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Secure ID Coalition Blog

Scarier Than Zombies: Medical Identity Fraud Should Terrify You This Halloween

This Halloween, amidst the candy chomping, pumpkin carving, and costume wearing, the word "scary" will probably evoke images of zombies, vampires, and other monsters. While they can't hurt us in reality, we thought we'd focus on something that's not only truly terrifying, but real: data breaches. Like movie monsters, not all data breaches are created equal. One of the most horrifying types of data breach – if not the most traumatic – involves personal medical data. The worst a zombie can do is rise from the dead to feast on your flesh; healthcare data thieves, on the other hand, can not only imperil your life, but wipe out your finances – a fate almost worse than death.

 

New authentication standards may be in the works

According to Secure ID News, the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) may be seeking to revise the four-level authentication framework that currently serves as an important piece of secure identity assurance. The framework is embodied in NIST Special Publication 800-63, a technical document that maps out each of the four levels, and serves as a crucial guide to stakeholders concerned with secure authentication practices.

 

Medicare Common Access Card Would Have Stopped Fraudsters in Their Tracks

Check out this in-depth exposé by The Washington Post on the enormous Medicare power wheelchair scam. The piece blames Medicare's "weak defenses against fraud" as the primary reason for the scandal.

 

Knowledge-Based Authentication: Hardly a Smart Idea

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've likely heard about the celebrity photo hacking incident that targeted high profile Apple users. The breach comes at a time when Apple has begun doubling down on its cloud services. According to the Wall Street Journal, the attack was successful due to a rather straightforward assault on two of Apple's authentication systems -- password-based authentication and knowledge-based authentication -- both of which pale in comparison to token-based authentication when it comes to security.

 

Major Health Data Breach is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Community Health Systems Inc., one of the country's largest hospital groups, revealed that it was the victim of a major patient data breach following a cyber attack from China. While no health data was stolen, the personal information of approximately 4.5 million patients – including Social Security numbers – was obtained by the hacker group. Last month, the Secure ID Coalition alerted the public to the dangers of lax heath data standards.

 

"Smartcard technology can't happen soon enough"

In an article published Saturday, Jaikumar Vijayan, Senior Editor at Computerworld, shows how in light on ongoing data breaches, "The ongoing migration of the U.S. payment system to smartcard technology can't happen soon enough":

 

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