Peter Cavicchia II,
retired U.S. Secret Service Senior Executive,
is Chairman of the security consulting firm
Strategic Services International LLC. 

Is Your Baby Monitor Safe From Hackers?

When it comes to common household devices that one has to assess for cybersecurity risk, you might want to prioritize your baby monitor. Recent headlines shed light on the reality that more than 83 million Internet-connected devices like DVRs, security cameras and baby monitors possess a serious security flaw. The internal vulnerability is found in ThroughTek Kalay, a software development kit that offers a plug-and-play system to connect these kinds of smart devices to their mobile apps. This means the software enables app authentication, transmitting sometimes sensitive data back and forth from app to device, Wired reports. Keep in mindContinue reading “Is Your Baby Monitor Safe From Hackers?”

Should Your C-Suite Make Cybersecurity a Bigger Priority?

When it comes to the very pressing threat of cybersecurity attacks — everything from attacks on the electrical grid to hospital systems — building a strong defense against hackers is a major priority for any company or government entity. Using just one example, a recent study from IBM reveals the cost of major data breach scales over $7 billion in the healthcare industry alone. There is some concern though that cybersecurity vigilance doesn’t always climb to the top of a company or firm’s leadership team. Is the average C-Suite placing hacker defense front and center enough? A report from TheContinue reading “Should Your C-Suite Make Cybersecurity a Bigger Priority?”

Cybersecurity Leaders on How They Protect Their Data

A new survey of 125 data, privacy, and cybersecurity leaders shows how some of the top companies are approaching data protection. The global COVID-19 pandemic as well as ever-shifting technological norms and practices have caused the world’s top firms to jump-start their approach to safeguarding sensitive data, at a rate perhaps never seen before. Among the key findings from the Business of InfoSec and Okera report? The cloud is bigger than ever. What the findings show The survey showed that 72 percent of respondents reported moving at least half of their company’s data to the cloud, while 70 percent sayContinue reading “Cybersecurity Leaders on How They Protect Their Data”

What You Should Know About This Malware That Mimics the Netflix App

Binge-watching hours of one’s favorite programs on Netflix has become a signature form of escapism over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The streaming service especially saw sharp increases in subscriptions during the early days of the global health crisis. Given Netflix’s popularity, it shouldn’t be a surprise that cybercriminals have taken advantage of the fact that it is one of the most sought after mobile and smart TV apps. In recent months, a sneaky new malware that looks a lot like the Netflix app — complete with signature red “N” logo — has been found on the Google PlayContinue reading “What You Should Know About This Malware That Mimics the Netflix App”

Avoid These Cybercrime Scams During Tax Season

It’s here again — tax season. The 2021 tax filing season began February 12, and Americans across the country are filling out paperwork, meeting with their accountants and getting their finances in order before the August 15 deadline. Complicating an already confusing filing process is the fact that this time of year brings about an abundance of online tax scams. Cybercriminals take advantage of the stress that comes with tax season through sometimes sophisticated phishing scams that can seem like they are either coming from real accountants or IRS officials. Targeting tax accountants Last year, TechRepublic reported that hackers wereContinue reading “Avoid These Cybercrime Scams During Tax Season”

How Safe are SMS Text Messages?

Many of us have used SMS (short message service) text messages before. These allow mobile devices to send back and forth short-form text messages, often as an authentication process to send you passcodes to accounts and services you’re trying to access. They can also be used to relay important announcements from companies and brands. While using SMS texts is a common practice, just how secure are they? Apparently, there is an entire industry of cybercriminals geared to intercept these messages and extract your sensitive information. Vice News’s Joseph Cox worked with Lucky225 (a pseudonym), a hacker, to demonstrate how easyContinue reading “How Safe are SMS Text Messages?”

Why You Should Think Twice About Purchasing Smart Doorbells

We live in an era where most common appliances we know and take for granted are now “smart” and connected to the Internet. You might want to reconsider purchasing some that bring with them severe security vulnerabilities. Retailers like Walmart and Amazon are selling “smart doorbells” and other connected devices that bear serious security threats to your home, the Washington Post reports. The Post cites research out of the Florida Institute of Technology that zeroed in on these connected home security devices that might be far less than secure. Dr. TJ O’Connor, assistant professor, cybersecurity program chair and director ofContinue reading “Why You Should Think Twice About Purchasing Smart Doorbells”

The Massive SolarWinds Hack and What it Means for You

It’s considered one of the biggest, most wide-reaching hacks in American history — U.S. governmental agencies like the State, Treasury and Homeland Security Departments, private companies such as Microsoft and even the city network of Austin, Texas. All were the targets of a major security breach due to malware that infected the Orion software, a network tool from SolarWinds, reports Salon. It is believed the malware reached as many as 18,000 SolarWinds customers. The attack is so massive it has left security experts and laypeople alike stunned. BBC News reports that many are saying the Russian government is behind theContinue reading “The Massive SolarWinds Hack and What it Means for You”