Cybersecurity overconfidence detrimental to companies

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Many companies enjoy a false sense of security, according to the results of Solarwinds MSP’s 2017 survey of 400 SMBs in the UK and US.

Their study found that “87% of organizations have complete trust in their security techniques and technology.”

Here’s the real shocker: 71% of those same companies had been breached in the past 12 months. (41% of them were hacked 4 or more times!)

More than that, less than 50% of the companies implemented new security technologies after being compromised.

The breaches had a serious impact on the companies, according to the survey. 77% of those hacked reported tangible losses like lost customers, legal fees, and other monetary costs. 23% reported intangible loss, like a hit to brand reputation.

27% of the companies had breaches linked to ransomware, 33% were linked to DDoS attacks, 31% resulted from accidental acts like exposure of confidential data, 37% were insider malicious acts, and 10% were linked to theft or loss of hardware containing sensitive data.

Many of these problems are easily solved by Evizone’s two products – Evizone Secure Communications (ESC) and Evizone Communications Governance (ECG).

With a safe communications platform like ESC, the issues that plague emails become non-existent. With our patented technology, there is no risk of ransomware or other phishing schemes that have caused unnecessary damage to businesses around the world.

ECG, on the other hand, offers protection for all your most sensitive files. No longer do you have to worry about clumsy or rogue employees. All data is stored on military-grade secure servers with complete accountability tracking. If someone accidentally deletes a file, it is easily traceable and restorable. If a phone or computer gets stolen, that’s not a problem either – no data is ever stored on devices, it is always securely held in our systems. With access limitations, you don’t need to worry about anyone downloading information onto unsecure devices.

Until companies admit that they’re at risk, the breaches will continue to happen in growing numbers. For those serious about security, give us a call.

About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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New list reveals targets of Russian hackers

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The links between the Russian hacker group Fancy Bear and the Kremlin are becoming clearer every day.

An Associated Press investigation discovered attempts to break into the email accounts of 4,700 strategic and influential people across the world, 573 of whom were in the “top echelons of the [United States’] diplomatic and security services”.

The proof that the hackers are linked to the Russian government is growing. Many analysts reviewing the list of targets claim that no one but Russia would have interest in infiltrating the email accounts of such a specific group of people – including government officials from the United States, Ukraine, and opposition leaders in Russia itself. 95% of the data obtained by AP was created between 9 am and 6 pm Moscow time.

It is unclear just how many of those targeted by Fancy Bear’s phishing messages unwittingly fell for the schemes. What we do know is that it helped lead to Hillary Clinton’s downfall and that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had two years of emails leaked.

As AP writes:

“Even if only a small fraction of the 4,700 Gmail accounts targeted by Fancy Bear were hacked successfully, the data drawn from them could run into terabytes – easily rivaling the biggest known leaks in journalistic history.”

This is scary stuff. Workers for Boeing, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin – all companies that have U.S. government contracts – were targeted in the schemes as well.

Cybersecurity isn’t just a buzzword – it’s vital to national security and corporate stability. Governments and businesses need to start looking beyond unsecure methods of communication like email if hackers are ever going to be stopped.


About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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Bank of Canada more worried about cyberattack than recession

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The governor of the Bank of Canada is not holding his fear of a cyberattack back.

In an interview with the Canadian Press, Stephen Poloz said that more than anything else, a cyberattack on a large Canadian financial institution is what worries him the most about the future:

“It leaps up to the top of your consciousness pretty quickly — I think in many ways it’s more worrisome than all the other stuff…

Every [cybersecurity breach] you hear of sounds different, or happens in a different way…. There’s all these things you and you think, ‘My God, how do I get my arms around that whole risk and what are the consequences?’…

If you continue just to add institution-by-institution guidelines, you will not create enough of an umbrella to protect anybody from the social consequences of a cyber event and, therefore, almost definitionally there will be one…

What are the social consequences if our payments system goes down for any length of time? Big disruption to the economy. So, it becomes a macroeconomic consequence from maybe only one member of the payments system having a vulnerability that wasn’t guarded against.”

Poloz is right that a system is only as strong as its weakest link – this is true for cybersecurity as much as any other topic. At Evizone, we consistently tell our clients to look at their own clients and vendors to make sure they are safeguarding their data properly. Getting hacked puts not only your own company at risk, but every other company you deal with as risk too. This was the case when HBO’s Orange is the New Black was leaked early after the audio-post production company Larson Studios had their systems compromised.

With tough new regulations being passed in New York, the EU, and other jurisdictions that penalize poor attention to cybersecurity, it’s time for companies to step up to the plate and ensure that they protect and encrypt their data.

Ignoring the issue is not only bad for your company, but for the whole economy.


About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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Evizone is your solution to GDPR, the EU’s draconian data protection update

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The European Union is about to make one of the most radical changes in data protection ever seen by a government, and it will affect any company collecting information on European individuals – even if they have no business on the continent.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be implemented on May 28, 2018, and it outlines how data on EU citizens can be stored by companies around the world. Non-compliance to the new rules is costly: organizations in breach of the rules can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million ($23.4 million USD), whichever is greater.

What would cause such a hefty fine? “Not having sufficient customer consent to process data” is one item of malice listed on the EU’s website.

Even though it can take days and weeks for companies to figure out what’s going on when they’ve been hacked, GDPR rules stipulate that Brussels will need to be notified of any breach of personal data within 72 hours. Data processors will need to notify their customers of the same “without undue delay” or risk an astronomical fine.

This only scratches the surface of how GDPR will affect data collection and breach management. We encourage our readers to learn more about how this new law will affect their day-to-day business.

The key takeaway is that the EU is imposing draconian measures to force organizations to take cybersecurity seriously.

Evizone was founded on the principle that no data can ever be stored safely without best in class security and encryption. That is why we offer the strongest commercially available system for secure communications and compliance archiving.

All data transmitted through Evizone is protected with Evizone’s patented security architecture and military-grade encryption. Nothing is stored on external devices, meaning a stolen cellphone or computer will not compromise any information.

Evizone provides its clients with a closed high security zone to view and manage data; the only way you can have true secure communications in the twenty-first century.

The GDPR is a complicated, bureaucratic law. But compliance is as easy as using Evizone. To test out our services, visit us at http://evizone.com/free-trial/.

About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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Government and the tech industry must cooperate to encourage encryption and protect society

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Given the string of high-profile and costly cyberattacks that have taken place over the last couple of years, you’d think everyone would see urgency in encouraging security measures like encryption. After all, everyone loses when credit scores and bank accounts get hacked.

And yet, the U.S. government has raised legitimate concerns regarding encryption. As Reuters reports:

“U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Tuesday sharply criticized technology companies that have built strongly encrypted products, suggesting Silicon Valley is more willing to comply with foreign government demands for data than those made by their home country.

While echoing many arguments made by previous senior U.S. law enforcement officials, Rosenstein struck a harder line than his predecessors who led the Obama Justice Department, dismissing attempts to negotiate with the tech sector as a waste of time and accusing companies of putting sales over stopping crime.

“Company leaders may be willing to meet, but often they respond by criticizing the government and promising stronger encryption,” Rosenstein said during a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, according to a copy of his remarks. “Of course they do. They are in the business of selling products and making money. … We are in the business of preventing crime and saving lives.”

Rosenstein’s first lengthy comments on encryption signaled a desire for Congress to write legislation mandating that companies provide access to encrypted products when a law enforcement agency obtains a court order.

Tech companies and many cyber security experts say requiring law enforcement access to encrypted products will broadly weaken cyber security for everyone. U.S. officials have countered that default encryption settings hinder their ability to collect evidence needed to pursue criminals.

Previous officials have urged such an approach, but Rosenstein more directly criticized Silicon Valley. He cited a series of media reports to suggest U.S.-based companies are more willing to accede to demands for data from foreign governments than they are from the United States.

The remarks were quickly denounced by supporters of strong encryption.”

At Evizone, we believe in the need to cooperate with law enforcement with appropriate due process. There should not be an open license for government to access any data they desire without safeguards; yet there are many compelling arguments that law enforcement must have access to data in order to keep society safe and functioning. There are just as many compelling arguments that data must be protected by encryption to keep society safe and functioning.

We call upon governments and the tech industry to engage in a broad dialogue to strike the right balance. At Evizone we strike the balance between high security and compliance with regulations every day. Give us a call to find out how we do it!


About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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Yahoo hack worse than expected – again

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Exactly a year ago this month, Yahoo made a stunning revelation.

They had already announced in September that 500 million email accounts had been hacked in 2014. But then in October they announced that over 1 billion email accounts had also been breached in 2013. This gave the tech company the honour of being victim to the two largest attacks on an email service.

It can’t get much worse than that, can it?

Well, it turns out the 1 billion accounts was actually 3 billion.

Every single Yahoo account in existence was hacked.

As the New York Times reports:

“Digital thieves made off with names, birth dates, phone numbers and passwords of users that were encrypted with security that was easy to crack.

The intruders also obtained the security questions and backup email addresses used to reset lost passwords — valuable information for someone trying to break into other accounts owned by the same user, and particularly useful to a hacker seeking to break into government computers around the world.

No one knows exactly what happened to the data after it was stolen in 2013. But last August, a hacking collective based in Eastern Europe quietly began offering Yahoo’s information for sale, according to intelligence gathered by InfoArmor, an Arizona cybersecurity company that monitors the darker corners of the web.

Since then, at least three buyers — two known “spammers” and an entity that appeared more interested in using the stolen Yahoo data for espionage — paid about $300,000 each for a complete copy of Yahoo’s stolen database, InfoArmor said after Yahoo first disclosed the breach.

Cybersecurity professionals warned that because many of the three billion Yahoo accounts belong to people who use the same passwords for different sites and services, there is likely to be an escalation of email fraud and account takeovers. They added that anyone who had used Yahoo should be diligent about monitoring their personal accounts.

With the stolen data, fraudsters have a higher chance of gaining access to the victims’ bank accounts, said Frances Zelazny, the vice president of marketing at BioCatch, a security start-up. “Most people reuse passwords or make multiple versions of the same passwords that are easy to hack,” she said.”

It’s common these days for victims of cyberattacks to underestimate the damage caused. The escalating Equifax hack is one example.

But there is something particularly troubling about the Yahoo breach. That every account was compromised means the company took no precautionary steps to protect their data by segmenting it. As we wrote in October 2016, “If Yahoo ever attempted to include basic security measures in their email platform, you would never know it.”

It’s time to ditch traditional email services and move on to Evizone, the secure communications platform of the future.


About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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Global firm offering cybersecurity advice gets hacked

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A major global accounting firm, offers their clients a slew of services. One of them is the development of cybersecurity strategies.

According to their website, they help “organizations prevent cyberattacks and protect valuable assets.” They “focus on establishing effective controls around the organization’s most sensitive assets and balancing the need to reduce risk, while enabling productivity, business growth and cost optimization objectives.”

It’s an attractive proposition for their clients, but recent news shows even cybersecurity experts cannot make e mail safe for electronic communications. Bloomberg reports:

Following record results that flagged the growth of its cyber security business, [Big Accounting Firm] LLP has revealed that it has been successfully targeted by a cyberattack that let hackers access data from an internal email platform.

The auditing and consulting firm said in a statement Monday that it’s currently informing the clients affected and has notified governmental authorities after it became aware of the incident.

The firm said “very few” clients were impacted, and has drafted outside help to review its security. The hack was first reported by The Guardian.

The email platform was stored on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, according to The Guardian. A spokeswoman from Microsoft declined to comment.

It’s a problem we’ve seen before. No matter how well a company protects their servers or their data, the use of email creates a serious chink in the armor, even for experts. Once a hacker has access to a messaging platform like Microsoft’s Azure, the whole network risks being exposed.

It’s time for companies to move beyond email and join the twenty-first century.

Evizone offers a closed communication system with next generation security. To test out Evizone Secure Communications (ESC), visit us at http://evizone.com/free-trial/. ESC provides the strongest commercially available system for the secure exchange of electronic communications. Don’t wait until it’s too late!


About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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Government doesn’t pay nearly enough attention to cybersecurity

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The government doesn’t pay nearly enough attention to cybersecurity, according to some very good sources.

Fortune Magazine reports that last month, a quarter of the members of U.S. President Donald Trump’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council resigned, citing “specific shortfalls in the administration’s approach to cybersecurity”. The article continues:

“The resigning advisors also said the Administration was not “adequately attentive to the pressing national security matters within the NIAC’s purview, or responsive to sound advice received from experts and advisors.” The letter also zeroed in on “insufficient attention to the growing threats to the cybersecurity of the critical systems upon which all Americans depend,” including election systems.

While he has ordered better security for government networks, Trump has shown little understanding or seriousness when it comes to the broader issues surrounding, in his words, “the cyber.” Most notably, he has refused to accept the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia engineered a hacking and propaganda campaign meant to subvert the 2016 presidential election, and even floated the idea of forming a cybersecurity task force with Russia. The administration also missed a self-imposed deadline for presenting a comprehensive cybersecurity plan.

In a report issued just after the mass resignations, the NIAC issued a report saying that dramatic steps were required to prevent a possible “9/11-level cyberattack.””

It’s worrying that those most suited to deal with issues of cybersecurity in government chose to quit rather than work with a difficult administration. The mass exodus does not bode well for the country, or for the data the federal government holds in its possession.

However, it’s a good reminder to companies and individuals that the government is not equipped to help you if you become a victim of a cyberattack. This is a message we have repeated countless times – your own security is in your hands.

Don’t wait to become the next Sony. Protect your data and communications today with the help of Evizone. Try it free for 30-days by visiting us at http://evizone.com/free-trial/.


About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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Hackers stole your social security number – and 143 million others

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Equifax is the largest consumer credit reporting agency in the United States and collects sensitive information on nearly a billion people worldwide. It’s a publicly traded company with annual revenue of over $3 billion and it has been in business for over a century.

With its experience and responsibility, it would be a sensible assumption that Equifax takes every measure possible to protect the data they hold.

And yet, this isn’t the case. As The Verge reported on September 7:

“Equifax announced today that 143 million US-based users had their personal information compromised this year. Attackers reportedly exploited a vulnerability on Equifax’s website to steal names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. Credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 people and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 people were also accessed. Although Equifax operates in other countries, it didn’t detect any stolen personal information abroad.

The company says it discovered the breach on July 29th this year, and has since plugged the security hole. The company also set up a dedicated website — www.equifaxsecurity2017.com — for possible victims to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection.

Data breaches are fairly common, although those impacting Social Security and driver’s license numbers are rarer and more serious. The fact that Social Security numbers are included in the breach makes it likely that victims will be targeted for identity theft. Equifax says it’s working with both an independent cybersecurity firm and law enforcement to investigate.”

Yes, data breaches are fairly common, but they shouldn’t be. Many breaches start through failures in e mail security or best practices which allow access to corporate systems.

This type of cyberattack can be prevented with the use of Evizone. Through our proprietary software, users have access to the most secure electronic communications and compliance archiving platform commercially available.

Visit us at evizone.com to see how we do it.


About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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Phishing dupes Canadian university out of $11.8 million

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When private companies fall for the tricks of cybercriminals, it’s their investors who stand to lose the most and who must demand accountability.

Yet when public institutions like schools and hospitals are scammed, taxpayers are left picking up the bill.

The latest example happened at Alberta’s MacEwan University. CBC reports:

“An Edmonton university was defrauded of $11.8 million after staff failed to call one of its vendors to verify whether emails requesting a change in banking information were legitimate.

MacEwan University discovered the fraud on Aug. 23 after the legitimate vendor, a construction company, called to ask why it hadn’t been paid.

Three payments were made to the fraudulent account: one on Aug. 10 for $1.9 million; another on Aug. 17 for $22,000 and a third on Aug. 19 for $9.9 million.

Most of the money — more than $11.4 million — has been traced to accounts in Montreal and Hong Kong, the university said in a news release Thursday.

Those funds have now been frozen, the university said, adding it is working with legal counsel in Montreal, London and Hong Kong to pursue civil action to recover the money. The status of the rest of the missing money isn’t known.

University spokesperson David Beharry said the scammers sent emails that looked legitimate.

“A domain site with the authentic logo was sent,” Beharry told reporters. “The individual asked us to change banking information from the vendor. That information was changed.”

Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt said in a statement he found it unacceptable that the university fell victim to this scam.

He’s asked the chair of MacEwan’s board of directors to report by Sept. 15 about how this could have happened.

“While I’m told that MacEwan has put improved internal financial controls to help prevent it from happening again, I expect post-secondary institutions to do better to protect public dollars against fraud,” Schmidt said in a statement.”

The Education Minister has the right attitude. With everything we know about cybersecurity today, there is no excuse for advanced education facilities to fall victim to such schemes.

There is hope for the University: the perpetrators of the attack were not sophisticated enough to funnel the money elsewhere, and with the funds now frozen, the cash will likely be recovered – at least in part. The next large-scale victim may not be so lucky.

If you’re reading this and concerned about the cybersecurity of your institution – whether it’s public or private, non-profit or for-profit – get in contact with us to learn more about our secure communications software. With Evizone, you never have to worry about anything malicious lurking within your messages.


About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Contact:
Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, tkott@hatleystrategies.com

 

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