Toasters are taking down multi-million dollar companies, highlighting the importance of cyber security

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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. You wouldn’t know that based on the slew of large scale hacks that have taken place this month, including the massive DDoS attack that took down PayPal, Twitter, Spotify, and others last week. The attack came not only from an army of compromised computers, but also internet-connected TVs, webcams, cameras, and even fridges and toaster used to overwhelm servers hosting the targeted websites.

The future is a complex thing.

Some in government recognize this. In an article for the Hill Times, Canadian Senator Art Eggleton wrote that cyber security specialists spoke to the Liberal caucus and urged the need for regular updates to Canada’s cyber strategy, given the exponential advancement of technology:

“The rate and nature of change requires an evergreen cyber strategy,” said Peter Sloly, executive director with Deloitte Canada, who works in the cyber section of the risk advisory services. “There’s no point in having one in 2010 and updating it in 2014 or having one in 2016 and then updating it four years later around an election cycle.”

Who would have thought in 2010 that toasters would be taking down multi-million dollar companies only six years later? Well, no one – and no one prepared for it properly.

The truth is that hackers are like bacteria, continuously probing cyber defences and evolving accordingly to find new ways around them.

By nature, governments are slow, bureaucratic organisms that cannot keep up with the technological advancements we see today. It would be wonderful for the federal government to update its cyber security strategy more regularly, but private companies cannot rely on the government to protect them, as our chairman Bill Wells has written before.

When it comes to cyber security, you need to rely on experts who have the best technology possible. Many companies update their defences and then wait several years to do so again, much like the government. This is just inviting problems. You need to rely on security systems that are updated as quickly as the hackers evolve. This is what Evizone does – we are committed to defending your secure communications 24/7.


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’s spying: a terrible corporate decision

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In a damning article published by Reuters last week, it was revealed that Yahoo has been spying on its users, collecting their data “at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI”.

“Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.”

In response to this blatant violation of privacy, Yahoo tried to explain that nothing they did was illegal. Meanwhile, Google was quick to say that it has never and never would take part in such a government operation, saying “no way”. Others were less decisive. Facebook said they would “fight” a request, but did not close the door completely. Microsoft and Twitter simply said they have not been asked to set up a Yahoo-like monitoring system, with no elaboration.

It would easy be to simply say “you get what you pay for” with free communications services like Yahoo, but that would only justify their poor corporate decisions. In reality, companies need to respect their clients’ privacy, no matter what.

Needless to say, Evizone would never scan through any client communications. It’s the decent thing to do, but it’s also the least a client should expect from their email and communications provider.

The military-grade encryption provided by Evizone protects you from hackers and all other threats – you can be sure that any messages you send are only seen by you and the intended recipients.


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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Securities regulators get serious about cyber security

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If there’s one place where you would expect cyber security to be taken seriously, it’s in an area of the economy where trillions of dollars are potentially at stake. Of course, expectations do not always translate to reality.

But it was encouraging to see last week that the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are making it a priority in their 2016-2019 Business Plan. Louis Morisset, Chair of the CSA and President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers, said that “It is crucial for us to improve collaboration and communication on cyber-security issues with market participants. We want to ensure they are aware of the challenges, have a sufficient level of preparedness, and are as resilient as possible against cyber risks.”

In addition, the CSA – the formal network of all of Canada’s provincial securities regulators – will “hold roundtable sessions with market participants in the coming months to discuss cyber security issues and risks, and the need for coordination and information sharing,” according to the press release.

In a CSA Staff Notice on cyber security updated for the first time since 2013, the CSA states:

The cyber threat landscape is constantly changing as technology advances and business strategies evolve. Given the electronic linkages within the financial system, the impact of a cyber attack can spread quickly, potentially affecting the integrity and efficiency of markets globally as well as trust and confidence in the financial system.

With advancing technology, cyber adversaries are becoming more sophisticated and the potential for damage is ever increasing. The number of entities experiencing financial losses, intellectual property theft, reputational damage, fraud, and legal exposure is rising.

Some studies examining the impact of cyber breaches, such as those released by the Ponemon Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers, found that:

  • In 2015, 38% more cyber security incidents were detected than in 2014; and
  • The average total cost of a data breach for the companies participating in the 2016 Ponemon survey stood at USD$4 million.

Given these trends, as well as recent high-profile hacking incidents, authorities globally are considering or implementing various policy responses to encourage Market Participants to improve their cyber defences.

Cyber criminals are getting more sophisticated every day, and the potential cost of breaches are getting larger in the process. By making cyber security a priority, the CSA is making the right move for the sake of the stability of the securities market.


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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The government can’t protect your cyber property

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Yesterday, the Globe and Mail reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to sign a cyber accord with China in an effort to help protect Canadian companies from Chinese hackers. As journalist Colin Freeze wrote:

The Globe and Mail has learned the discussions will also be a forum for Canada and China to iron out their differences on cybersecurity.

“The U.S. and U.K. recently concluded agreements with China not to engage in, or support, the theft of intellectual property and trade secrets to gain economic advantage,” said Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. “A similar agreement is a possible outcome.”

Such a dialogue has profound implications for Canada’s business community, given that Chinese government hackers are frequently seen as adversaries with a voracious appetite for corporate intellectual property as well as state secrets. Past victims of Chinese hacking campaigns include the federal government’s National Research Council and, allegedly, the former telecom giant Nortel Networks.

While the plan sounds nice and dandy, it will do little to nothing to stop the cyber security threat from overseas.

For one, an accord with the Chinese still leaves every other country free to do whatever they want.

The list of nations harboring potential cyber threats and hackers is pretty vast and just as threatening.

But if we focus on China alone: a government accord would only force state actors to comply. Ordinary hackers and criminals alike would still have free reign to target Canadian companies and government departments, as they have been known to do.

CEOs and corporate leaders should take no solace in Mr. Trudeau’s plan. Relying on the government to protect you from cyber espionage is like removing the locks at your head office and leaving confidential documents out in the open because your city has a police force. It doesn’t cut it.

CEOs have an obligation to act proactively to protect company assets, no matter where they’re stored. Company communications are a key area of vulnerability. They must be protected.

Bill Wells is the Chairman of Evizone


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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Stingray devices are no match for military-grade encryption

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Did you know the government can collect the data you store in your pocket with little to no effort? The tool they use is called a “Stingray”, a cellphone surveillance device that collects information indiscriminately if you’re in its vicinity.

The Globe and Mail has investigated the practice extensively and unearthed a lot of previously unknown information, with the help of a report written by Christopher Parsons (University of Toronto) and Tamir Israel (University of Ottawa).

In an editorial this week, the Globe hit the nail on the head when it comes to concerns around privacy:

Privacy is an ancient concept, and with good reason. Police do not have the right to enter your home and go through the contents of your filing cabinet without a warrant; the same principles must be applied to your electronic filing cabinet on your computer or smartphone. Policing in the 21st century should still adhere to the best standards of the past few centuries. To search that which is supposed to be private and closed, first show a judge that you have reasonable suspicion of wrong-doing, enough to justify entry by means of a search warrant.

But the advance of technology, and the resulting legal confusion, mean that lines are literally getting crossed. In one bizarre case, prison guards at the Warkworth Institution in Ontario seem to have had their personal phone calls intercepted by an IMSI, which the institution was using.

It’s high time to get the wires disentangled.

It’s an odd scenario to see hackers unknowingly hack themselves, as in the case of the prison guards, but there are innovative ways to protect your data from Stingray devices, no matter who you are.

Stingrays access information that in unprotected or only moderately encrypted. If you’re storing information directly on your phone, they can access it. If you’re storing information in an account that is always logged in on your phone, they can likely access.

However, with Evizone’s patented military-grade storage and encryption technology, there is absolutely no way for the government – or organized criminals – to access your data in this unconstitutional manner. Evizone’s mobile storage app uses numerous security measures to protect your data and always logs out when you exit the app, and your information is secure on Evizone’s fortressed servers.

Yes, it’s high time to get the wires disentangled, but don’t wait for the government to act for you to get more serious about your privacy.


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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The mistake people make when discussing cyber-security

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Vice Media’s Motherboard website published a series of articles on hacking recently with titles like “The Motherboard Guide to Not Getting Hacked”, “Why The US Government Needs a Cyber National Guard”, and “We Asked Hackers To Predict The Future of Hacking”.

While mostly informative, the authors did what almost everyone talking about digital security does: they overlooked proper data storage as the most foolproof means to prevent breaches.

Sure, Motherboard suggested generating strong passwords to protect your accounts and to back up your files in case you’re ever the victim of a cyber-attack. But the world wouldn’t need a “Cyber National Guard” if data was securely encrypted and stored in the first place. The more people get hacked, the more we talk about superfluous things like voiding certain websites and being careful with public WiFi. It may be clichéd, but it’s insanity to repeat the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.

The Democratic Party in the United States proves the point. Piling onto the disaster of Hillary Clinton’s private server and unsecure emails, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was in crisis mode after hackers – likely linked to the Russian government – leaked their emails and documents through WikiLeaks this summer. Research on Donald Trump and emails about how to suffocate Bernie Sanders’ rise were compromised, likely all stored on non-encrypted servers. DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down as a result.

As Evizone chairman Bill Wells said after the scandal, “Once again poor communications security claims a high profile scalp. The shattered careers keep piling up and still sophisticated people trust their futures to a compromised technology riddled with flaws. Time to wake up folks! There are alternatives. Roll the dice by using e mail and you only have yourself to blame.”

The alternatives are easy to find.

If you’re reading this on our website, you are one click away from a patented data management system that is an unhackable fortress. The dumb mistakes people make with their emails are prevented by Evizone’s secure communication system.

After Sony, Ashley Madison, and now the DNC, it boggles the mind that people continue to repeat these preventable mistakes.


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

 

LEARN MORE                     FREE TRIAL                          CONTACT EVIZONE