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It’s time for a change.
The current credit card system has proven exceptionally vulnerable to breaches due, in part, to outdated technology. Retailers that suffer breaches, such as Target, are vulnerable to law suits from consumers who have their personal information stolen, but the retailer is merely the customer interface to a system that has many players and serious flaws.
The Target data breach is certainly stunning. More the data for 40 million credit cards was stolen during the first two weeks of the holiday shopping season. We do not know at this point exactly what happened in the Target data breach, but we do know where vulnerabilities exist in the system used by Target and other US retailers.
First, the card systems in the US use antiquated technology that has been upgraded in other parts of the world. Credit, debit and other types of cards in the US store card data on magnetic strips that are easily read and duplicated. In other countries, particularly Europe, cards store their information on embedded digital chips that produce unique codes when the card is used. This approach has been dramatically more difficult for hackers to breach.
Second, many companies are using Point of Sale Systems (POS) that are essentially Windows based personal computers. This is the number one target for hackers in general and has proven to be more vulnerable that other platforms such as Linux or Apple based systems.
Third, the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance process is based on periodic snapshots. You can be in compliance at the time of the compliance review and out of compliance the next day. We need to move toward systems of continuous compliance monitoring.
Lastly, when a customer swipes a card the information travels through numerous entities. Usually this includes the store, two different banks and one or more middle men. A breach within anyone of these companies can compromise the whole system.
Card and card reader systems have not fundamentally changed over the past 30 years, while computer hackers have become dramatically more sophisticated. If there is any good news that comes out of the Target data breach it is that it should spur a movement to streamline and modernize the system.
The day after Thanksgiving has become known as “Black Friday” not for necessarily negative reasons, but because it is a critical day and time period that can determine if a retailer ends the year “in the black”. Profitability and survivability for many stores depend on a successful holiday shopping season. The scale and timing of the Target breach should be a warning to all retailers and participants in the card system that change is not an option. Their economic lives may depend on it.
Airgain unveils extended portfolio of 5G OMNIMAX Dipole series antennas for M2M and IoT apps
Airgain announced the release of its OMNIMAX Next Dipole antennas, the latest addition to Airgain’s 5G product portfolio designed to deliver ultra-wideband connectivity for 5G NR sub-6GHz IoT and M2M applications.
The OMNIMAX Next Dipole series includes 5G NR sub-6GHz products for low profile and shock resistant outdoor applications, including “salt shaker” style antennas, indoor dipole “paddle” antennas, and outdoor “candlestick” dipole antennas.
Each product is designed to blend into the environment, with flexible mounting options while providing ultra-wideband connectivity for virtually any indoor or outdoor cellular module, modem, or gateway. The 5G ready OMNIMAX Next Dipole series provides future-proof performance, with backward compatibility from 5G to 4G and 3G global frequency bands.
“Supporting sub-6GHz 5G, particularly the lower bands approaching 600MHz, is challenging for the form factors of these products,” said Kevin Thill, Airgain’s Senior Vice President of Engineering.
“These antennas achieve excellent broadband performance without compromising the form factor, while outperforming competing solutions that we have seen in the market today. These antennas feature a unique and patent pending Coplanar Waveguide feed, which is key to enabling the ultra-wideband performance in the given form factors.
“We are excited to offer the expansion of our product portfolio of 5G ready antennas designed to accommodate wider bandwidth requirements demanded by 5G. The OMNIMAX Next Dipole series provides a cost-effective solution while delivering dependable quality.”
Building on Airgain’s antenna design expertise of CENTURION Next, the industry’s first 9-in-1 5G and Wi-Fi 6 fleet antenna, the OMNIMAX Next Dipole series includes 617 MHz to 6 GHz wideband cellular 5G support. OMNIMAX Indoor Dipole Next, OMNIMAX Outdoor Dipole Next, and M2M SN Next are available through our trusted channel partners or direct at 1-855-AIRGAIN.
You Are The Weakest Link
Tom Finan on human imperfection and cyber security culture
A craftsman never blames their tools. It is not the systems that ultimately fail cyber security professionals- it’s the people. Insider threats do abound but more often than malfeasance, misfeasance is the key to a breach. It wasn’t the firewall that failed Capitol One, it was a misconfiguration. Tom Finan dives in on culure vs. strategy quoting both Peter Drucker and…Barbara Streisand.
Covid 19 has changed 2020 in unprecedented ways in how we work, live our lives, and measure Cyber Risk. Listen to Episode #141 of Task Force 7 Radio as the Cyber Growth Leader from Willis Towers Watson, Tom Finan and Co-Host Andy Bonillo dive into how the “Cyber Security Superheroes” are working together to manage the human element during the pandemic. As claims data shows, effective Cyber Risk prevention and mitigation is largely a people problem. In response, companies need to assess and analyze the elements of their cultures that shape both positive and negative cyber attitudes and behaviors that makes the human element one of the largest risks to a company.
Axio360 platform to provide holistic view and identify financial impact of risk for Archer’s clients
Axio announced a strategic partnership with cybersecurity consulting firm Archer. This partnership will merge Archer’s expertise in critical infrastructure protection with the Axio360 platform and allow clients to measure cyber risk exposure in financial terms and manage their cybersecurity program from a holistic point of view.
The Axio360 platform will assist Archer’s clients in identifying cyber risks across business units and threat vectors that may not have previously been considered. The platform estimates all-in costs of exposure and evaluates how specific controls and mitigations will reduce risk.
“The Axio platform was built to fundamentally redefine how organizations solve cybersecurity problems. Our intention is to enable business-centric decision-making by putting the risk in financial terms,” said Brendan T. Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President of Channels & Partnerships for Axio.
“Our operating system aligns all key constituents and delivers clarity in real-time. This partnership with Archer allows our software to make critical infrastructure safer and more secure.”
“This partnership allows our asset owners to receive tailored recommendations from Axio and our dedicated team. For the first time, our clients will be able to measure their cybersecurity program and benchmark it across their industry peers,” stated Patrick C. Miller, Managing Partner for Archer.
“This collaboration will help the overall assessment and understanding of cybersecurity risk for critical infrastructure.”
Axio360’s methodology and software empowers organizations to continuously answer the four most critical questions for cyber risk:
- What’s my exposure in financial terms?
- How should I manage my cyber program?
- Do I have the financial ability to recover?
- Where should I invest?
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