Contact Tracing APPs are they ethical?

Are Contact Tracing APPs ethical? Are you willing to give up your private data to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus? Check out what these experts have to say!

Contact Tracing is it Ethical?

Apple and Google have the capability that allows cell phones to communicate with each other. Contact Tracing Apps use this capability and have been developed to find and alert the contacts of people infected with the Coronavirus / COVID-19. As soon as someone gets sick with Coronavirus, the APP could alert you if this is someone you have been in contact with. Alleviating the length of time it takes for a real live Contact Tracer who is doing the tracing. Basically, this is widespread human GPS tracking, that presents many privacy issues involving potential data breach, information storage, and sharing sensitive personal data. Should sensitive medical information and individual locations be available on an APP? Do you believe this type of electronic contact tracing is ethical?

Check out this video to listen in on experts as they consider the amount of data that is being collected and what it means for your data when you download a Contact Tracing APP.

Video Transcripts Follow

Lee Neubecker (LN): Hi this is Lee Neubecker from Enigma Forensics and I have Debbie Reynolds back on the show, thanks for coming back Debbie.

Debbie Reynolds (DR): Thank you for having me, very nice to be here.

LN: So I’m very interested to hear more of what your research is regarding contact tracing apps, and what you think that means for individuals that might put these apps in their phone. Tell me a little bit about what’s happening right now with the industry and how contact tracing apps are working.

DR: Yeah, so Apple and Google created a capability so that phones can communicate with each-other via beacon. So that they can store information on phones, or have phones bounce off of one another, so that if someone downloads a contact tracing app or registers there, if anyone who also has the app, it will be able to trace back, y’know, how long they spent with certain people and tell them whether they feel like they may have been exposed in some way, and tell them either to quarantine or go seek treatment in some way, or get tested. So it’s pretty controversial, the contact tracing app, for a couple of different reasons. One is, people are very concerned about privacy, like giving their potential medical information to a company that’s not a medical provider, meaning that they’re not protecting the data the same way. Also, as you know, Bluetooth technology isn’t exactly super accurate in terms of the distance that you are from someone, so the delta, in terms of how accurate it can be, may be way off. It may be several meters off, the phone can’t tell if you’re six feet apart or whatever, so I think that they’ve tried to tune that up with this new API that they created, but still, based on the science, we don’t know that it’s actually accurate or not.

LN: So you could still have a situation where, if you put one of these apps on and you’re outside biking, and you bike within 8 to 10 feet of someone who later does have it that you’re getting notified that you have to quarantine on a false basis. That’s a potential outcome of using an app like that, correct?

DR: Yeah, but I think that the way they having it now is that it’s supposed to register you spent more than 15 minutes near that person, so, y’know.

LN: Okay, that’s good to know.

DR: But let’s say you’re parked in your car and someone’s parked next to your car, so you aren’t physically near, y’know, you aren’t in any danger from that person but you wouldn’t know, just because your phone says you’re close to them. They don’t understand the circumstance that you’re in, to be able to tell that, so. I think people are concerned about, a lot about privacy, them taking the data or how the app is actually going to work, and it’s going to work differently in different countries. So what they’ve done is create this API, this capability that’s put on everyone’s phone, and then if you download the app, the app which you use will use that API to actually do this beacon exchange on people’s phones. So, that’s kind of what’s happening right now, is different countries and different places are implementing it in different ways, and some are really pushing back on them because they don’t have really any good guarantees about privacy, or data breach, data breach is a huge issue.

LN: Yeah, I mean, our Government’s never had data in their custody compromised ever, right? wink..wink

DR: Right, that never happened, exactly, so-

LN: You’re having your maps of where you’re walking, your GPS records-

DR: Yeah.

LN:time of day, your movement and that is going to Google and Apple, and under certain conditions they’re passing that data on to the CDC or other entities, law enforcement, enforcement groups.

DR: Well their concern is that data, because it’s at a private company, will get merged with other things, like let’s say your insurance carrier, or your medical, y’know, you get dropped from your insurance because you have this app-

LN: You drive too fast.

DR: No because you have this app, and they think that you may have been exposed, or you’re a higher risk, or a bank doesn’t want to give you a loan or something, because you have this app on your phone. I’ve been hearing a lot of different scenarios people are concerned about. But I’m curious, from your perspective, in terms of how certain things are stored on phones. I know beacons is a really big idea, but maybe you can explain a little bit about how Bluetooth actually works?

LN: Yeah, well Bluetooth is a near band wavelength that allows for peer-to-peer networking. Bluetooth has been exploited in the past to be able to take over devices, so it’s, a lot of people don’t like to have their Bluetooth on continuously because you’re opening your phone up to potential attacks, cyber attacks, via Bluetooth. You’re also broadcasting, when you have Bluetooth on you’re also broadcasting your MAC address identifier, your Bluetooth unique address and there have already been issues where retailers in London at one time, they had kiosks outside that would track the shoppers and they’d know how long they were at certain stores, and they’d use that information to serve custom video ads to people as they’re shopping and walking by.

DR: Right.

LN: So there’s privacy implications and security implications of having Bluetooth on all the time.

DR: Yeah, and that’s a big concern. So I know when I first heard this, about them doing this contact tracing, I was wondering like how exactly would they get the proximity right, and because we have no visibility to that we really don’t know, right?

LN: No.

DR: So we just have to sort of trust the black box and see what happens, to some extent, but I, for me I think my opinion is that contact tracing is a profession, it’s not an app. So, there are people who do this as a profession, only, let’s see, 55% of people in the world don’t even have smart phones, so you’re talking about a capability that’s only for 45% of the people, and not all those people are going to actually volunteer to get these apps.

LN: Yeah.

DR: So it doesn’t really help to contact, for people who do contact tracing, except it adds another layer that they have to work with because they still have to track people whether they have cell phones or not.

LN: It’s interesting stuff, thanks for bringing that to our viewers’ attention and thanks for being on the show again.

DR: All right, thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

LN: Okay.

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Social Media and Cell Phone Forensics

Social media and cell phone forensics can play an important role in thwarting criminal activity. Check out this conversation between Cyber Forensic Expert Lee Neubecker and Data Diva, Debbie Reynolds. You will be so much smarter afterwards!

Snap Chat, Twitter, Facebook: Social Media and the Importance of Cell Phone Forensics

Lee Neubecker and Debbie Reynolds, the Data Diva, discuss the role of law enforcement in capturing social media posts when trying to thwart the bad guys coordinating a riot or the more recent looting incidents in Chicago. During this difficult time in our nation, what is the role that cell phone forensics should take? Did you know that Apple phones have the ability to automatically shut down when stolen and have a beacon that will detect the location of the phone making it easy for law enforcement to come knocking on the thief’s door? Check out this video to learn more about the role of social media and cell phone forensics.

Transcripts of Video Follows

Lee Neubecker (LN): Hi, it’s Lee Neubecker, and I have Debbie Reynolds back on the show, Debbie thanks for being on remotely.

Debbie Reynolds (DR): Thank you for having me.

LN: So I asked you to come on so that we could talk a little bit about some of the recent lootings that have happened in Chicago and other areas across the country. And what could be happening, as it relates to cell phone forensics and how law enforcement can be using that to get to the bottom of how these coordinated attacks are being planned and who might be involved.

DR: Most of what I know about this is basically what you told me so, why don’t you just sort of share what your experience has been so far in the current environment, and then we can talk from there?

LN: Sure. Well, right now, I know that some of the looters that were apprehended had cell phones on them. We don’t know exactly how the information is being used by law enforcement, but technically, an example of things that could happen could include, doing forensics on the cell phone, identifying Snapchat handles they have communicated with, looking at text messages, looking for Twitter accounts and postings. And potentially, what I saw happening during the last week, at least in one instance, there was a post made to Twitter by a user that made a reference to doing a gig at Urban Outfitters on the West Side, and roughly a few hours after, that post went out on Twitter, referencing Urban Outfitters, Nike’s, Liquor and other things. Around four hours after that, looting that went on at that store, so that handle that posted and anyone else that reacted to that post could certainly have been alerted to the potential for mass looting in a coordinated way via social media.

DR: Yeah, I think even though the police do have capabilities to do that type of tracking and tracing, they they do heat maps of certain things. The problem is that these incidents, if they are coordinated, they happen pretty quickly so it’s sort of hard for them to kind of preempt it. But as you said, always, they have capabilities, right? To do anything with like cell phones that they capture, but they also have capabilities to do things like geofencing about who was in the area at certain time. So, a lot of what they’re doing is not necessarily preemptive or pre-crime is more of, if something is happening or has happened, they can go back and try to backtrack or trace or… If there are people on the scene they can apprehend whoever is there that’s doing whatever and they sort of build it out from there, right?

LN: Yeah, but just the other day, someone was captured and apprehended in… They got caught because they were posting their raid via social media, and they had a live view of them going to bomb, they were threatening to bomb the place and looted, taking cash registers and the stuff was, this someone that was not from Chicago, I think from downstate, somewhere that came in and came in with a goal to create problems and had a past history of that, but the person had the audacity to post it to Facebook, and the FBI just busted them and they’re indicted now.

DR: I don’t know why people share such things on social media. Because yeah, they do track and trace that. But, a lot of the things especially as I saw, it seemed like a lot of stores that have things like mobile phones have been attacked. And as you know those things are pretty easy to trace back. So I don’t know how far people–

LN: Apple had LoJack, in all their phones at the retail store, and so people who took those phones likely those phones likely got located but-

DR: Oh yeah, definately.

LN: I don’t know that that’s happening at the the cheap cell phone stores, the burner phones.

DR: Well, yeah, those are… No, I mean, they probably… If anything, obviously may have serial numbers and stuff like that but, once you… Whether it’s broken, or people change sims or whatever, it’s harder to track that stuff down. But yeah, the Apple phones, yes. They wouldn’t have very much problem. I think as I heard, I read that what Apple had done is for all the phones that were stolen from them, they were able to lock those down. And then it had a screen on there so that you actually couldn’t use it. So, that’s what I heard was happening with Apple.

LN: Yeah, well, they also have the ability to beacon out and send GPS location so-

DR: Oh, absolutely.

LN: People who are buying stolen Apple phones might find someone knocking on their door, law enforcement.

DR: Yeah, it’s probably not a good idea to buy one off the street at this point. So yeah.

LN: Yeah. Well, any thoughts on your concerns if the privacy issues that might relate to mere surveillance on people and tracking social media posts and actually getting in and subpoenaing phone numbers that were taxed to help try to prevent looting from happening?

DR: Well, okay. I guess that’s a couple of different things rolled up into one. So, obviously I’m concerned with mass surveillance, especially if it is capturing information not accurately or targeting people who may not have even been involved. So for example, a cell phone can’t tell like let’s say for instance, you’re standing at a corner and I’m at the stoplight. It says we’re next each other, but we’re not together. So, a cell phone tracking can’t really tell that so eury people who aren’t involved, who are innocent, who are especially in this regard, peacefully protesting, having them be adjacent to other people doesn’t mean that they were involved so-

LN: Lets just say though, for instance, that they found that there was a string of businesses hit, the Foot Locker, then Denny’s Liquor, CVS and Walgreens.

DR: Yeah.

LN: There were a group of 20 people that all pinged off the four cell phone towers at the same times, and we’re in close proximity to that and a few other people were ID’d, would that be enough to justify surveillance on people where there were four cell phone towers in common across a range that put them all in the vicinity of where looting took place?

DR: I’m not sure if it would justify surveillance, so to speak, but I think that if they have other evidence, it may help them target those people more closely but, in terms of sweeping people up in surveillance exercise, I don’t think that’s going to happen unless they have additional information. So, let’s say they have information just like you said, like, okay, these people are in the vicinity and then they posted a picture on Facebook with some loot gear that they got, that would be enough, I think, to justify surveillance but just the fact, surrounding the vicinity, that’s probably not enough to go on, I don’t think.

LN: I appreciate your opinions and thoughts on this. It’s a difficult time right now and hopefully we’ll have stability and we’ll have people held accountable on all fronts, not just the leaders.

DR: Yep, I agree.

LN: Yeah, thanks Debbie.

DR: You’re welcome.

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Top Places in Illinois That Reported Accelerating COVID-19 Weekly Growth

Enigma Forensics has been busy tracking week to week COVID-19 cases in each Illinois county. We are thankful of our Medical Professionals. Thank you to everyone for all you’ve done to reduce the spread!

Illinois as a state has been trending in the right direction. Only 8 counties reported cases in excess of zero the week before last week and more than 20 cases the last week show weekly growth. These counties should continue to ramp up additional testing availability and contact tracing to keep the state on track as a whole. 9 counties showed a reduction in a week over week reported cases. Click through on the County Name to see the time series chart depicting the daily counts and 7 days trended average.

Download COVID-19 Daily Confirmed Positive Cases

The data depicted above was obtained from the John Hopkins GitHub Repository.

Growth of the outbreak can be seen where the daily blue COVID-19 confirmed cases count exceeds the 7 day trailing daily orange average trend line.

View Chart Full Screen Width

COVID-Confirmed Positive Cases Week over Week Comparison

Counties with zero cases the week before last week were excluded.

CountyWeek Before Last Week
Total Cases
Last Week
Total Cases
Week Over
Week Percentage Growth
Cass439875.00%
Stephenson1124118.18%
Rock Island414919.51%
Kane25429415.75%
Will21123712.32%
Lake2682939.33%
Madison90911.11%
Cook227322800.31%
Adams0220.00%
Kankakee6259-4.84%
Kendall3431-8.82%
St. Clair166151-9.04%
Winnebago149135-9.40%
Champaign5447-12.96%
DuPage291234-19.59%
DeKalb3928-28.21%
McHenry9665-32.29%
Peoria6342-33.33%
This chart is based on data obtained daily from the Illinois Department of Public Health Website. The source daily counts are available at: https://enigmaforensics.com/covid-19/us/state/Illinois_Cases_Delta_By_Date.csv

Top Zip Codes in Illinois Reporting Week over Week Growth
(COVID-19 Confirmed Cases)

Zip CodeCityWeek Before Last WeekLast WeekWeekly Growth RatePeople / Square MilePopulation
60088Great Lakes634467%6,78015,761
62691Virginia630400%222,426
60076Skokie725257%6,24133,415
60624Chicago – West Garfield Park620233%10,78038,105
60169Hoffman Estates825213%4,40633,847
60706Harwood Heights / Norridge1031210%7,82223,134
61265Moline721200%2,37945,099
60462Orland Park720186%2,46938,723
60089Buffalo Grove1233175%4,25941,533
60104Belwood922144%8,08819,038
Data captured from IDPH website daily. Data as of 6/24/20.

Great Lakes Naval Station is leading as the top Zip code in Illinois experiencing the highest week over week growth rate of new COVID-19 confirmed cases. Click the Zip Code to view the daily and weekly average trends of new cases. In the City of Chicago, West Garfield Park is the hot zone where cases shot up 233% over the previous week.

Who’s Who Legal Investigations 2020

We are proud to announce Lee Neubecker was once again nominated by his peers as one of the world’s leading practitioners in the Digital Forensic Expert field. Congratulations Lee!

Congratulations Lee Neubecker!

Enigma Forensic’s President and CEO Lee Neubecker was nominated by his peers as one of the world’s leading practitioners in the field of Digital Forensic Experts and is listed in Who’s Who Legal Investigations 2020 publication as such.

Since 1996 Who’s Who Legal has identified the foremost legal practitioners and consulting experts in business law and investigations based upon comprehensive, independent research.

Who’s Who Legal Investigations publications said, Lee Neubecker, is a “great expert” who receives widespread plaudits from sources who note he is “one of the most visible people in the field”.

Nominees have been selected based on comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practitioners worldwide.

Small Business and Cybersecurity Attacks

Small businesses are getting hit hard. Starting with government directed closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now the most recent looting and protestor damage. Small businesses are more vulnerable than ever. If you own a small business be on the lookout for cybersecurity threats and learn more on how to protect your business.

Small Businesses must on the lookout for cybersecurity threats!

Small businesses have been besieged on all fronts. First, out of left field they were struck by COVID-19 and the loss of business. Then knocked down by the most recent violent protests. All these hits create multiple vulnerabilities to yet another threat; cybersecurity attacks. Now more than ever, small businesses need to be aware of an impending cybersecurity breach. Enigma Forensics focuses on cybersecurity and would like to share what are the most common cybersecurity threats and how small businesses can protect themselves.

What are the most common security threats?

There are three common cybersecurity threats each small business owner must be aware of; Malware, viruses, and phising. Malware is an umbrella name for a software designed to attack and destroy computers, servers, and to obtain client information. Malware can be engineered in many different malicious ways. Viruses are designed as a computer program that replicates itself and inserts code into your system to modify existing programs. It basically creates havoc in your system and is extremely difficult to delete. Phising is inserted by a clicking on or opening an email that presents itself as a legitimate email. It sparks curiosity and plays on the simplest of emotions.

What are some easy tips for small businesses to protect themselves?

Enigma Forensics encourages everyone to purchase cybersecurity insurance. This can help defer costs if you are attacked. We definitely suggest to hire a professional to assess your system and identify risks. Another less costly tip is to change your passwords. Make them as difficult and unique as possible and don’t store them on your systems. Be sure to include mobile device security if you or your employees check emails on mobile devices. Train your employees to recognize cybersecurity threats and how to avoid and report them.

Enigma Forensics related articles

See the link below for The Department of Homeland Security guide

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CSD%202018%20Tech_Guide_Web%20Version_508.pdf

Issues When Working From Home

Issues when working from home are bubbling up. Are you working from the dining room table on important company information? We discuss the importance of forming a work from home policy.

We have reached a new era of remote business at levels few companies ever planned for. We all know, COVID-19 has driven businesses and their employees to operate from makeshift home offices. As a result, many issues when working from home have been exposed. In some of our past blogs, Enigma Forensics has provided insight to trade secret theft and given direction on how to protect company trade secrets from cyber attacks. In this blog we will address the current issues that have risen since we are all working from home.

First and foremost, the mass exodus from the business office to the home office was done at the flip of a switch. Working from home took many companies by surprise, sending employees home expecting this to be a short period of time. Most companies didn’t have time to prepare a proper security plan. In an effort to offer more accessibility to their employees some companies loosened their security standards to allow faster and more convenient access for employees. Some encouraged employees to use their own personal devices. These procedures have increased the risks that companies will be cyber attacked and offer opportunities for trade secret theft and loss of business confidential information. To lessen these possibilities companies must develop policies that address the risks.

Enigma Forensics suggests creating a work from home policy to inform employees of their obligations. Companies need to communicate how important it is to stay secure and that the future of the company depends on it. Employers must insist each employee maintain a two-factor authentication process to secure sensitive information. Each employer must restrict unauthorized access to company data. In other words, keep the kids off the company’s computer. It’s also imperative to prohibit the use of unauthorized third party cloud storage sites, and to make sure to apply security software to protect company data. Most importantly, no sharing of company devices.

Some more simple procedures companies can implement to protect their end points include:

  • Ensure endpoints have patch software and security updates applied monthly
  • Audit and enable Windows Defender or other Antivirus Solutions to protect end points
  • Ensure computers accessing company data are set to auto lock after five minutes of intactivity
  • Provide employees with dedicated work only equipment
  • Audit and ensure satellite workers have a firewall protecting their endpoints from potential attackers

Kids at home with not much to do may be interested in installing the latest video game on your computer which could introduce security vulnerabilities at home.

Enigma Forensics also suggests developing an inventory of what employee has access to which files. Know who is printing confidential information, and identify if family members have access to the same devices. Once all this is mapped out, a risk assessment needs to be conducted. Identify which employees have access to sensitive information should be prioritized and secured appropriately.

Eventually we will all be back working in the office but COVID-19 has exposed the need to increase security and to learn more about how your employees are utilizing company owned devices.

To Learn More About Trade Secret Theft Check out our blog below

Latino Communities in Chicagoland are Experiencing The Greatest Growth of Coronavirus Cases

Chicagoland Latino Community on track to lead in COVID-19 Deaths. Quick action is needed to educate and protect the Latino Community. View these actions to help save lives.

The Illinois Department of Public Health issued an update today with the latest count of confirmed Coronavirus test positive cases including numerous new Zip Codes that made the list. We analyzed and updated the top 20 emerging Illinois Zip Codes and see a significant pattern emerging. We excluded from our ranking any Zip Code that hasn’t reported 100 or more confirmed positive cases. The top 20 communities on our list have more than twice as many Latinos than any other race impacted by the virus.

Latino communities are ranking in the top fastest growing areas reporting positive tests for the Coronavirus. Something needs to happen fast to help protect this vital part of our community that is being impacted at a growing rate by the virus.

  • All vital stores should have chalk or tape markings outside store entrances delimiting 6 feet minimum spacing
  • Stores need to take accountability for ensuring customers maintain 6 feet of spacing
  • Cashiers, clerks, stock persons, food service workers all need employer provided protective masks and gloves
  • Stores should implement mask only hours to protect those that are the most vulnerable
  • Government agencies need to spot check and enforce these measures in the short term
  • More rapid 5 minute tests need to be made available to anyone with a fever in these emerging areas
  • Essential business should be required to conduct daily temperature checks at the start of the work day for each employee.

The previous measures if implemented would slow this down.

Data originates from https://www.zipdatamaps.com/ and depicts the total population counts reported from 2014 census estimates compiled by zipdatamaps.com for the top 20 fastest 3 day average growth rates reported.

Zip Codes having fewer than 100 Confirmed Coronavirus Positive Cases were excluded from today’s ranking by growth Top 20

Zip Codes with less than 100 Confirmed Cases as of 4/11/20 were excluded from the ranking based on daily average growth rate, highest to lowest.

Demographic data for each Zip Code obtained from https://www.zipdatamaps.com/
Daily counts of Confirmed Coronavirus cases taken daily since 4/8/20 from the Illinois Department of Public Health. https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid19-statistics

Click Excel Button at Bottom to View All Data

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View All Illinois Zip Codes with More than 100 Coronavirus Cases

Coronavirus Impact on States that Shelter at Home

President and CEO of Enigma Forensics, Lee Neubecker remotely converses with Geary Sikich, President of Logical Management Systems, to discuss the current state of impacts the Coronavirus has brought to citizens taking shelter at home. Data experts Lee and Geary explain statistics state by state and expose interesting facts for those states that have implemented shelter at home policies.

The Transcript of the Video Follows.

Lee Neubecker: I am here today, again with Geary Sikich, reporting from my basement. Geary is the principal of logical management systems. I am the president of Enigma Forensics. We’ve been talking on our show previously about the Coronavirus and the impact. And today we’re going to be talking a little bit about the current data trends and what’s happening. Geary thanks for being on the show remotely.

Geary Sikich: Thanks Lee it’s kind of an interesting way to work.

LN: It’s the new reality probably for a while, huh?

GS: I think for, yes, a little bit more than two weeks that’s for sure.

LN: Yeah, so I want to pull up some of the data that we were talking about earlier. A spreadsheet that we had here. Is that up on the screen for ya?

GS: Yes.

LN: Okay, great. So it’s showing that, this is data that was obtained from the John Hopkins website. They’ve got a place where you can download the historical data. Which I showed you a little earlier. Let me just pull that up. So what you see here, you can go on the map tool. You can actually scroll by clicking on the tab. Internet’s running a little slow. We discussed that previously.

GS: Welcome to the world of not enough pipe.

LN: Yeah so you might not have noticed it but there’s a little section that says admin one. If you hit the right arrows you can scroll through and cycle through and see the data reported differently. First it’s by country, and we’re now at 41,708 in the US. When you click, you can see the total. It’s running very slow today.

GS: Yeah John Hopkins, I know that one of the issues with their website is so many people are using it. That it, by this time of day it starts to slow down a bit. So it’s kind of a challenge to get in there and see the data as it stands. But I just noticed on the statistics for today, that the US stats at noon, when I checked I was doing a webinar today on hospital pandemic planning and drills. And US infection rate has jumped up pretty substantially.

LN: Yeah I want to show you some specifics of concerns as we drill down. I pulled the top 10 states And you can click here, you can see by states and regions. You can see New York is getting devastated right now. Then Washington, and then Cook County Illinois here is running right up next in line. But what I found interesting is as you pull the historical data out, but you can get off, we can see, here is New York. That’s a pretty scary curve, and it’s a trajectory that doesn’t suggest it’s going to get any better any time soon. And then you have Illinois, New Jersey, and what not. But what was real interesting is we had a cross. Illinois is this line right here on the screen there. Illinois is, where is Illinois here. We got, actually what I did is I pulled out New York so I could get more zoned. So excluding New York, you can now see what’s going on. And Michigan, that didn’t have a band until they just announced today that they’re instituting a lockdown. But Illinois, more dense, more likely to get a contagious outbreak than Michigan in my opinion. Because they quarantined early enough, you start to see that at least so far Illinois holding out. Now I think that number’s going to jump up. I think that the number, they haven’t fully reported the count for today yet. But it was interesting to see both Louisiana and Michigan and Florida jump up and surpass. And right now, Florida doesn’t have a ban in place. Georgia doesn’t have a ban in place. What do you think’s going to happen with Georgia?

GS: Well I think what your statistics are showing, and it’s interesting is that the early adopters of shelter in place and working remotely, etcetera, cut the bands, if you will. The early adopters of that are finding that social distancing is actually working. The late adopters who have yet to come to the point of doing shelter in place and what not are finding much like the parallel with Philadelphia and Denver during the Spanish Influenza, Denver closed the city very quickly, very little in terms of issues that they had. Philadelphia on the other hand kept everything open and actually did a parade to try to raise money for bombs for World War One. And as a result they had a significantly higher infection rate. And so I think you’re seeing a parallel in terms of history and what’s happening today. So I would say that those states that are late adopters are probably going to see a higher rate of infection. The other thing it would be, is if we can, you’d have to do some manipulation on data with this but is to look at those states which have large cities. Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles. Some of the bigger cities are going to have a significantly bigger concentration of casualties, if you will. That is going to result, it results from the fact that people are living in close proximity in those cities. The other aspect is that, if you think about it, a lot of downtown populations don’t have the, how do I put it, the infrastructure to do a lot of at home cooking. So it’s either they don’t have the storage facilities for food or they just don’t cook because restaurants are so plentiful. And suddenly we’re finding that with restaurants closed and other things being shut down, as far as businesses and what not, that there’s a greater dependence for people to be a little bit more self-sufficient, if you will.

LN: Yep, it’s certainly going to get interesting here. Well, thanks for coming on the show again and talking about this. I’m sure we’ll have some more things to talk about again soon.

GS: Thank you for having me.

LN: Great, thanks.

Other Related Videos

View John Hopkins Coronavirus Map

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

View CDC Guidelines

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#anchor_1584386949645

View State of Illinois Website

https://www2.illinois.gov/

Business Continuity and COVID-19

Cyber technology and preparedness experts Lee Neubecker and Geary Sikich talked about a business continuity plan way ahead of the COVID-19 virus hitting the US! What does the next couple of weeks look like? Tune in to find out.

Business continuity! It’s official, COVID-19 is upon us and the country is basically on lock down. Government restrictions are everywhere. Just about 15 days ago, Lee Neubecker and Logical Management Systems, President, Geary Sikich talked about what was going to happen when COVID-19 landed on our shores. It’s like they wrote the sequence of events!

Lee and Geary are trained experts in the field of cyber technology and preparedness. They foretold businesses will have employees work from home if they have a job that allows them to telecommute. They discussed different unique challenges businesses will experience when executives and employees take work computers home and remote in. Check out this video interview to learn a few interesting tips on business continuity.

Part 2 of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 & Business Continuity

COVID-19 and Business Continuity

Lee Neubecker (LN): Hi it’s Lee Neubecker, President of Enigma Forensics, and I’m back on the show here with Geary Sikich, President of Logical Management Systems. We’re continuing our discussion on business continuity planning as it relates to the Coronavirus, thanks again for coming back Geary.

Geary Sikich (GS): Thanks Lee for having me.

LN: So, can you tell everyone what other businesses are actually experiencing that are now at the stage where they’re dealing with government restrictions, either in China, or even in Seattle Washington, and what the reality of the challenges faced by businesses in communities where the corona outbreak is magnifying and spreading.

GS: Sure, the big one everybody is surely aware of was China and some of the things they did, in what people were calling “draconian measures”, which is essentially the quarantine that they set up. They literally lock down roughly about 56 million people and it got to the point where it was from the household where you were staying. They would allow one person to go out and buy whatever food you needed for the day. If that person didn’t have a mask on they were sent back, so no food, so that’d be a big impact. The employers for those employees who are now locked in on a quarantine basis set with empty factories and at about two weeks into that a lot of these employers were saying, “I can’t pay my people because my factory is not operating and I’m about to go out of business”. So, the impact is big in that regard. Just recently in France, the Louvre closed, and it’s closed now indefinitely as of this morning in response to a protect the potential of coronavirus expanding. Italy, there’s closing schools in Italy, they closed schools in China, also in South Korea. They’re doing similar things what we’re faced with here in the States is a very similar situation that is yet to unfold in its dramatic effect. But if we start to see the Coronavirus expand in the States, plan on seeing things like school closures plan on seeing things that are not going to be available on the shelf because the grocery stores are going to be emptied.

LN: That introduces a whole other element of risk, because for those parents of kids that have to be home many of those parents are only going to be able to work from home if they have a job that allows them to telecommute, and there’s, you were talking to me earlier about some of the unique challenges that have happened when executives take work computers home and they’re remoting in, and the one example I remember you saying was that with kids home alone and they have time on their hands, they’ve sometimes gotten into their parents’ computers and if those computers aren’t secure and they go to a game site, and they get hit by malware, the corporate network could be taken out.

GS: Yeah and it’s happened we’ve had it with the clients in different parts of the world where the company organization said it’s a great idea. We’ll set up a mini situation where you can work independently from home here’s a secure computer and over a course of time not much is happening and so, the secure computer becomes something of well we don’t let the kids play games on it and nothing’s going on so I’m not too worried, not realizing the potential exposure that they’ve put themselves in from a vulnerability standpoint. One of the key things, and I think this is a point that we need to emphasize, is that the criminal element people who want to do bad things has really taken advantage of the Coronavirus situation in a lot of different ways. By actually being able to interject malware in posing as a legitimate information site so here you want information on the Coronavirus, I’m here, and the next thing you know you’ve got malware downloaded into your system. So huge impact areas and in that regard.

LN: Yeah, I think that the whole notion of planning and thinking through how your business would respond if your employees weren’t able to come to the office is something that every organization should be doing now because it certainly is it’s not a question of if the virus will spread, it’s a question of you know how quickly and how large of an impact. We don’t fully know what is going to happen in every community with the weather, whether there will be better treatments available or not but we do know that it’s a risk and it makes sense to prepare for not having to have your workers come into your office, and how would you respond to that?

 GS: If you think about it in this context to leader there’s some real issues that you need to really begin to assess it all in a lot of detail. So, from a risk assessment standpoint, one obviously you want to look at how do I build contingency plans for us to work remotely whether it’s you working at your home or at a remote location that the company hires to have you know staffed. That’s great if you’re in the Information and Technology business or you’re in the financial sector you’re in a nonindustrial sector, how do you close down a steel mill and tell your employees we’ll go to this other place and work because there’s not the same facility. Here’s the real interesting thing that it but I think it’s a critical point and this is where we begin to start to realize risk management needs to begin to look at some things differently. One, you’ve got a facility it goes into lock down because of quarantine, no employees there. What’s your vulnerability for that facilities now sitting vacant. You have people maybe who want to break in? You still got your computers and other systems there that I would assume can still be hacked into in some way shape or form and you’ve got a lot of potential sensitive information.

LN: And physical security becomes important in that case definitely.

GS: But how you do that if you’re under quarantine and you can’t bring in physical security per se.

LN: There’s a whole issue if you have in our next segment, we’ll talk a little bit more about what businesses should be doing now to be cyber ready for having employees where they can work remotely. We’ll talk about some of the strategies that you can take now to help maximize your readiness for such a circumstance where you have to either reduce your workforce and create space, or have people work completely remote. So, thanks for being back on the show.

GS: Thank you Lee, I enjoyed it.

To View Part 1 of the Coronavirus

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Official Website of Homeland Security and their Business Continuity Plan

https://www.ready.gov/business-continuity-plan

Keeping Yourself Safe

Keeping yourself safe in these trying times is a tall order. Clerk Karen Yarbrough says to use your common sense and practice social distancing, wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

The Corona Virus COVID-19 is upon us! We knew it was coming and Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough says let’s practice common sense. The health and well-being is the utmost importance for Clerk Yarbrough. She recalls lessons from her mother, wash your hands, don’t shake hands instead fist or elbow bump, sneeze into your elbow and don’t touch your face. Clerk Yarbrough sits down with Enigma Forensics CEO & President Lee Neubecker to discuss the safety measures the County has installed to keep the polling places safe. Check out this video blog with transcripts.

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough says the 2020 Election will be safe!

The Video Transcript Follows

Lee Neubecker: Hi. It’s Lee Neubecker. President of Enigma Forensics. We’re a Chicago-based computer forensics and cybersecurity consulting firm. And I have the pleasure, again, of having the Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough on our show, to provide some common sense advice on what you should do at home and in the workplace to keep yourself safe from this Corona Virus outbreak concern.

Clerk Karen Yarbrough: Thank you, Lee, for opportunity to be here. I think we need to get across to people if they use their basic common sense and remember what mom used to say, they would probably be just fine. Now, 80% of the people who would even contract this, they’re going to be fine. It’s the folks whose systems are compromised, are the ones that probably are going to have some trouble. But, listen. When you sneeze, don’t sneeze out like that. Do it in your arm. Do it in your arm. Okay? Don’t touch your face. Don’t touch your face. I do it all the time. But, don’t touch your face. Don’t shake hands. We’re doing the bump these days. And the hand-bump. Yeah, we’re doing all of that. You know, some of this is basic. Okay?

LN: It’s space.

CY: Yes.

LN: Normally, you give me a big hug when I come in.

CY: No hugs.

LN: We did the elbow bump.

CY: Yes, that’s right. No hugs right through here, okay? Sorry, I’m a hugger, but I’ve just kind of pushed away. And the other we thing we just implemented today in our office, we usually have our meetings and everybody comes to the meeting, and everybody’s in the room. Everything’s closed up. So today we decided that we weren’t going to do it that way. We’re going to do it remotely. So, wherever you are, you tune into the meeting, and we’re going to have the meeting. So they have a name for that. It’s called social something…

LN: Social distancing.

CY: Distancing! That’s it, That’s it! So, that’s what we’re doing. And, little by little, as people get used to things, we’ll be fine.

LN: I think it makes sense to try to do this stuff before you have no choice.

CY: Yes.

LN: You can work out the kinks.

CY: Yeah, yeah. So far, so good. In our office we’ve had our challenges with some folks who have called off, said they’re not going to vote. I mean, they’re not going to… They can’t participate, they won’t be judges and that kind of thing. But we’ve been able to backfield them in. So I feel real good about March 17th. I think too, everyone should prepare for the likely event that as this thing continues that schools could be closed. That hasn’t happened yet, and it’s been evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but that’s a logical decision but that’s a logical decision that might be necessary in the future. And, so thinking about that now and thinking about if that happens, can I still answer my call at work maybe on my smartphone?

LN: Yeah. I think we’re going to adapt. I think we’re going to adapt to using smartphones

CY: Thank you Lee!

Other related videos in Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough Series

View CDC on Coronavirus Symptoms

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fsymptoms.html

View this website to learn more information on Coronavirus

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-social-distancing-and-self-quarantine