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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Security Risks When Working From Home

Working from home? Have you been transferring files between work and personal computers? Be aware of the security risks that are out there. Experts talk about how to protect your company’s private data. Where should you start to make sure your remote workforce is secure? Listen to these experts!

Using Your Personal Computer to Work From Home

What are implications when working from home?

Let’s face it, these are weird times! Never before have we had the bulk of the country’s work force sheltering-in-place and working from home. We’re going on four months battling the spread of COVID-19. Workers have resigned, been terminated and furloughed and many have sensitive trade secrets loaded on their personal computers. Experts Lee Neubecker and the Data Dive Debbie Reynolds discuss currents situations and different audits they have performed for companies to retrieve intellectual property and company data. Check out this blog with transcripts.

Video Transcripts Follows

Lee Neubecker(LN): Hi, this is Lee Neubecker from Enigma Forensics. And I have Debbie Reynolds, the data diva back on the show from Reynolds consulting. Thanks for being on. Thank you so much for having me Lee. So what are your thoughts about the shift and changes that have happened over the last couple of months with everyone being stuck at home with their computers?

Debbie Reynolds(DR): I think it’s a interesting issue now, because as you know, even before the pandemic, there were people working at home. But now since there’s so many more people at home, it’s bringing up other security risks, especially with devices. And I’m sure you know, you probably explain more of your experience about working especially a forensic with people who are remote. And some of the challenges with those machines, especially, you know, the same people. They’re either working from home, people are getting furloughed or people are losing jobs where they’re, they’re not in the office. But they still have equipment. So I’m curious to see what you think about all that in terms of the device, the equipment, and some of the risks that come with that.

(LN) We’ve had a number of projects happen during this period where workers either have resigned, they’ve been terminated, or they’ve been furloughed, and there’s a need to get the company data back. And sometimes that data is on their personal computers. Other times the data is on a company issued laptop, but there are companies are just starting to get back to work. And there’s a whole host of issues. If you have sensitive trade secrets, and confidential electronic data on an employee’s personal or work computer, and you don’t have physical custody of that, there’s a real risk of that data getting disseminated to a new employer, maybe leaked online to the web, or maybe even you know, someone’s kid at home installs a game that opens up malware that puts those trade secrets at risk.

(DR) You know, we know a lot of people working from home, and a lot of people are using, I think the statistics said, the majority of people, maybe a slight majority, are using their own computers to, you know, tunnel in via VPN or whatever. But we all know that people still, under a lot of circumstances, let’s say they’re printing, or they have a file they want to, you know, leave locally or something. What is your advice from a forensic perspective? ‘Cause we can, we always see a lot of data co mingle together, unfortunately, where the personal and people’s business stuff maybe, you know, together in some way, so what is kind of your advice for people working at home for stuff like that?

(LN) If an employee’s is being asked to work from home, they should ask for a work issued computer.

(DR) Right

(LN) Also you should be using a virtual desktop of sorts.

(DR) Right. Yeah, exactly. But you’ve seen I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of situations where you’re asked to do forensic work. And there is a lot of personal stuff, even on a company.

(LN) Yeah, we’ve had situations where people have, despite having work issued computers, they’ve still connected their personal computer up to corporate resources, office 365. I’ve seen situations where there’s drives that are syncing to personal, former employees, personal computers, and even though the accounts are severed, so it can’t continue to sync, then all that data might still reside. So we’re doing audits right now for clients to look for, you know, what devices are synchronizing with corporate data stores, and some of those devices. You know, there really needs to be accounting and audit to match up those devices to ensure that only accounts of active employees are syncing and that those devices are company issued devices, not personal devices because it poses a real risk. It’s a problem that could be preempted by issuing, you know, work equipment, not co mingling work and home stuff.

(DR) Are you seeing problems where people are, let’s say they have a phone. And they have like, for example, let’s say they have an Apple phone and they have a iCloud account. And the phone belongs to the company, but their iCloud account is their own personal account where you have problems getting those passwords.

(LN) Yeah, for the most part, we’ve had compliance and I’ve worked to try to help solve the problem, you know, the employee might have stuff they need. And usually what we’re doing in most cases where we have co mingle data, where we’re giving the employee or former employee the opportunity to put all their personal stuff onto a drive that will then do a search against and then we’ll wipe, wipe, completely wipe, the original device. They’ll sign a certification of sorts, and then they’ll only copy the stuff that they, that they copied off that we verified, didn’t contain trade secrets, and they’ll pull that back down to the computer. But that relies on some level of trust that if the employee or former employee signs, a declaration or affidavit saying that they returned everything that they’re being honest.

(DR) Do you have people that are concerned, especially in the legal field about people doing remote document review, and having sensitive documents viewed on their computers at home?

(LN) Well, I think that’s a legitimate question. And you know, if, if companies are outsourcing document review, they should be asking the provider, provider questions about, you know, how, what steps are you taking to make sure that those endpoint reviewers aren’t using computers that are compromised? In many cases, companies are using independent contractors as their reviewers and they’re not issuing corporate equipment. So that that’s a real risk that the whole ediscovery industry really needs to grapple with, because someone’s going to get burned at some point in time, especially during this, this pandemic with, you know, resources taxed and people working from home.

(DR) I have one more burning question for you, actually. And this is about BYOD. What do you think? Because the pandemic, do you think more companies will start to do more or less, bring your own device things as a result? I think we’re going to see a lot of problems come out of BYOD devices where companies see the problem of losing control of their data. And, at least with the larger companies, I think you’re going to see probably more strict, more strict enforcement of using corporate resources. I mean, there were many companies right before Illinois shut down went into effect they were ordering laptops going running out to, you know, retail stores to quickly grab whatever they could, so they can issue laptops to their employees. And, and so I think you’re going to see, I think you’re going to see a movement away from BYOD in the future.

(LN) I agree with that. I think it’s been a long time coming. I don’t know if you remember when they were first doing this, you know, at first companies were giving people devices, then they decided well we’ll save money will be out BYOD Now it seems like a pain in the neck to deal with it. And it’s all these risk issues. So I really feel that they’re going to start to go back the other way.

(DR) Now, well there’s a cost associated with BYOD. And now people are furloughed and all your sensitive data is on former employees, personal computers. So then you’ve got to hire a forensic expert like me to try to work through to get the data back and to solve that problem, which, you know, it might have been much easier to issue a 500 dollar laptop to employee, then to have them synchronize that ’cause they’re going to pay more than $500 dollars to try to solve the problem of getting their data back. So after we get through this next bump in the business cycle where companies are paying out to have to retrieve their data, I think you’ll see that most CFOs will see it’s smart sense to issue corporate laptops and to block access to BYOD devices. But thanks for the question. It was a good one.

(LN) Thank you. Fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

(DR) Thanks

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Check out our COVID-19 Statistics – Track your county!

Shelter in Place or Open Up?

Where do you stand? Stay sheltered in place or open up? We all have felt the pain of this pandemic. Is it time to open up are restaurants? Enigma Forensics wants to know your thoughts.

Is fear holding us back from moving forward?

Where do you stand? Shelter in place or open up! Is fear holding you back? If you don’t know what’s going on in the world today apparently you have been living under a rock. It seems so long ago when Enigma Forensics Lee Neubecker and Geary Sikich, President of Logistics Management Systems warned of what was to come and further outlined what would be the global impact. Enigma Forensics started posting our first post about COVID-19, Coronavirus: The Global Impact was on March 6.

Mayor Lightfoot announced today that Chicago will not be able to open restaurants for outdoor seating on May 29. It’s different than what the state has outlined. As stated by the City of Chicago, we will be following “Protecting Chicago” framework. The City will be using this guide to govern Chicago’s reopening process amid COVID-19. The framework – organized into five phases in alignment with the State of Illinois’ “Restore Illinois” plan – will advise Chicagoans on how to safely exit from shelter-in-place while continuing to prioritize the health of our most vulnerable residents.

Did we anticipated COVID-19 spread to the U.S. to wreak havoc like it has? Absolutely not. Even though this is a play book that has never been written before, Lee Neubecker drew upon his cyber forensic skills and made it the company’s focus to track information on the rise of positive cases and deaths. Our intention was to save lives!

Illinois is now ranking third for COVID-19 cases behind New Jersey (#2) and New York (#1). According to the Illinois Department of Health, as of 5/21 Illinois has (102,687) Positive Cases and (4,607) Deaths and (672,723 ) Tests performed. Over all, according to the Center of Disease Control reports, the US has (1,581,903) Positive Cases, (93,806) Deaths, and (301,341) Recovered Cases.

Education trumps fear. Wear a mask and wash your hands. Based on these numbers, where do you stand? Stay in shelter in place or open up?

It started when…CDC: Center for Disease Control announced first COVID-19 case in the United States. Jan. 21.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-centers-for-disease-control-first-case-united-states/

On Tuesday, March 13, we helped Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough spread the word on safe voting tips and how to keep yourself safe.

We wondered what was the fastest growing Zip Code in Illinois.Enigma Forensics started tracking COVID-19, on 3/8.

We uncovered the highest growth rate and reached out to the Hispanic Community Leaders

Top Counties That Should Consider Lockdown!

Chicago’s Enigma Forensics Data Analytic and Cyber Security Expert Lee Neubecker has identified top counties in the country that should consider going on lock down because of the alarming climbing numbers. Some of these counties may not know they are approaching a dangerous risky situation. Lee has been taking a deeper dive on the most recent Coronavirus stats identifying the most at risk counties. Lee was way ahead of CNBC’s report that President Trump has called for classifying Coronavirus risk county by county!

Check out this video to see if your County is on his list!

Video Transcripts Follows

The Transcripts go here!

Why Don’t Politicians Follow CDC Directives? Coronavirus Social Distancing

Enigma Forensics President Lee Neubecker wonders why politicians are not following the same CDC directives that we have to. Lee interviews Geary Sikich, President of Logical Management Systems. What are your thoughts? Check out this video interview.

The Transcript of the Video Follows.

Lee Neubecker (LN): This is going to be a short segment about why Congress, Senate, the President, why they’re not practicing, even the governor, why they’re not practicing the recommendations to keep separation and they’re doing these press conferences full of people putting everyone at risk when they can use tools like Zoom and still have the communication but not have the personal interaction. I mean, the Senate’s likely going to all have this thing soon and because they have to vote in person, that’s going to be a real problem if they can’t get something passed and they’re all sick.

Geary Sikich (GS): Yeah, you know, they broached that yesterday during one of their news conferences and Trump was saying that he would like to see them be able to operate remotely but he was saying that it might be a constitutional issue where that may preclude them. They may actually have to show up.

LN: But maybe they could debate everything on a tool like-

GS: Yeah.

LN: Zoom or WebEx and then come in to cast their vote one at a time in isolation so that they’re not around each other.

GS: Yeah, I think that’s … They should be investigating a lot of different options, but they’re not

LN: Why is the president standing next to his advisors, you know, within a foot of them. You have the vice president, the president. They’re all standing next to each other. They should be … The need to have everyone crammed into the White House briefing room, they could be using technology and spacing out so that people aren’t on top of one another.

GS: Yeah, I mean, even if you noticed the media on TV, when you’re watching the news and whatnot, like-

LN: So they have one blank seat. But that’s not six feet away.

GS: No, but I’m saying the media on TV has got separation, like this morning I’m watching NBC on morning news, and they’ve got them sitting. You know, it’s just a wider angle for the camera, and it wouldn’t be that difficult because I’ve noticed the same thing in every press briefing I see, whether it’s the president or the governors, or any of them. There is a kind of a cluster of people around them, which is typical of the way it used to be and it’s not advisable now.

LN: Yeah, but it’s certainly something that should be looked at. I think it’s important that we do everything we can to keep the infection rate from spiking quickly. We know in Italy, when it spiked the way it was, the death rate goes up to 10%.

GS: Yeah, Italy is, it’s scary because everything they have done, they, unfortunately, got … got into it a bit late because they kept their borders open way too long and they allowed things to kind of transpire that now puts them into, you know, the situation being number two as far as fatalities and as far as case rate. Once they started, and they’ve shut down the entire country, now they’re actually shutting down the transportation systems within the country to try to contain this.

LN: It’s something else. And then with spring break, all the students coming back from Florida, California. They’re all at the beaches. This is going to transfer, and they’re going to be bringing their family members a special gift home.

GS: Yeah, it scares me about the fact that we allowed the spring break festivities to go on the way they did, that the governors weren’t a little bit more proactive in that regard, and that the people themselves… Granted, you’re young, you feel like you’re invincible. But the reality is, you’re not. And the once-in-a-lifetime spring break is not all that great as it is. Having not gone to any spring breaks when I was in school, other than the trip out West and whatnot, but … the value of it is far offset by the jeopardy you put yourself in from a health standpoint.

LN: Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks for coming on the show again to talk about this.

GS: Great, enjoyed it. Well, I’m sure we’ll see each other again virtually.

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/

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

Keeping Offices Safe

Clerk Yarbrough sits down with Lee Neubecker, President & CEO of Enigma Forensics to discuss the current state of affairs. Clerk Yarbrough assures everyone voting on Tuesday, March 17 voters will be met with a clean and safe environment. Come and Vote and March 17!

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough Gives Safe Voting Practices

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough would like voters to know her staff is taking every precaution to make all voting stations a safe and clean environment. On top of her list, everyone should wash your hands! She says all voting staff will continuously wipe down all surfaces and are trained to keep the stations clean. Clerk Yarbrough urges everyone to remember the rules your mother gave you!…Wash your hands, sneeze into your sleeve and if you have a fever stay home from work, don’t go out and stay in and take care of yourself. Clerk Yarbrough sits down with Lee Neubecker, President & CEO of Enigma Forensics to discuss the current state of affairs.

Check out this video interview to find out what precautionary steps the Clerk’s department has taken to make sure each voting office stays safe.

Election Day is on Tuesday, March 17

Clerk Yarbrough says Keep Calm, We are on the Job!

Lee Neubecker: Hi, this is Lee Neubecker, president of Enigma Forensics, computer forensics firm based here in Cook County in Chicago. And I had the pleasure of having our very own Cook County Clerk, Karen Yarbrough, here on the show to talk a little bit about what her office is doing to help keep people safe, in light of the recent corona outbreak. Karen, thanks for being on the show.

Clerk Karen Yarbrough: Thank you, Lee. Well, you know, this is a really busy time for us and we have a number of, we have our regular employees and then we have a lot of people, almost 8,000 people, who will be involved in the election on the 17th. So we want everyone to be safe. So in the office, what we’re doing is, first of all, we’re educating people. Now, some of this stuff is just common sense. I mean, people should know to wash their hands. They absolutely should know that. They also should know that if you have to sneeze, you don’t sneeze out like that, you go like this, okay? I mean, didn’t your mom teach you that? I mean, mine did, so. So the education or bringing it back to people on how we can keep safe. So our people have, they have obviously Purell. They have the gloves if they want to wear them. They also have, they clean their work stations. So we have everything that they need and we have a big influx of people for several reasons and especially in vitals and in elections and so we want everyone to be safe.

LN: So with the election fast approaching, I know that previously you were on the show to talk about early voting, in trying to get people to pull a ballot so that they could vote from home. It’s too late for that now, but what would you advise that people should do as they’re heading to the polls?

CY: Well, hopefully they’ll have a card or some information on who they want to vote for. They’re going to find our brand new voting machines there and it’ll probably take them all of two or three minutes to vote this time. So the ease of voting, they’re going to find friendly faces there and people who are willing to help them. We have the touchscreens and we also have paper ballots if people want to use ’em. But we’re encouraging people to use the touchscreen. If you want to use your finger, then you can wipe your finger off with, and we have everything there. I mean, absolutely.

LN: Like Purell?

CY: Absolutely, we have everything there. They could use a pen to do this, you know. They could use their, bring their own pen if they want to fill out a paper ballot. So, you know, again we’re telling people use some common sense here as it relates to, you know, today and all through the last few days, what I’ve been doing is going to the early voting polling places and so I’ve met all of the judges and I see the way that they’re greeting people. They’re not shaking hands, they’re doing fist bumps or arm bumps. Yeah, like that or whatever, but they are not shaking hands. So, you know, as I’ve looked, and we’ve been looking at, watching what’s coming out of Washington, what’s coming out–

LN: Even here in Chicago

CY: Absolutely.

LN: Yesterday we had the Prudential building had their first case.

CY: Yeah, how about that? How about that? But you know what? For the most part, 80% of the people who contract it in the first place, they’re going to be fine. Children are going to be fine. It’s people who have compromised systems that have the problems. And older people. I get all of that, but people can be safe and they can be competent, use common sense and be safe.

LN: Yeah, like not jumping on an airline when you know you’ve tested positive. I don’t think you should do that if you have Corona Virus.

CY: Don’t come to work sick. We’re sending people home. Anybody’s around there sniffling or what have you or they don’t feel well, if they have a fever. If you got a fever, you ought to be at home. You shouldn’t be with us.

LN: And just because you have a fever, you shouldn’t be flipping out thinking you have Corona Virus.

CY: Not at all, not at all.

LN: They say that you need to have three specific symptoms combined to worry about it. You need body aches, fever, plus respiratory problems. So if you don’t have all of three of those, don’t bug your doctor. The doctors are under control.

CY: Don’t panic.

LN: Unless you, if you have a fever that runs awhile, call but don’t. Then you should assume that you have Corona Virus.

CY: I’m hoping that we get some better information out of Washington, though. There have been mixed messages there, so let’s hope that we can get better information out of Washington as well as what we need. I noticed that out governor was pretty frustrated about his inner workings with the federal government on what we need in Illinois. So let’s hope that they get that together.

LN: Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks for being on the show again.

CY: Thank you.

Watch related videos to this series with Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough

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Voting Tips with Clerk Yarbrough

Cook County elections are on Tuesday, March 17. Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough assures everyone voting will be efficient and safe Check out these voting tips!

Every Vote Counts

Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough says tip number one – be prepared! Tip number two-do your homework on the candidates before you come in and vote. Lastly, it’s ok to bring your notes with you. She ensures that every precaution will be taken to make sure everyone is safe!

Clerk Yarbrough is excited to report, Cook County has all new voting machines that will streamline the voting process. She adds if you would prefer to use the old paper ballot they will have those available too. In addition, the new barcode system will accurately tally and record of voters ballot, which will make counting votes extremely efficient. After the election, Clerk Yarbrough says the office will do a full audit and confirm that every vote is counted She assures everyone voting will be safe and there will be plenty of antiseptic and gloves available! Watch this video as Lee Neubecker interviews Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough and asks about voter tips.

Tuesday, March 17 Vote for your Candidate!

The Video Transcripts Follows

Lee Neubecker: Hi, it’s Lee Neubecker, President of Enigma Forensics. I’m a cyber-security and computer forensic expert witness, and our firm’s based here in Chicago within Cook County, Illinois. And I have the pleasure of having our very own Cook County Clerk, Karen Yarbrough, appearing on the show today to talk to all of you about what you should know, what you should do, as you head out to vote in the next few days. Karen, thanks for being on the show and thanks for sharing these tips.

Clerk Yarbrough: Well, thank you Lee. Thank you for the opportunity. We wanted to be able to tell people what they can expect when they come to vote. For people who come to vote each and every time, they usually know. They, you need to be prepared, and one way you can prepare is by having your own notes on who you want to vote for. We have brand new machines this time, and those machines, it’s going to be a whiz. Everybody has told me they love the new machines. For those who are uncomfortable with using touch screens, we’re going to have the regular paper ballots. But, if you’re prepared to vote, it should take you a few minutes to just go straight through that ballot. And, you know, usually people have problems with all of the judges, do your homework before you come in.

LN: Well, it certainly will help speed up the lines and reduce congestion.

CY: Certainly, certainly.

LN: Also wearing gloves, if you’re really concerned, there’s nothing that prevents you from wearing gloves to vote.

CY: Not at all, we’ve seen a few. You can wear glasses. We’ve seen a few people with gloves on. We’ve seen a few people having their own pens because they plan to pull a, you know they want a paper ballot. So we’re going to, you know, bring your own pen if you’d like. We’re going to, at every station, we’re going to have the bacterial .

LN: The Purell?

CY: Yes, we’re going to have that. We wipe down the stations after each.

LN: You must have got yours early.

CY: Yes we did, yes we did.

LN: You were prepared.

CY: Yes, we wanted to be prepared. We wanted to be prepared. We were hearing about what was going on, and we know that we have one day to do the election actually. We have all of these days for early voting, but we have that one day and we got to get it right.

LN: Now, I’ve heard that there were some concerns regarding the barcode on some of the ballots that gets printed that that could be.

CY: I have no concerns about that, okay. The great thing about our new equipment is while you’ll put your ballot through and the barcode is there, but we have a record of each and every one of those ballots. If we have to go back, and we do, we go back and we review to make sure things are right.

LN: So, on paper it’s doing more than just the QR code. It also has the friendly names printed out.

CY: Yes

LN: Is that correct?

CY: Oh absolutely, yes.

LN: So the concerns that some people had were that, I think the concern was that the barcode could be different from what’s printed. But if that were the case, you’d be able to audit that after the fact.

CY: And we do a full-blown audit at the end of every election just to make sure.

LN: So someone voting, they’ll be able to actually see the print out on paper.

CY: They will be able to have that in their hands. They’ll be able to check their choices and then they will cast their own ballot, not us but them.

LN: And so it gets scanned and digitized, but then the physical ballot gets locked in the box, correct?

CY: Yes.

LN: So, there’s a dual system.

CY: Absolutely.

LN: I think that makes a lot of sense.

CY: It does, it does. And it gives people peace of mind. You hear all of these stories about well, my vote may not count, and this. I mean, all kinds of things. So to prevent those kinds of things, we have new equipment, and we have a new process, and I think people are going to like it.

LN: Great, well everyone get out there and vote. And, thanks Karen for all your work on this to help make sure election day goes smooth.

LN: Thanks.

CY: Thank you.

Cook County Clerk.com

https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/agency/2020-elections

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