Archives: Coronavirus

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Automated Vehicles Assist with Contactless Delivery During COVID-19 Pandemic

Several autonomous vehicle developers stopped their on-road testing to keep staff at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but others pivoted to COVID-19 relief, not only to be useful but to gain experience. Some companies and developers in this space have taken this opportunity to deploy self-driving cars and driverless bots to help deliver goods both … Continue Reading

Chinese and Russian Hackers Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Makers in U.S. Crosshairs

Last week, authorities from the United States, United Kingdom and Canada accused a well-known hacker group tied to the Russian government, APT29 a/k/a Cozy Bear of using malware to exploit security vulnerabilities to enable it to steal COVID-19 vaccine research from companies located in these countries working to develop a vaccine. This was after a … Continue Reading

Three Keys to Avoid Microsoft Teams Data Swamp

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly forced companies to innovate and explore new ways of working across its workforce and client base. Some have decided to dive head first into implementing collaboration technologies such as Microsoft Teams. Afterall, it’s part of the Microsoft stack, so in theory such a decision doesn’t require a significant financial investment. … Continue Reading

What Does 2020 Have in Store for CCPA Enforcement and Litigation?

While the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect on January 1st of this year, the California Attorney General submitted the final draft of proposed regulations only last month. With the CCPA’s inclusion of a private right of action for California residents to seek actual or statutory damages if their personal information has been … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #244 – Beware of Scammers Posing as Utility Company Employees

The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of people to lose their jobs and many are struggling to make ends meet, including paying their utility bills. With economic turmoil comes scammers ready to take advantage of heightened anxiety and to prey on individuals when they are the most vulnerable. Recently, scammers have been posing as employees … Continue Reading

OCR Issues Guidance About Media Access to Health Care Facilities

These days, news stations are frequently running stories concerning people being treated for COVID-19, the providers working tirelessly to care for them, and politicians visiting health care facilities for a first-hand look at the crisis. In response to the media interest, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on May 5, 2020 to healthcare … Continue Reading

Financial Services Information Sharing Group Warns of Increased Phishing Attacks

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) has warned that financial services firms, and in particular smaller ones, are being attacked at an increased rate during the coronavirus pandemic. According to FS-ISAC, phishing attacks against financial services firms increased by one-third in the first quarter of 2020. In that time period, FS-ISAC identified … Continue Reading

Small Business Administration Loan Portal Compromised

Following the devastating impact of the coronavirus on small businesses, many small businesses applied for a disaster loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for relief. Small businesses that qualify for the disaster loan program, which is different than the Paycheck Protection Program offered by the SBA, can apply for the loan by uploading the … Continue Reading

New York Department of Financial Services Issues Guidance Regarding Heightened Cybersecurity Awareness During COVID-19 Pandemic

The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently issued guidance to its regulated entities regarding heightened cybersecurity awareness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. DFS described three primary areas of heightened risk during this time: remote working, increased instances of phishing and fraud, and third-party risks. With respect to remote working, DFS noted … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #236 – Foreign Government-Backed Phishing Attacks Pose as Fast Food Chains

Google has warned users in a blog article that nation state-backed hackers are using the COVID-19 crisis to ramp up phishing attempts and, in one example, are posing as American fast food franchises and sending malicious emails with fake offers and coupons to government officials and health care workers. Google has identified over 12 government-backed … Continue Reading

Interpol Issues Alert on Increased Risk of Ransomware Attacks Against COVID-19 Medical Organizations

Interpol has issued an alert to global law enforcement agencies about the increased risk of ransomware attacks on hospitals, health care providers and other organizations on the front line of response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Purple Notice, issued to all 194 member countries, notified them that Interpol’s Cybercrime Threat Response team has detected a … Continue Reading

FBI Issues Warning of Increased BEC During COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 6, 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning to companies to be aware of an increase in business email compromises (BEC) entitled “FBI Anticipates Rise in Business Email Compromise Schemes Related to the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Although BECs have been around for years, attackers are using the fact that many employees … Continue Reading

Working from Home During the Pandemic? Turn Alexa and Siri Off!

The transition from work-from-the-office to work-from-home has been rapid during the pandemic. All of a sudden, millions of workers are working from home, while data security personnel were not able to plan and operationalize the transition in an optimal way. Many security measures are being put in place now as everyone settles into the new … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #234 – Children’s Privacy During the Pandemic

Kids are at home all day now, remote learning and surfing the web more than ever before. Parents are working from home too, and understandably are not always able to monitor and supervise their children’s computer use as much as they should or would like to. Scammers, fraudsters and evil doers know this and are … Continue Reading

City of L.A. Email Blunder Exposes COVID-19 Test Results to All Recipients

Although email seems to be the preferred method of communication during the coronavirus pandemic, an error made by a City of Los Angeles employee is one to learn from and avoid repeat. Unfortunately, when emailing COVID-19 results to multiple individuals, instead of blind copying the recipients with the results, a staff member from the City … Continue Reading

Microsoft Issues Cybersecurity Risk Warning and Offers Help to Hospitals During COVID-19 Crisis

On April 1, 2020, Microsoft issued a specific warning to health care entities alerting them that they are at particular risk during the COVID-19 crisis, as threat actors are using the pandemic to take advantage of vulnerabilities while hospitals are focused on responding to the crisis. According to Microsoft “[D]uring this time of crisis, as … Continue Reading

OCR Issues Additional Guidance on HIPAA for Providers and First Responders on COVID-19 Front Lines

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued new HIPAA guidance to help providers and first responders in its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. OCR’s guidance addresses when HIPAA allows disclosures without patient authorization of identifying health information to first responders – such … Continue Reading

Businesses and Trade Groups Seek Delay in CCPA Enforcement Actions

Recently businesses and advertising trade groups wrote a letter to the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to request delayed enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The letter cited the current health crisis as a result of COVID-19 and a state of national emergency as the … Continue Reading

COVID-19: HHS Issues FAQs on HIPAA and Telehealth to Help Providers Maintain Access to Care During the Pandemic

On March 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued additional guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on HIPAA and telehealth services to help providers furnish care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAQs follow and provide further information on the Notification of Enforcement Discretion issued by HHS on March 17 (Notification), … Continue Reading
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