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Social engineering is the very common practice of exploiting a human element to initiate and/or execute a cyberattack. 

Human weakness and ignorance present such easy targets that fully 82% of the attacks in Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report were perpetrated, at least in part, via some form of social engineering.

In this article, we look at the forms of social engineering that are frequently used and best practices for limiting its effectiveness within the enterprise.

What is social engineering?

A dictionary definition of social engineering (in the context of cybersecurity) is “the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.” 

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At the most basic, this includes the mass-market spamming of individual email accounts with a phishing attempt such as an offer for a free gift certificate from a well-known retailer. Consumers who click a link to a malicious website or open an infected file attachment and enter personal information may open themselves up to criminal exploitation.

For higher-value, enterprise targets, the technique can become quite a bit more elaborate — or remain stunningly simple.

Roger Grimes, data-driven defense evangelist at security awareness training vendor KnowBe4, calls it for what it is: a con, a scam. “It’s someone pretending to be a brand, company or person you would … trust more than if you know the message was being sent by a complete stranger trying to trick you into doing something that will impact you or your organization’s own interests,” he explained. “The desired actions are often to launch a malicious program, provide logon passwords, or to provide confidential content (e.g., social security number, banking information, etc.).” 

The criminal uses psychological manipulation to trick the user into performing actions or divulging confidential information. Seven means of persuasive appeal, as outlined by Robert Cialini in Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, are commonly cited in explaining why people are vulnerable to their application in social engineering:

  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity
  • Authority
  • Liking
  • Commitment
  • Consensus
  • Unity

Many social engineering attempts come via email, but that is not the only channel. Social engineering is also accomplished via SMS messages, websites, social media, phone calls or even in person. 

As Manos Gavriil, head of content at hacking training firm Hack The Box, points out, “Social engineering is considered the number one threat in cybersecurity, as it exploits individual human error, which makes it very hard to stop, and even the simplest forms of attack can have a devastating impact.”

Types of social engineering techniques and methods

Social engineering is accomplished in a variety of ways:  

  • Pretexting: This involves the false presentation of identity or context to make a target believe they should share sensitive data or take a compromising action, and it is an element in most social engineering.
  • Baiting: The adversary usually offers a fake promise of something to deceive the victim, steal sensitive information or infect the organization with malware.
  • Phishing: The attacker sends out large volumes of emails, without a specific target in mind, in the hope that a malicious link or attachment will be clicked to give the attacker access to sensitive information. 
  • Spear phishing: Masquerading as a known or trusted sender to a specific victim, the attacker sends a targeted, and usually personally crafted, phishing message. 
  • Whale phishing: This is spear phishing for a high-value target, such as a senior executive or key financial staffer. It is likely predicated on detailed information that the attacker has first gathered about the target and organization in order to present a credible pretext involving access to sensitive information or the initiation of a financial action.
  • Vishing or smishing: This is a phishing attempt made via a voice call or SMS text, as opposed to an email message.
  • Business email compromise (BEC): The cybercriminal compromises a business email account and impersonates the owner to deceive someone in the business circle into sending money or sensitive data to the attacker’s account.
  • Pharming: Code is placed on a computer or server to divert or trick the user into visiting a harmful website.  
  • Tailgating or piggybacking: A malicious actor gains physical access to an organization’s secured facility by closely following an employee or other authorized entrant who has used a credential to pass through security.
  • Dumpster diving: As it sounds, this is another attack at a physical location, whereby the criminal sifts through an organization’s trash to find information that they can use to initiate an attack.

These types of attack are often combined or tweaked to incorporate new wrinkles:

  • Cybercriminals often pretend they are from a trusted organization, such as the target’s energy supplier, bank or IT department. They use logos from these institutions and email addresses that are similar to official ones. Once they gain trust, they request sensitive information such as logins or account details to penetrate networks or steal funds. 
  • A common approach is a false scenario with a warning that if an action isn’t taken very soon there will be some unwanted negative consequence, such as having an account permanently locked, a fine or a visit from law enforcement. The usual goal is to get the person to click on a rogue URL link that takes the victim to a fake login page where they enter their login credentials for a legitimate service.
  • Another variant is the BazarCall campaign. It begins with a phishing email. But instead of duping the user into clicking on a malicious link or attachment, the email prompts the user to call a phone number to cancel a subscription. Urgency is injected with the threat that they are about to be automatically charged. Fake call centers then direct users to a website to obtain a cancellation form that installs BazarCall malware.
  • For spear-phishing, the attacker may glean valuable data from LinkedIn, Facebook and other platforms in order to appear more genuine. If the target is out of the country, for example, and is known to use an Amex card, a call or email may claim to be from American Express, seeking to verify identity to approve transactions in the country in which the user is traveling. The person hands over account information, credit card numbers, pins and security codes — and the attacker goes on an online buying spree.
  • Because whaling focuses on high-value targets, sophisticated techniques are increasingly used. If a merger is ongoing or a big government grant is about to go through, attackers may pose as someone involved in the deal and inject enough urgency to get money diverted to the account of a criminal group. Deepfake technology may be used to make a financial employee believe that their boss or another authority figure is requesting the action. 
  • LinkedIn requests from bad actors are growing in prevalence. Con artists charm unsuspecting jobseekers into opening malicious PDFs, videos, QR codes and voicemail messages. 
  • Push notification spamming is when a threat actor continuously bombards a user for approval via a multi-factor authentication (MFA) app. A user can panic or get annoyed by the number of notifications coming their way and give approval to the threat actor to enter the network.  
  • Cashing in on a current crisis, a social engineering attack plays on current headlines or people’s fears around personal finances. Whether it is text messages offering fake energy bills and tax rebates or an increase in online banking scams, people become more vulnerable to exploitation from opportunistic bad actors as budgets tighten.  

However, social engineering doesn’t have to be sophisticated to be successful. Physical social engineering usually involves attackers posing as trusted employees, delivery and support personnel, or government officials such as firefighters or police. Another effective ploy is to leave a USB stick somewhere labeled “bitcoin wallet” or even, in a company parking lot or building toward the end of the year, “annual raises.”

As Igor Volovich, vice president of compliance for Qmulos, shares, “Recently, a pair of social media figures set out to prove that they could get into concerts by simply carrying a ladder and ‘acting official.’ They succeeded multiple times.”

10 top best practices to detect and prevent social engineering attacks in 2022

Follow these best practices to thwart social engineering attempts within an organization:

1. Security awareness training may be the most fundamental practice for preventing damage from social engineering. 

  • Training should be multifaceted. Engaging but short videos, user alerts about potentially dangerous online activity, and random phishing simulation emails all play their part. 
  • Training must be done at regular intervals and must educate users on what to look for and how to spot social engineering.
  • One-size-fits-all training should be avoided. According to Gartner, one-size-fits-all training misses the mark. Content needs to be highly varied to reach all types of people. It should be of different lengths — from 20 minutes to one- to two-minute microlearning lessons. It should be interactive and perhaps even consist of episode-based shows. Various styles should be deployed, ranging from formal and corporate to edgy and humorous. Customization of content should address distinct types of users, such as those in IT, finance or other roles and for those with differing levels of knowledge.
  • Gamification can be used in a variety of ways. Training can include games where the user spots different threat indicators or solves social engineering mysteries. Games can also be introduced to play one department’s security scores against another’s with rewards offered at the end of a training period.

2. Employees should be tested regularly for their response to threats — both online and in person.

  • Before beginning security awareness training, baseline testing can determine the percentage of users who fall victim to simulated attacks. Testing again after training gauges how successful the educational campaign has been. As Forrester Research notes, metrics such as completion rates and quiz performance don’t represent real-world behavior.
  • To get a fair measure of user awareness, simulations or campaigns should not be announced in advance. Vary timing and style. If fake phishing emails go out every Monday morning at 10 and always look similar, the employee grapevine will go into action. Workers will warn each other. Some will stand up in the cubicle and announce a phishing campaign email to the whole room. Be unpredictable on timing. Styles, too, should be changed up. One week try using a corporate logo from a bank; the next week make it an alert from IT about a security threat. Akin to using “secret shoppers,” deploying realistic simulations of tailgaters and unauthorized lurkers or positioning tempting USBs at a facility can test in-person awareness. In working with a security awareness provider, Forrester analyst Jinan Budge recommends that organizations “choose vendors that can help measure your employees’ human risk score.” Budge notes, “Once you know the risk profile of an individual or department, you can adjust your training and gain valuable insights about where to Strengthen your security program.” 

3. Foster a pervasive culture of awareness.

According to Grimes, “If you create the right culture, you end up with a human firewall that guards the organization against attack.” Well-executed training and testing can help to create a culture of healthy skepticism, where everyone is taught to recognize a social engineering attack.

4. It should be easy to report attempts and breaches.

Systems should make it easy for personnel to report potential phishing emails and other scams to the help desk, IT or security. Such systems should also make life easy for IT by categorizing and summarizing reports. A phishing alert button can be placed directly into the company email program.

5. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is important.

Social engineering is often intended to trick users into compromising their enterprise email and system access credentials. Requiring multiple identity verification credentials is one means of keeping such first-stage attacks from going further. With MFA, users might receive a text message on their phone, enter a code in an authenticator app, or otherwise verify their identity via multiple means.

6. Keep a tight handle on administrative and privileged access accounts.

Once a malicious actor gains access to a network, the next step is often to seek an administrative or privileged access account to compromise, because that provides entry to other accounts and significantly more sensitive information. Therefore it is especially important that such accounts are given only on an “as needs” basis and are watched more carefully for abuse.

7. Deploy user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) for authentication.

Along with MFA, additional authentication technology should be used to stop initial credential breaches from escalating to larger network intrusions. UEBA can recognize anomalous locations, login times and the like. If a new device is used to access an account, alerts should be triggered, and additional verification steps initiated.  

8. Secure email gateways are another important tool.

Although not nearly perfect, secure email gateways cut down on the number of phishing attempts and malicious attachments that reach users.

9. Keep antimalware releases, software patches and upgrades current.

Keeping current on releases, patches and upgrades cuts down on both the malicious social engineering attempts that reach users and the damage that occurs when users fall for a deception or otherwise make an erroneous click.

10. Finally, the only way to 100% guarantee freedom from cyberattack is to remove all users from the web, stop using email, and never communicate with the outside world.

Short of that extreme, security personnel can become so paranoid that they institute a burdensome tangle of safeguards that slow down every process in the organization. A good example is the inefficient TSA checkpoints at every airport. The process has negatively impacted public perception about air travel. Similarly, in cybersecurity a balance between security and productivity must be maintained.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.

Mon, 07 Nov 2022 01:22:00 -0600 Drew Robb en-US text/html https://venturebeat.com/security/what-is-social-engineering-definition-types-attack-techniques/
Killexams : Creativity Tools & Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace

Drexel University School of Education

The online Creativity Tools and Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace Certificate Program provides students with hands-on creativity skills, tools, and techniques they can apply to their careers.

What can a graduate certificate in Creativity Tools and Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace do for you?

The Creativity Tools and Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace program is designed for a wide range of fields. Students include business leaders, K-12 education leaders, teachers, non-profit organization leaders, and others who are interested in learning how to develop creative problem-solving abilities for themselves and their organizations. Students sharpen their creative skills by applying lessons learned in the courses to issues they are facing in their workplace. Students graduate with the skills needed to creatively solve problems in their workplace, as well as the knowledge of how to build a culture if creativity within their organization.

How long does it take to earn a certificate in Creativity Tools and Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace?

  • Instructional Delivery: Online
  • Calendar Type Quarter: (each quarter lasts 10 weeks plus one week for final exams and projects)
  • Expected time to completion: 1 year
  • Number of credits needed for completion: 9.0

Course descriptions may be found in the Drexel University Course Catalog. Online students have access to the same resources as on-campus students including individualized advising and support services, access to the Steinbright Career Development Center, the Drexel Writing Center, Drexel Libraries, counseling and health services, and the Drexel alumni network.

What are the requirements to earn a certificate in Creativity Tools and Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace?

Admissions Criteria

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate degree GPA will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)

Required Documents

With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

  • A completed application
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
  • Resume/CV
  • Additional requirements for International Students

Who is Eligible to earn a certificate in Creativity Tools and Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace Certificate?

  • Certificate level: Graduate
  • Admission requirements: Bachelor’s degree
  • Certificate: Post-Baccalaureate
  • Financial aid eligibility: Not Aid Eligible

How do I apply to earn a certificate in Creativity Tools and Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace Certificate?

The Graduate Certificate in Creativity Tools and Techniques for the Classroom and Workplace is taught 100% online. Students can get started by filling out the Drexel Online Application.

Wed, 25 Aug 2021 13:56:00 -0500 en text/html https://drexel.edu/soe/academics/certificates/Creativity-Tools-Techniques/
Killexams : Character certificates

The system behind the character certificate verification done by the Police Khidmat Markaz (PKM) needs a slight but critical improvement. When a certificate is Checked through PKM website, only the photo of the applicant, his/her CNIC number, name, father’s name, date of birth, and permanent address are mentioned in the result on the basis of which the system verifies that the document is genuine and issued by Punjab Police. The missing element is the image of the original certificate. This can cause problems.

The original certificate also mentions in relevant cases that a legal matter against the person is in the courts, and mentions the relevant details of the case. In case there is no criminal record, the certificate says so in as many words.

With the image of the original certificate not there in the verification process, a person with criminal record can easily fabricate a certificate to the contrary knowing that the verification would be done on the basis of CNIC details alone.

All subsequent actions, like academic admission, employment, foreign visa applications, etc., are generally based on PKM verification. And things can get tricky from hereon.

Therefore, the police department in Punjab should immediately update the mechanism so that the image of the original character certificate may also be added to the online verification system.

SYED KARAR HUSSAIN

GUJRAT

Wed, 30 Nov 2022 04:35:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/11/30/character-certificates/
Killexams : Types of Certificates of Deposit

Though the certificate of deposit, or CD, may seem like a generic and straightforward savings account, there's more diversity to this financial tool than may immediately meet the eye. CDs can be particularly useful when interest rates are on the rise, and there's a lot to like about earning a fixed interest rate over time. Balancing out the appeal of CDs' predictability and security, however, is a major tradeoff: Your deposit is locked up for a set period of time, and an early withdrawal will subject you to fees.

Depositing money in a CD will usually generate earn more interest than a savings account -- even a high-yield savings account -- or money market account. And there are plenty of types of CDs to choose from. Read on for an overview of them all.

What is a CD?

A CD is a type of savings account that pays a fixed interest rate for a fixed term. The main difference between a CD and a savings account or money market account is that you can't take your money out of a CD until it has been in the account for a set amount of time, called a term. Common terms include three, six, nine and 18 months as well as one, two, three, four and five years.

Typically, the longer you leave your money untouched in a CD, the more interest you will earn. CDs are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 if taken out of a federally insured credit union or bank. CDs don't have monthly fees, but most have an early withdrawal penalty. 

Traditional CD

To open a traditional CD, you make a one-time deposit, then leave the funds to grow until the CD matures for a specific term at a fixed interest rate. Once the CD matures or reaches the end of the term, you can roll your CD into another term or cash out. One of the major downsides to a CD is early withdrawal penalties. If you pull out your cash before it matures, you can face a hefty penalty that can make any interest earned appear nonexistent. 

Callable CD

Some CDs are structured so that the issuer can close the CD before its maturity date. This type of CD is called a callable CD. You generally want to invest in a CD that is not callable because it protects your money from being taken back by the issuer. But if you're investing in a callable CD and the bank does redeem it before it has reached maturity, you'll still receive your full principal and the interest it has earned to date.

However, you may be most at risk of the bank taking back your CD early if interest rates suddenly drop. Callable CDs are still rare and may be harder to find than traditional CDs. The callable feature can only be enacted by the issuer.

IRA CD

An IRA CD is held in a tax-advantaged individual retirement account to help you save money for retirement. An IRA CD works much like a traditional CD but there are a couple of notable differences, including how much you can invest and withdrawal penalties. 

When it comes to a traditional CD, you can deposit any amount of money in a CD account, lock it up for a predetermined length of time and earn a higher return on your investment than you would with a savings or checking account. 

However, your IRA CD is a tax-advantaged retirement account, which means you can save and invest your money in several different ways. Since an IRA CD is partly an IRA, you will have the same rules and requirements as other IRA accounts, such as the amount you can contribute. Individuals under 50 can contribute up to $6,000 and individuals over 50 can contribute up to $7,000. 

If you try to withdraw money from a traditional CD before it matures, you will inevitably face an early withdrawal penalty. However, if you try to withdraw early from your IRA CD, you will face a penalty from your bank and the IRS. 

Foreign currency CD

A foreign currency CD is held in another country's currency. You might want a foreign currency CD if you think the dollar will decline against other currencies. Or, you may want to invest in other currencies because they are expected to go up against the dollar. With a foreign CD, the money is converted into another currency for the term; the funds earn interest in that currency, and the money is converted back to dollars at the maturity date.

Brokered CD

A brokered CD is bought and sold on the secondary market through a brokerage account. These time-deposit savings products are similar to traditional CDs, but they are more liquid because they are traded like bonds. 

Zero-coupon CD

A zero-coupon CD doesn't make periodic interest payments like a traditional CD at a fixed rate. Instead, it's sold at a discount from its face value, which equals its value once it reaches maturity. The CD holder only receives the face value of the CD when it matures. These are typically long-term investments, meaning you won't get access to the interest earned until the CD matures.

Jumbo CD

A jumbo CD requires a minimum deposit of about $100,000. A $95,000 CD may be technically a "jumbo CD," but it might not earn as much as a $105,000 CD. Jumbo CDs -- and super jumbo CDs, which require a minimum investment of $250,000 or more -- often pay higher interest rates than regular CDs. But in the current near-zero interest rate environment, jumbo CDs are not earning significantly higher yields than regular CDs.

Bump-up CD

A bump-up CD allows the depositor to request an increase in the interest rate. If the interest rates of CDs rise, the depositor can request that their existing certificate of deposit be "bumped up" to the new interest rate -- as long as the rates offered by the bank for the specific bump-up CD also rise. Banks typically allow one bump-up per term.

Add-on CD

Just as the name suggests, an add-on CD allows money to be added to the account balance after the initial deposit. Money is deposited at the beginning of the term, and then additional deposits are permitted throughout the term. The interest rate remains the same even when money is added, and there are no monthly fees, but there is usually an early withdrawal penalty when money is removed.

Step-up CD

With a step-up CD, you can lock in an interest rate for a set number of months, but a predefined rate increase will happen automatically on scheduled dates. Like other CD accounts, there are no monthly fees but early withdrawals are subject to a penalty.

Liquid CD

A liquid CD does not charge a penalty for early withdrawals, making it more like a savings account than a standard CD. Like a combination savings account/CD hybrid account, you can withdraw the funds in a liquid CD at any time by contacting the bank, credit union or other financial institution where you bought the CD. But this privilege may come at a cost. Liquid CDs typically pay a lower interest rate than other types of CDs because they allow penalty-free access to the funds.


First, you generally can only make one penalty-free withdrawal. After that, you'll likely face the same early withdrawal penalty as with a traditional CD. Second, some sellers place a limit on how much you can withdraw from a liquid CD at one time -- before penalties kick in, so be sure to always read the fine print. 

High-yield CD

A high-yield CD, which may also be called a high-interest CD or high-earning CD, is a type of CD that can pay a higher interest rate than a standard savings account. But the amount of interest you earn varies over time -- as interest rates fluctuate -- unlike a fixed-rate CD. High-yield CDs are generally found at online banks and credit unions, which may offer you slightly higher yields to win your business. 

Fri, 11 Nov 2022 09:50:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/banking/types-of-certificates-of-deposit/
Killexams : Certificate of Deposit (CDs)

A jumbo certificate of deposit is a CD that has a larger minimum deposit, which is $100,000, compared to regular CDs. Traditional certificates of deposit typically have a minimum deposit of $2,500. As with traditional certificates of deposit, interest earned is paid at maturity along with return of the principal.

Sat, 21 Jul 2018 04:37:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.investopedia.com/certificate-of-deposits-4689733
Killexams : How To Build an Iconic Brand: Techniques Learned From Successful Brands

While I was on vacation with my family recently, I enjoyed a Starbucks latte by the marina. Of course, as an entrepreneur, I couldn't just sit and mindlessly enjoy my morning coffee. I looked at the ubiquitous logo on the cup and thought about the massive brand that Starbucks has built over the years. It all began over 50 years ago in Seattle, Washington. Fifty years is a long time to build a brand. Naturally, they have faced issues along the way, from supply chain struggles to market saturation, but they continued to move forward and are now the third largest fast food chain in the world after McDonald's and Subway.

The Legendary Pink's Hot Dogs

It also made me think about another iconic brand, someone I recently had the pleasure of chatting with. If you are from the LA area, you are likely familiar with Richard Pink of the legendary Pink's Hot Dogs. Pink's was started by Richard's parents over 80 years ago. They borrowed $50 from their parents to purchase a hot dog cart. Richard's mother wheeled the cart about two miles, to what is now West Hollywood. The cart needed electricity, which they didn't have access to, so they made a deal with a nearby hardware store to buy an extension cord, and in exchange, they could plug it into the hardware store's outlet. Richard says his parents taught him the value of hard work.

Pink's could have remained a simple hot dog cart since Richard's parents didn't want to expand, but as Richard became more involved, he began to appreciate the value of the brand his parents had built. He wanted to scale and grow the business, and he searched for ways to continue to build the brand with minimal investment. Pink's Hot Dogs already had a reputation among the film crowd as it was well-located near the studios. In fact, Orson Welles holds the all-time record for the number of Pink's hot dogs eaten in one setting—18.

Pink's has always been involved in charity work, from their current "Let's Help Ukraine" hot dog to their "Chili Dogs for Charity" promotion. They gained traction from the publicity, as well as the growth in interest in food and travel television shows. Cross-promotion is a great way to gain exposure without breaking the bank. Fortuitous timing along with some clever brand-building ideas helped this brand become the icon that it is today.

My company has been around since 2015, a short time compared with the two icons I discuss above. How old is your business? You may be a startup struggling with building your brand, but don't ever give up. Starbucks would not be where it is today if its leaders had given up.

Five Brand-Building Techniques

1. Be consistent. Your message is key, whether you're trying to build a global brand or just staying laser-focused on developing a local market. Make sure your mission statement and company values align with your brand to ensure the continuity of your message.

2. Show up every single day. It is often not the most intelligent or talented person who is the most successful, but rather the person who shows up every single day and doesn't give up.

3. Write blog posts. Share your unique knowledge and experience on your company website and forums like Linkedin regularly. Figure out what makes you different from your competition and let people know about it.

4. Use social media. I try to post brief videos with ideas and inspiration, like today's thoughts on branding, inspired by my latte. You never know when inspiration will strike, so be ready to grab your phone and create some content.

5. Engage in active networking. I am in several networking and leadership organizations, where we meet regularly to connect and share industry knowledge. I look at every encounter as an opportunity. From the person sitting next to me on the plane to someone I meet at a convention, I truly believe there are no coincidences in life. Your paths have crossed for a reason, and it's up to you to find out why.

Over time, if you apply these techniques with consistent effort, you will create a successful brand not only for today but, perhaps like Pink's Hot Dogs, for the next generation.

Fri, 11 Nov 2022 09:11:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.newsweek.com/how-build-iconic-brand-techniques-learned-successful-brands-1758375
Killexams : Let’s Encrypt issues 3 billion HTTPS certificates

Nonprofit certificate authority Let’s Encrypt hit a major milestone earlier this month: it issued its three billionth HTTPS certificate.

The Let’s Encrypt project was founded in 2013 to provide websites with free SSL and TLS certificates needed to enable HTTPS and encrypted communications. The organization, run by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, issued its first HTTPS certificate in September 2015 for none other than its own domain.

The ISRG announced this week that Let’s Encrypt issued its three billionth certificate earlier this month and is now providing TLS to more than 309 million domains, an increase of 12% compared to the year earlier.

While Let’s Encrypt took five years to issue its billionth certificate, it has reached the three billion milestone just two years later.

The ISRG also revealed in its 2022 annual report that 82% of web pages loaded by Firefox are using HTTPS globally. When Let’s Encrypt was founded, only 38% of website page loads were served over an HTTPS-encrypted connection.

This growth comes as Let’s Encrypt finds itself trusted and integrated by more significant players in the browser, operating system and cloud markets, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and more.

So what’s next for Let’s Encrypt? The organization is aiming to make certificate renewal far easier for websites, especially if the organization is forced to revoke a certificate, such as if a website’s server is compromised. Let’s Encrypt was forced to revoke more than three million certificates because of a bug in its domain validation and issuance software in March 2020, and in January this year revoked millions of active certificates due to “irregularities” in the code.

ISRG executive director Josh Aas said its new specification for renewing certificates is “making its way through the IETF standards process so that the whole ecosystem can benefit, and we plan to deploy it in production at Let’s Encrypt shortly.”

Let’s Encrypt’s ultimate goal is to bring the web up to a 100% encryption rate. While we’re still a ways away, this latest milestone suggests it’s more in reach than ever before.

Wed, 30 Nov 2022 02:29:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://techcrunch.com/2022/11/30/lets-encrypt-https-three-billion/
Killexams : Mindfulness techniques could help Strengthen health of environment

Techniques to Strengthen mental health and well-being, such as mindfulness and meditation, may also encourage people to look after the environment, researchers have found.

The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health and from researchers at the Universities of York, studying and Surrey, examined the link between ego and how people look after their surroundings.

After collating studies across a large range of research fields, the researchers were able to test the expectation that self-identity and the health of the environment are linked in a dynamic cycle.

They found that people who are highly individualistic—meaning they have a strong sense of ego—see themselves as more isolated from the . This means they might carry out fewer behaviors to Strengthen the environment, such as recycling or reducing their carbon footprint.

Ego-driven

This behavior at larger scales leads to plants and wildlife disappearing from towns and cities, further reducing people's connection to nature.

The study showed, however, that activities traditionally associated with improving and well-being, such as walking and bird watching, improved connectedness to the environment, encouraging people to look after it.

The increased connection to an individual's surroundings made people less individualistic and ego-driven, and more likely to choose behaviors such as planting trees, picking up litter and traveling sustainably.

International cooperation

Professor Bob Doherty, from the University of York's School for Business and Society, said, "At a time when world leaders are meeting for COP27, our research shows the crucial need for international cooperation between governments, business and to develop new pro-environmental interventions to promote new behavior and action.

"This kind of cross-collaboration should see more investment in urban green initiatives, for example, and new approaches to food and the environment within the school system, to harness the powers of young people to create long-term sustainable change."

Government level

As people enjoy their surroundings more due to the enhanced environment, the cycle is repeated, creating what is known as a "virtuous circle" that links self-identity and the , the researchers say.

On the other hand, people who are more individualistic develop a "dog-eat-dog" attitude and can get stuck in a "vicious circle" of decline, they say.

The phenomenon can be observed at government-wide level, the researchers found, citing U.S. policies to cut environmental protection laws leading to greater isolation and increased .

'America first'

Pointing to ex-President Donald Trump's "America First" policy, the researchers found that changes to self-identity in national leaders might explain the damaging removal of environmental protection and reduced international cooperation, which is essential to solve problems such as climate change.

Professor Tom Oliver, Research Dean for Environment at the University of Reading, said, "Expanding our sense of self-identity to include others and the natural world creates an attitude of care and responsibility.

"The actions that follow lead to nature improvement, for example restoring plants and wildlife in our towns and cities, which then gives us further opportunity to engage and connect with nature."

More information: Tom H Oliver et al, A safe and just operating space for human identity: a systems perspective, The Lancet Planetary Health (2022). DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(22)00217-0

Citation: Mindfulness techniques could help Strengthen health of environment (2022, November 11) retrieved 9 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-11-mindfulness-techniques-health-environment.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Fri, 11 Nov 2022 02:10:00 -0600 en text/html https://phys.org/news/2022-11-mindfulness-techniques-health-environment.html
Killexams : LAURA INGRAHAM: The goal with digital health certificates is 'ultimate control'

Laura Ingraham dove into how Biden declared support for the development of digital health certificates to "facilitate travel" on "The Ingraham Angle."

LAURA INGRAHAM: Now, when Joe Biden travels to meet with world leaders, it is a virtual certainty that he will agree to something that undermines US sovereignty and, of course, picks our pockets. And that is exactly what happened at the G20 late last week. Emerging from the Indonesia confab, Biden, along with the rest of the group of 20 nations, released a declaration supporting the development of digital health certificates, otherwise known as vaccine passports. Now, you may recall that the Angle warned about this eventuality back in the spring of 2020.

g (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo)

The ultimate goal is control. But what they promise is that these digital IDs will end up facilitating international travel. And of course, it includes proof of vaccination. Translation – as long as a Democrat is president, he or she will allow the World Health Organization to dictate how we share our most private health information. And of course, creating a central database is going to be necessary they claim for the greater good, for your protection and, of course, for your overall benefit. But what if you aren't shot up with whatever they claim is necessary in any given time? Well, tough luck. Stay home because you're in a W.H.O. mandated lockdown. No travel for you. Now, the declaration also calls for the establishment of a trusted global digital health network. Doesn't that sound nifty? To prevent and respond to future pandemics. 

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Mon, 21 Nov 2022 16:52:00 -0600 Fox News en text/html https://www.foxnews.com/media/laura-ingraham-goal-digital-health-certificates-ultimate-control
Killexams : More businesses are offering online medical certificates and telehealth prescriptions. What are the pros and cons?

Telehealth has played an important role during the pandemic. Telephone and online consultations have enabled social distancing and kept patients and clinicians safe from transmissible infections.

Since the start of COVID in March 2020, there have been 122 million telehealth consultations funded through Medicare. About 90% of these services were provided by general practitioners (GPs), with nine out of ten of these consults done as a telephone call.

Online services for prescriptions and medical certificates have become available to at the click of a button. Given the shortage of GPs, difficulties getting timely appointments, and clinic restrictions if patients have COVID-like symptoms, consumers seem to be welcoming these services. Patients can consult a GP by telephone or video call, and then receive an electronically dispatched medical certificate or prescription (if clinically appropriate).

These services are either paid for partially, or totally by the consumer, with limited Medicare rebates available. They are fast, convenient and readily available. But what do consumers need to know about their pros and cons?

On the plus side…

Convenience

Offering services online means ease of access and convenience. We have seen this in the banking, retail and travel industries. Who wants to wait three days for a GP appointment, spend two hours in traffic and one hour in the waiting room, for a short consultation?

Access to care

When providing services, we have to think of our whole population (see points below on equity). These instant services offer greater convenience and benefits for those who find it hard to access transport, are time-poor, or who find it difficult to leave the house (such as parents of little kids or people with other physical disabilities or ).

Reduced wait times

If it isn't possible to get an appointment with your regular GP and you need a medical certificate for work, these services may be a good fit. They also enable acute conditions to be managed in a timely manner, for instance by getting a script for tablets to stop vomiting.

Reducing congestion in hospitals and medical centers

These services also reduce pressure on and hospitals. If someone can be supported by an online service instead of visiting an emergency department or urgent care center, then the bricks-and-mortar hospitals, clinics and medical centers remain available for people with more serious health needs.

But there are also downsides

Continuity of care

The downside is you may risk losing continuity of care, as you are not necessarily going to be seeing your own GP online. If you have complex health needs or chronic conditions, it is better you have a primary care provider who knows your history and can manage your health condition holistically.

Access to a complete health history

Australia doesn't yet have a single complete and integrated information system for sharing all personal health information. So when you access these services, it is often your responsibility to share health information with the provider and also inform your GP about your online appointment.

However, communication systems are improving slowly, and a summary may be shared electronically with your nominated GP after your consultation. For patients who have opted in to My Health Record, some of this communication will happen automatically.

Complex conditions

There are limits to the types of services that can be provided online or by phone. You may need an in-person appointment, especially if a physical assessment is required, or the concerns are more complex than anticipated. GPs adhere to guidelines and practice standards irrespective of how services are delivered. For instance, provision of e-scripts and medical certificates require documentation and screening measures to ensure appropriate care is provided.

Medications

Online or telehealth services aren't suited for starting new medications that require monitoring or might have side effects.

New medications for should ideally be started by someone who you can see you again to check they are working and manage potential side effects or reactions. Additionally, there are medications (such as strong pain relief) these services won't prescribe, and consumers need to see an GP in person to obtain.

Medical certificates aren't just for your boss

Local pharmacists can write medical certificates for single days and assist with advice and medications for minor health issues. However, they cannot write prescriptions.

The aim of a medical certificate is to satisfy an employer. But getting a medical certificate may also be an opportunity to have symptoms checked and make sure there is nothing seriously wrong.

Online services make accessing a medical certificate for the flu or gastro much more convenient. However, if people are having ongoing health issues that require regular time away from work, they should be seeing a regular GP to help manage their condition.

Online doesn't mean equal access

There is the risk of inequity of access for these services, especially for consumers who don't know how to access them, can't afford to pay, or do not have access to the necessary technology (including reliable internet).

A recent paper suggested ways to tackle this digital divide. These included improving digital health literacy, workforce training, co-designing new models of care with clinicians and patients, change management, advocacy for culturally appropriate services, and sustainable funding.

Other points to remember

Finally, consumers need assurance that are provided by suitably qualified health professionals. This is usually achieved with confirmation of health provider credentials prior to, or at the start of, the consultation.

Consumers can also look up their provider through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) where all clinicians are registered.

Consumers should also look for an Australian service to ensure it adheres to Australia's quality standards and clinician registration criteria. This is also important because of the Australian standards around personal data collection and storage. Consumers should read information provided by services about their data policies.

As with all health care, it is about finding the right balance and ensuring services align with clinical indications.

Telehealth is not about replacing in-person appointments. Telehealth should be used in conjunction with face-to-face advice, to maintain high-quality care that best suits the needs and wishes of the consumer.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.The Conversation

Citation: More businesses are offering online medical certificates and telehealth prescriptions. What are the pros and cons? (2022, November 28) retrieved 9 December 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-11-businesses-online-medical-certificates-telehealth.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Mon, 28 Nov 2022 04:15:00 -0600 en text/html https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-11-businesses-online-medical-certificates-telehealth.html
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