce Department’s Inspector General says.” This ridiculous way of dealing with malware-ridden hardware is almost comical, if not for the huge cost to the taxpayer. Via ComputerWorld, more here.

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Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder of Crucial Point and publisher of CTOvision.com

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