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Strengthening Foundations for Cybersecurity

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:

Girl Scouts to Offer Cybersecurity Badges | Refinery29

The Girl Scouts have recently announced a new badge: Cybersecurity. Girls as young as five will now have the opportunity to be educated in this important skillset in an attempt to break down gender barriers and encourage more girls to pursue STEM education. As cyber crime increases and the need for cybersecurity is booming, the Girl Scouts hope to inspire girls to pursue careers in this growing, male-dominated industry. At the very least, this useful skill set will help Scouts maintain their cyber privacy as teenagers and adults. [Read More]

What Will it Take for Cybersecurity to Become Common Sense? | CNET

Millions of people all over the globe are vulnerable to hacking due to weak passwords and other unsafe practices, yet few realize that they’re at risk. Just as simple, daily practices help protect people from dangerous situations, such as wearing a seatbelt, there are many easy practices that protect people from data breaches. For example, keeping your software updated. However, the true problem is that as technology changes rapidly, so do cybersecurity practices. And as the number of devices increases so does the amount of advice we receive. While it takes time to learn and adapt as a society, and it is hoped that the younger generation will pave the way as technology is introduced at younger ages. [Read More]

Facial Recognition May Boost Airport Security but Risks Privacy | NPR

JetBlue is currently testing out facial recognition to replace traditional boarding passes. In hopes of increasing security measures while making the flying experience more convenient, airports are hoping to turn to facial recognition for check-in and boarding. While many enjoy the ease of use, some feel that requiring passengers to use facial biometrics is an invasion of privacy; while a social security number or bank number can be changed easily, it’s difficult to change one’s face. For now, airport facial recognition is in its early phases, but customs officials are hopeful to start using it as early as next year. [Read More]

Europe Grappling with Increased Threats to Cybersecurity | NPR

European countries are currently struggling to deal with an increasing amount of cybersecurity threats, most recently NotPetya. As recent malware attacks keep many banks, ports, and shipping companies closed, cybersecurity experts and officials from the EU, NATO, and private industries came together on June 28 in Brussels to discuss possible solutions. While all experts agree that increasing cybersecurity awareness and technology practices are necessary, they also have found that some of the latest attacks may not be able to be stopped. One of the largest challenges facing European countries as malware becomes more sophisticated is out of date computer technology. [Read More]

What We Know About NotPetya | Data Breach Today

Malware that’s considered more dangerous than WannaCry has attacked over 65 countries, including the United States. Despite being commonly referred to as “NotPetya,” security researchers say little of NotPetya is based on Petya, a ransomware that debuted in 2016. While the function of most ransomware is to create revenue, NotPetya appears to have been designed to act as a wiper, leaving infected systems unusable. And unlike past malware, this one has been built so carefully that creating decryption tools for victims seems impossible. For now, security researchers at the National Cyber Security Center in Britain is working on a solution and encourages good cybersecurity practices, such as using anti-virus products and updating software. [Read More]

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