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  • If it seems as if the cyber-security landscape just keeps getting more threatening, you're not imagining things. For example, in February, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles paid 40 bitcoins—about $17,000—to unlock its computer systems after a ransomware attack shut down its IT systems for nearly two weeks. How can organizations prepare for and respond to cyber-attacks? One promising method involves sharing information and intelligence. A study of 500 cyber-security professionals conducted by Intel Security, the 2016 "McAfee Labs Threats Report," found that ransomware is rampant, and mobile malware is growing. Yet, the use of defense tools such as information sharing and cyber-threat intelligence (CTI) can pay big dividends. Unfortunately, "High-value CTI must overcome the barriers of organizational policies, regulatory restrictions, risks associated with attribution, trust and a lack of implementation knowledge before its potential can be fully realized," said Vincent Weafer, vice president of Intel Security's McAfee Labs group. "Given the determination demonstrated by cyber-criminals, CTI sharing will become an important tool in tilting the cyber-security balance of power in favor of defenders."

  • The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium focused on "Thriving in the Digital Economy," with topics ranging from the gig economy to big data to the IoT and security.

  • Over the last few years, cyber-security vulnerabilities and threats have grown rapidly, and addressing them has become infinitely more complex. At this point, it is obvious that it's not a question of whether a breach will occur, but when. Inboxes, Web pages, databases and more are all under heavy assault. Worse, a breach has growing economic consequences for companies large and small. It can damage a brand's image and can also hemorrhage money. A recent report from SailPoint, "2016 Market Pulse Survey: Weak Security Practices Leave Organizations Exposed," paints a disturbing picture of the current situation. The study of 1,000 office workers globally found that a shocking number of them are willing to steal and sell passwords to third-party organizations (in many cases, for less than $1,000). Another problem is that organizations are slow to cut off systems access when an employee leaves. In addition, shadow IT, which may circumvent security controls, is rampant. According to the report, "No company is safe from attacks, and the method by which information is taken is slowly changing. The commonality across almost every breach is that hackers are now targeting the weakest link in the security infrastructure: people." Here's a look at some of the report's key findings.

  • The main force for American cyber-defense, according to General Michael Hayden, has to be the private sector, with the government acting in a supporting role.