IT Security Trends in the Era of COVID: Our Top Five Tips for Making Your Network Safer in 2021

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As the COVID era drags on, it is clear that work life “post-COVID” may be very different from life “pre-COVID.” This is especially true as it relates to IT security. More and more employees have shifted to a telecommuting work model, and for many businesses that may be the case for an indefinite period of time. This raises important questions as to which security improvements or other changes IT departments need to make in 2021 to keep their businesses and client data safer from cyberattacks.

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FTC Settlement with Zoom Concerning Alleged Data-Security Lapses

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On November 9, 2020, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had entered into a consent agreement, subject to final approval, with videoconferencing company Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (Zoom). The consent agreement settles allegations that Zoom engaged in a series of deceptive and unfair practices that undermined the security of its users. The Commission voted 3–2 to accept the settlement, with Commissioners Chopra and Slaughter voting no and issuing dissenting statements asserting that the FTC’s action did not go far enough.

While the FTC generally does not identify what triggers a law enforcement action, there have been many news articles and a number of class actions filed in connection with Zoom’s data-security practices over the past six months that likely led to this action.

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British Airways Faces Significantly Reduced £20M Fine for GDPR Breach

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At £20 million, the fine imposed on British Airways for its infringement of the General Data Protection Regulation is the biggest fine of its kind in the history of the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Whilst markedly lower than the fine initially proposed, the process by which the revised figure was reached provides some interesting insights on the factors that regulators will take into account and is a clear sign that despite the current economic climate, the ICO is not afraid to enforce strict GDPR compliance.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

New York’s New Data Breach Notification Law: What Businesses Should Know

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New York’s Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act, which went into effect on March 21, places a greater burden on regulated entities in responding to data breaches and expands the enforcement powers of the New York Attorney General’s office. In order to avoid penalties, businesses would be wise to ensure that they are in compliance with the new law.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

Newly-Discovered Vulnerability Highlights the Security Concerns Surrounding Bluetooth Technology

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A recent report by researchers at the Helmholz Center for Information Security (CISPA), Singapore University of Technology and Design, and the University of Oxford has revealed that Bluetooth technology is vulnerable to a new type of hacking which allows for an attacker to carry out data theft on a Bluetooth-enabled device without the user’s knowledge or permission so long as the cyber-criminal is within Bluetooth range of the targeted device.

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An Update on Federal Policy Regarding Chief Data Officers and Data Governance: New OMB Memo

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a recent memorandum that moves the federal government forward in embracing the importance of the “governance” of data.

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