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The Battle for Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Biometrics

The Weekly Cypher is specially curated to keep you up-to-date on the latest in cybersecurity, biometrics, and related news and innovations. This week’s topics are:

U.S. Has Second Strongest Cybersecurity in the World | Bloomberg BNA

The United States ranked second out of 200 countries for strongest cybersecurity capabilities in the United Nations Global Cybersecurity Index 2017, only outranked by Singapore. The countries were ranked on three levels of cybersecurity preparedness, with 96 countries in the initiating phase of cybersecurity, 77 in the development of increasing security, and 21 considered to model ideal standards of cybersecurity. The Index also found that half of world’s nations have no cybersecurity strategy in place. While those numbers may seem discouraging for global cybersecurity, many countries are looking to increase security in the future. [Read More]

Homeland Security says Americans Who Don’t Share Biometrics Can’t Leave the Country | ZDNet

While US Customs and Border Protection requires biometric information from foreign visitors, American citizens had previously been exempt from having to share biometrics. However, Homeland Security plans to make the practice mandatory for all Americans leaving the country. They advise that anyone who does not want to share biometric data should simply not travel overseas. While Congress has passed Biometric Exit bills at least nine times, critics claim lawmakers only intended it to be used for foreign nationals and never intended it to be extended to American citizens. [Read More]

Facial Recognition Catches Fugitive After 25 Years | Ars Technica

Nevada authorities have announced that facial recognition has led to the arrest of a violent criminal who escaped a Minnesota prison 25 years ago. After applying for a Nevada ID card, Robert Nelson’s ID was withheld when the DMV’s facial recognition connected the same image to an ID under another name. Both names were associated with a long string of felonies, and police took the career criminal into custody. Over half of adult Americans already have their biometrics enrolled in a law enforcement database, and while some may feel this is a breach of privacy, some feel safer knowing it may help law enforcement identify criminals. [Read More]

Healthcare Biometrics Market to Reach $3 Billion by 2022 | Finances Wire

As patient safety and confidentiality remain a priority in the healthcare industry, it is expected that the healthcare biometric market will reach $3 million by 2022. There are numerous benefits to using biometric authentication in the healthcare industry, especially helping to eliminate ever rising health care fraud. The government is also encouraging the adoption of biometrics in healthcare, especially as it has been successfully used in other countries. Despite concerns over protecting biometric data and limitations on current technology, those in the healthcare industry hope biometrics will be a smart investment to protecting patient data. [Read More]

VA Makes Progress on Improving Cybersecurity | FedTech

While the Veteran’s Affairs Department is known for their lack of cybersecurity measures, it has recently reported the VA has made significant improvements in the past year. In 2015, former CIO Laverne Council vowed to improve VA cybersecurity, and put together the Enterprise Cybersecurity Team (ECST) and created a cybersecurity plan to address weaknesses. Due to the efforts of the ECST, use of two-factor authentication to access network resources has improved, as well as other security measures. However, this is only the first step: The VA has still yet to put security standards on all databases, servers, and devices, leaving room for possible breaches. However, the ECST has definite plans to slowly increase security measures and patch vulnerabilities. [Read More]

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