Cyber Security, Data Breach, Disaster Recovery, Education, Identity Theft, News Events, OCR HIPAA Audits, Tip of the Week

The National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is over, but your work securing your home and business systems and networks is not

It is the perfect time to follow some security tips for both your home and work. RISC Management and Consulting put together some publicly available tips and tools. Our goal is to bring awareness and assist in building a Culture of Cybersecurity through training and providing resources. To view our solutions from vulnerability assessments to workforce training visit our site.

  • Lee Kim had an inspiring talk on “Sharing with Care: The Key to Healthcare Cybersecurity is You” at the ISC2 Security Congress 2018.

  • 75.7% said they had a recent security incident based on the 2018 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey.

The Importance of Technology Research and Findings

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program is an intrusion prevention capability that is available to U.S.-based entities and State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) organizations. DHS partners with service providers that build and maintain classified systems capable of protecting ECS customer networks against unauthorized access, exploitation, and data exfiltration.

The two statistical findings below came from two national studies – a national survey on online behaviors and attitudes for the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and a two-phase national survey on messaging surrounding online privacy for NCSA.

In addition, Keri Pearlson, MS, DBA – MIT Sloan School of Management and her team shared research from MIT’s Sloan School on components necessary to build a culture of cybersecurity and provide managerial mechanisms to enable every employee’s ability to increase cybersecurity. 

Techniques used by smart phone ransomware based on data analysis from Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Center.  The Nokia Threat Intelligence Lab focuses on the behavior of malware network communications to develop detection rules that identify malware infections based on command-and-control communication and other network behavior.

Don’t be part of the growing cyber incidents, BE INFORMED!

Read  on, View the Good, the Bad, and the Worse!

2018 Data Breach Investigations Report states that  92 percent of malware is still delivered by email.

Facebook says millions of users who thought they were sharing privately with their friends may have shared with everyone because of a software bug.

Hands off my data! 15 default privacy settings you should change right now.

Are you creeping on my DNA? When it comes to privacy, stakes are high for the relatively new field of consumer genomics.

“They frequently go through online platforms like Google and blogs, to hide themselves and give investigators the impression it is a normal platform or tool, and thus to ignore its background actions,”.

Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks. In a social engineering attack, an attacker uses human interaction (social skills) to obtain or compromise information about an organization or its computer systems. An attacker may seem unassuming and respectable, possibly claiming to be a new employee, repair person, or researcher and even offering credentials to support that identity. However, by asking questions, he or she may be able to piece together enough information to infiltrate an organization’s network.

Report Incidents, Phishing, Malware, or Vulnerabilities.

Chinese Intelligence Officers and their recruited hackers and insiders conspired to steal sensitive commercial aviation and technological data for years.

June 2018 OCR Cybersecurity Newsletter – Guidance on Software Vulnerabilities and Patching.

Georgia man has been arrested on federal charges he carried out an e-mail spoofing scheme that cost Sedgwick County $566,000, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Want more online privacy? Brave, the ad-blocking browser, has a new way to get it on the web.

Anthem Pays OCR $16 Million in Record HIPAA Settlement Following Largest U.S. Health Data Breach in History, Anthem, Inc. has agreed to pay $16 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and take substantial corrective action to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules after a series of cyberattacks led to the largest U.S. health data breach in history and exposed the electronic protected health information of almost 79 million people. The $16 million settlement eclipses the previous high of $5.55 million paid to OCR in 2016.

Several security research teams recently announced a vulnerability in most computer processor chips sold for at least the previous 10 years.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) providing how to socialize online, protect your own computer at home including your children’s privacy while online, advice for parents for different ages, under their STOP.THINK.CONNECT.TM Chatting with Kids About Being Online.

How To Survive A Ransomware Attack — And Not Get Hit Again

Email is still the problem. Are you tired of sending out nagging notes to company staffers insisting that they not just click on any old email attachments? Well, we’re afraid you’re going to have to keep at it, because according to Verizon’s 2018 Breach Investigations report, 92 percent of malware is still delivered by email.

Publicly Available Tools Seen in Cyber Incidents Worldwide

This report is a collaborative research effort by the cyber security authorities of five nations: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. See highlight from the five publicly available tools, which have been used for malicious purposes in recent cyber incidents around the world. The five tools are:

  1. Remote Access Trojan: JBiFrost
  2. Webshell: China Chopper
  3. Credential Stealer: Mimikatz
  4. Lateral Movement Framework: PowerShell Empire
  5. C2 Obfuscation and Exfiltration: HUC Packet Transmitter

SIMPLE TIPS from the Department of Homeland Security

Cybersecurity is present in every aspect of our lives, whether it be at home, work, school, or on the go. Regardless of one’s technical ability or background, there are simple steps everyone can take to stay safe online.

Protect yourself online and help to make the Internet safer and more secure by following these simple tips from the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign:

  • Enable stronger authentication. Always enable stronger authentication for an extra layer of security beyond the password that is available on most major email, social media and financial accounts. Stronger authentication (e.g., multi-factor authentication that can use a one-time code texted to a mobile device) helps verify that a user has authorized access to an online account. For more information about authentication, visit the new Lock Down Your Login Campaign.
  • Make your passwords long & strong. Use complex passwords with a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters. Use unique passwords for different accounts. Change your passwords regularly, especially if you believe they have been compromised.
  • Keep a clean machine. Update the security software, operating system, and web browser on all of your Internet-connected devices. Keeping your security software up to date will prevent attackers from taking advantage of known vulnerabilities.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Links in email and online posts are often the way cyber criminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious (even if you know the source), delete it.
  • Share with care. Limit the amount of personal information you share online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.

Excerpts from the Stay Safe Online by the National Cyber Security Alliance

“When dealing with cybercrime, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Cybercrime in its many forms (e.g., online identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, bullying, hacking, email spoofing, information piracy and forgery and intellectual property crime) can, at best, wreak havoc in victims’ lives through major inconvenience and annoyance. At worst, cybercrime can lead to financial ruin and potentially threaten a victim’s reputation and personal safety. Having your identity stolen can be scary and invasive and have damaging effects on your finances, medical records and reputation. If you become a victim, knowing how to respond and report the incident is vital.” Visit their site for some tips and resources to help you recover.

Provided by RISC Management and Consulting and the Privacy and Security Institute (PSI)

Cyber Security, Data Breach, Education, Tip of the Week

Medical Identity Theft

Medical identity theft is the act of using someone else’s identity to obtain medical services, prescription medications and/or goods. This theft often includes fraudulent billing.

A Medical Record is a perpetual record that contains identifiable medical information, and is intended for use in decision making relevant to a patient’s health coverage, diagnosis and treatment. It contains a written account of a patient’s examination and treatment with medical history, patient complaints, physician’s findings, lab results, procedure results, medications, and other therapeutic measures. When stored on an information system it is often referred to as an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) or Electronic Health Record (EHR).

According to a research sponsored by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA), the increasing costs of resolving the problem of medical fraud influenced the Affordable Care Act to address medical identity theft. “Sixty-five percent of medical identity theft victims in our study had to pay an average of $13,500 to resolve the crime” and “victims learn about the theft of their credentials more than three months following the crime and 30 percent do not know when they became a victim” according to the Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft. In addition, only 3 percent of an average healthcare organization’s IT budget were being used for data protection.

Percent IT budget

One of the most striking results from the research was the answers to the following questions:

  1. How did the medical identity theft happen? The number of people increased from 4 percent from 2012 to 12 percent in 2014 who provided their personal information to a fake email or spoofed website. With the amount of information online and in the news on how to prevent identity theft, it is still surprising that we as a society are not changing the culture by building awareness within your organization from policies/procedures to education.
  2. How did the medical identity theft happen? Healthcare provider or insurer-experienced a data breach increased from 6 percent in 2012 to 10 percent in 2014. It is RISC’s position that this is probably due to increased awareness, however, thereby an increased number of complaints filed. Greater deployment of security technologies, and increased security training quite often result in statistical jumps like these as more events are recognized, not necessarily occurring.
  3. How did the medical identity theft incident affect your reputation? 89 percent said that embarrassment due to disclosure of sensitive personal health condition affected them while loss of career opportunities was identified by a surprising 19 percent.
  4. How did you resolve the medical identity theft? In 2012, a shocking 45 percent reported to paying the healthcare provider for services that the thief incurred. Last year, only 24 percent of those who experienced medical identity theft carefully reviewed their credit reports and only 15 percent said their contacted the credit bureaus to fix errors in their credit report.

A good example of dealing with medical identity theft begins from page five of an article from the Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California which mentions prevention, detection and mitigation (California Department of Justice, 2013 October).

If you find your organization has experienced a security incident or suspects a data breach, know that there is help available. If you are a consumer who suspects medical identity theft, there is a great deal of help available to you. As taxpayers, we should all be concerned about this issue even if we do not personally experience it at work or as healthcare consumers!


RISC and VA in HIMSS15


California Dep. Of Justice. (2013, October). Medical identity theft: Recommendations for the age of electronic medical records. Retrieved from

Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft. (2015, February).  Retrieved from