Did you hear about Eataly?



The Consciously Secure Entrepreneur: Did you hear about Eataly?

Eataly recently announced they joined the list of retailers to be victim of a data breach. They believe the malware was compromised at the NYC Retail Market Place location on 5th Avenue. The payment card transaction data of customers occurred from January 16, 2015 and April 2, 2015. Technology is changing quickly when it comes to data protection. Europay, MasterCard Visa (EMV), is the new technology for businesses to use at their Point of Sale to prevent data breaches.

So why is this important for businesses?

This is the new evolution of building out a more secure and innovative payment systems. A chip is embedded into newly reissued credit cards to make payments more secure is technology that was widely being used globally and is now in the US. Here are the three things you need to know:

1. Consumers love new technology: Especially if it means keeping their information more secure or it leads to a more efficient process. In the world of weekly data breaches, consumers want to know businesses are staying ahead of the curve and are current on technology and security trends.

2. Prevention Matters: EMV as a form of prevention results in less fraud. This technology upgrade will stop large amounts of data breaches, and if someone steals large amounts of data it will not be possible to replicate it onto a card to be used at another location.

3. Reduce Your Liability: As of October 1, 2015 businesses will be liable for all data breaches if the business has not converted to the new EMV technology. This means if a business experiences a data breach after October 1st, AND has not transitioned their payment system to include chip recognition technology, credit card companies (Europay, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express) will not incur or insure that loss. That loss will be the responsibility of the business owner for not using the highest level of technology available to have prevented the data breach.

Even with the new chips, all credit and debit cards still have a mag stripe.  There is no legal requirement for companies to convert by the October 1st deadline, so this will not happen overnight.  Businesses may need new card processors if one has not been replaced in the last few years. The best way to know is to contact your provider.

Moving to this new platform helps banks take advantage of this new technology and focus on:

1. Customer Experience: It’s a great way into increase trust with consumers.
2. Brand Message: It’s clear companies are taking strides to reduce security risks.
3. Simplicity: The banks are doing the work of replacing all the cards for their hundreds of millions of users. Business owners, simply need to upgrade their technology.

Don’t be the business that is forced to tell a customer the reason they can’t purchase food, get that birthday gift for their daughter, or pay a bill on time is because your company didn’t have this new technology. The lack of proper security prevention measures always becomes personal for somebody.

Stay tuned for part two where we discuss which industry is most vulnerable!

Are You Doing the Simple Things: The Top 5 Habits to Protect Your Information



Are You Doing the Simple Things: The Top 5 Habits to Protect Your Information

I often tell people we are in the new normal. The way we think about information and privacy is not the same as we thought about it even ten years ago. If we are using email, various websites or consistently saving files, getting into the routine of changing our passwords, updating our antivirus and becoming familiar with using cloud software is becoming more of an imperative. Below are the top five things people are not doing to protect their information. Some of it may seem very simple, but I continue to run into people that are not practicing these habits on a consistent basis. My guess is you know someone who isn’t as well.

1. Changing passwords every 4-6 weeks: This may seem rudimentary, but ask yourself when was the last time you updated your email, LinkedIn, Facebook, or banking passwords? Nowadays, there is a passcode for everything and I know it seems almost labor intensive to go through and update every single one. Mainly email accounts and website passwords (if you have a website) should be updated most frequently. Then continue with the websites you use most frequently and rotate that password every three to five months. TIPP: There are different apps that can add additional layer of security. Look at PassKey or Keeper for your phone or tablet. Passkey uses fingerprint technology for login on frequently used sites.

2. Updating the antivirus software when it expires: We get the 30 day reminder, then the 29 day reminder, then the 28 day reminder….It’s worth it to update your antivirus software when it expires. Remember why you paid for it the first time. Think about it as oil for your computer, similar to how oil is needed for a car. It’s a necessary tool to help make sure your computer is running well consistently.

3. For entrepreneurs, or solopreneurs – invest in secure email exchanges:  There are many ways for a small teams to invest in a secure email exchange at a low cost. It’s easy to not invest and to use your personal emails until someone’s email is compromised. If you are growing the size of your team, the one thing you will want to do for all aspects of your business is set the right culture from the beginning. In many cases, this will mean the onboarding process and having the right training. As part of that training, set expectations for data privacy of company and client information, and how emails should be used. Establishing the right culture early on will help tremendously in creating a preventative culture on data security.

4. Using the cloud: I know there are a lot of people still very resistant to the cloud.  If you have an external hard drive that’s great, but odds are you do not have it with you all the time. Then, of course, to have access to the cloud you need internet access. There are pros and cons to having the cloud or not having the cloud, and as I talk to people I find they are still hesitant to use it. However, generally, it is safer than email and can be safer than an external hard drive. You will want to know what layers of security are in place to protect your cloud, but that is something you would want to know for your email and computer as well. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all reasonable places to start when thinking of using the cloud.

5. Do not respond quickly when email is hacked: You know its happening. Your friends contact you because they received an email from you stating you were in an overseas location, in danger, and needed $5000 immediately. How about when your computer is starting to run slow, are you are still hesitant to act? Don’t be! You could be seriously affecting your computer files, email, cloud, or external hard drive. Respond quickly to warning signs and if you think your email is compromised. Immediately change the password and if you think your computer was compromised with malware, run an anti-virus scan. That’s right, this would be the time you will be happy you renewed your anti-virus plan.

It’s all about prevention! These are the routine habits you can do at home or work to have a safe and empowered workplace and to lead a consciously secure life at home.

Jessica Robinson is Founder & CEO of PurePoint International, a firm disrupting the security market by providing affordable outsourced Chief Security Officer (CSO) consulting services for startups, international non-profits, and mid-size commercial businesses. She completes training and assessments for businesses in physical and cyber security and risk mitigation/business continuity. We help you create a safe and empowered workplace.
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6 Practical Safety & Security Tips When Traveling Alone Internationally

As an International Safety & Security Advisor, I have completed a lot of research on international travel, including polls and focus groups to learn what is most important to people, especially women when traveling. I am often asked for advice as someone is preparing for an international trip. Here are some practical key learnings anyone traveling overseas can adopt to help stay safe when in an unfamiliar area. Remember the goal is always prevention!

1. Be aware of your surroundings: Paying attention to your environment, not texting and walking (yes!), or walking and looking at a map (looking like a tourist or a target). Don’t get so caught up in a conversation, reading, etc, that if someone took your wallet off the table, or brushed against you, you wouldn’t notice. Choose well-lit area, populated areas, and be careful of deserted areas or ridiculously loud areas.

2. Travel in groups: This may seem very basic, but when traveling alone it can be very noticeable to others. When in line at a store have “small talk” with the person next to you. It’s a great way to learn the local area, meet new people and to learn about the culture. If someone you don’t know asks you if you are traveling alone always say “no.” State you are “meeting someone” or “waiting for a friend”. This is especially important for women. I did this while vacationing by myself in the US Virgin Islands and it was very helpful. I was amazed how often I was asked if I was alone.

3. Intuition: You know that feeling you get when you know you should make a left instead of a right?  How about when you think there is someone behind you yet you don’t hear anything? Yes, that’s your intuition, your inner knowing or reasoning that causes you to take a specific action. Pay attention to it while traveling alone. In many cases, it will help steer you out of a challenging situation.

4. Visa: Always make sure your visa is updated and that you have all the necessary information via the US Embassy to not violate country entrance or exit laws. If your visa is going to expire before you leave the country you are residing in, let the local embassy or consulate know as soon as possible so they can help you resolve concern with the host country.

5. Understand being an American can make you a target: Not always, of course, but this is a fact that can’t be escaped. It is part of the politics of today’s world. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and it’s nothing to fear; taking precautions are important. Review the US State Department warnings for the country in which you are traveling. Use sound judgment, avoids large crowds of unknown origins, minimize your profile when in public, and always have a cell phone. Yes, this is tricky because perhaps you don’t plan on taking your phone to avoid accruing international charges. You can always change your phone plan for the duration of your trip, or purchase a temporary phone prior your trip or when you arrive to the country.

6. Have insurance: About 30% of Americans travelers get travel insurance. Insurance is just that – a very important backup plan in case something BAD happens. General reasons to get insurance are if your flight gets cancelled, your passport or wallet is stolen and you need money (or emergency plan), natural disaster, you are involved in an accident, you can to cancel your trip because of an illness, or you have a medical emergency while traveling. In the digital, post 9/11 world, I could go on and on.

Jessica Robinson is an International Safety & Security Advisor for PurePoint International and speaker and frequently publishes on the topic. To learn more about her work and company please visit www.the-purepoint.com.
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