SSN For Authentication is all Wrong

There is much being written about digital identity these days.  This article, although a bit hard to follow, does a good job of explaining the difference between "identification" and "verification".  All important in our digital age.

Unless you were stranded on a deserted island or participating in a zen digital fast, chances are you’ve heard plenty about the massive Equifax breach and the head-rolling fallout. In the flurry of headlines and advice about credit freezes an important part of the conversation was lost: if we didn’t misuse our social security numbers, losing them wouldn’t be a big deal. Let me explain: Most people, and that mainly includes some pretty high-up identity experts that I’ve met in my travels, don’t understand the difference between identification and verification. In the real world, conflating those two points doesn’t often have dire consequences. In the digital world, it’s a huge mistake that can lead to severe impacts.

Isn’t it all just authentication you may ask? Well, yes, identification and verification are both parts of the authentication whole, but failure to understand the differences is where the mess comes in. However, one reason it’s so hard for many of us to separate identification and verification is that historically we haven’t had to. Think back to how humans authenticated to each other before the ability to travel long distances came into the picture. Our circle of acquaintances was pretty small and we knew each other by sight and sound. Just by looking at your neighbor, Bob, you could authenticate him. If you met a stranger, chances are someone else in the village knew the stranger and could vouch for her.

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The Equifax Hack - Now What?

 

 

Each day, the news regarding the Equifax breach, where upwards of 143 million account records were exposed through a flaw in a web service, keeps getting worse.  On September 20th, we learned that apparently, the initial breach occurred sometime prior to March 2017 when Equifax hired an outside security company to review their systems but then, nearly four months went by before Equifax cyber-security personnel discovered it extent.  And then it was nearly two months later before the general public was told about it. It will likely be months or years till the full details and extent of the breach is fully understood.

There have been many other hacks and breaches over the past several years.  Many, like the Yahoo email address breach were much larger, exposing several times more user information. In the Yahoo hack, over a half billion email accounts and passwords were possibly exposed.  So why is the Equifax breach far more serious?  Because of the amount of personal data that’s stored by Equifax in one set of records. Nearly all important information about individuals including social security numbers, dates of birth, employment information, banking, loans, mortgages, and credit card information is right there. For the “bad-guys”, it’s a treasure trove.

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Honesty in the Workplace Starts with the Small Stuff

 by Debra J. Schmidt

More than thirty-nine percent of employees report that their bosses have asked them to do something that is dishonest or unethical, according to an opinion poll conducted by Loyalty Leader Inc.

Kevin started out in a middle management position at his company. Although this salary was modest, he worked hard and diligently supported his boss on a variety of projects as the business grew. He was promoted to a senior management position and the CEO took notice of Kevin’s dedication and excellent work. He decided to promote Kevin to assistant vice president and the two began working together very closely.

One day the phone rang in the conference room where they were meeting. Kevin answered and said, “Just a moment.” He covered the mouthpiece, then turned to the CEO and said, “It’s Kurt in accounting. He needs some information regarding the upcoming merger.

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In-Flight WiFi

In April 2011, we wrote about one of our first airline flights where WiFi was available. A novelty for many at time and many were amazed that it worked at all. Like so many novelties, in-flight WiFi is now a necessity. Here's an update on the technology and on ways to get the most out of WiFi in the skies.

When traveling in a pressurized cabin about 35,000 feet above the ground, one doesn’t give much thought to the engineering marvel that is the aircraft. Airplanes defy gravity and challenge physics. Yet these amazing feats don’t get much attention. What most passengers are concerned about is the Internet connection in these magnificent machines — and a slow one can infuriate the most patient traveler.

Thousands of people go to work each day to make the machinery behind air travel better each day. The airline industry is constantly evolving and introducing new technology to attract more customers. In recent years, one of the services added to air travel was in-flight Wi-Fi.

Technically, it’s an excellent thing to have. With in-flight Wi-Fi there are more passengers carrying out their business, updating social media statuses, watching movies, and focusing less on the length of the flight and other discomforts that come with the journey.

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The Computing Center acquires the assets of Sherpa Technologies, Inc.

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Computing Center acquires the assets of Sherpa Technologies, Inc

Ithaca, NY (September 8, 2017) - The Computing Center, an Ithaca, NY based computer technology systems integration company is pleased to announce that it has acquired the assets of Sherpa Technologies, Inc. The acquisition has been under discussion since May, 2017 and closed on September 6th.

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