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Public health officials: Feeling sick? Then stay home
With local K-12 schools back in session after two weeks off for winter break, public health officials are advising local residents to stay home from school or work if they feel ill — especially if they have a fever. Officials from the state and …
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​Pollution damaging English economy, public health – experts
Pollution in England is damaging its economy, an independent advisory group has warned, as it urged the government to rethink its attitudes to environmental wellbeing. The Natural Capital Committee has warned that population growth will increase …
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What Do Uber, Zenefits And Public Health In A Kenyan Slum Have In Common?
The old saw about effective management goes, “You get what you measure.” Today, whether you call it growth hacking or business intelligence, successful large corporations and lean young startups have become fanatical about measuring their customers.
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Identity Theft Resource Center Breach Report Hits Record High in 2014

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (PRWEB) January 12, 2015

The number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2014 hit a record high of 783 in 2014, according to a recent report released by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) and sponsored by IDT911. This represents a substantial hike of 27.5 percent over the number of breaches reported in 2013 and a significant increase of 18.3 percent over the previous high of 662 breaches tracked in 2010. The number of U.S. data breach incidents tracked since 2005 also hit a milestone of 5,029 reported data breach incidents, involving more than 675 million estimated records.

Continuing a three-year trend, breaches in the Medical/Healthcare industry topped the ITRC 2014 Breach List with 42.5 percent of the breaches identified in 2014. The Business sector continued in its second place ranking with 33.0 percent of the data breach incidents, followed by the Government/Military sector at 11.7 percent. These categories were followed by the Education sector at 7.3 percent and Banking/Credit/Financial at 5.5 percent.

With support from IDT911, the ITRC has been able to continue its efforts in tracking and understanding the complex issues surrounding the growing number of data breaches,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO, ITRC. “With an average of 15 breaches a week in 2014, consumers need to be made aware of the risk of exposure to personal identifying information in order to understand the threat posed by this growing list of data breach incidents.

The ubiquitous nature of data breaches has left some consumers and businesses in a state of fatigue and denial about the serious nature of this issue. While not all breaches will result in identity theft or other crimes, the fact that information is consistently being compromised increases the odds that individuals will have to deal with the fall out. The ITRC data breach reports are a necessary educational tool for businesses, government and advocates alike in our communication efforts, Velasquez added.

In 2014, Hacking incidents represented the leading cause of data breach incidents, accounting for 29.0 percent of the breaches tracked by the ITRC. This was followed for the second year in a row by breaches involving Subcontractor/Third Party at 15.1 percent. Accidental Exposure of information in 2014 jumped to 11.5 percent, up from 7.5 percent recorded in 2013. Data on the Move dropped to 7.9 percent from the 12.9 percent identified in 2013.

The ITRC began tracking data breaches in 2005 and since that time has been maintaining an extensive database capturing and categorizing U.S. data breaches into five industry sectors with a number of other attributes such as how information was compromised and type of data.

It is important to note that the 5,000 breach milestone only encompasses those reported many breaches fly under the radar each day because there are many institutions that prefer to avoid the financial dislocation, liability and loss of goodwill that comes with disclosure and notification, said Adam Levin, founder and chairman of IDT911. Additionally, not all businesses are required to report theyve had a breach for a variety of reasons, which means the number of breaches and records affected is realistically much higher.

From 2007 to 2011, the Business sector, with a 10-year average of 34.3 percent, represented the largest percentage of breaches, often far surpassing the next highest category. The Medical/Healthcare sector, with a 10-year average of 26.4 percent, took over the top spot in 2012, attributed primarily to the mandatory reporting requirement for healthcare breaches being reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In 2005, this category reported the least number of breaches.

In 2005 and 2006, Education and Government/Military held the spots for most breaches, at 47.8 percent and 30.8 percent respectively. As indicated in the above chart, these two categories now represent a 10-year average of 15.3 percent and 15.8 percent. The Banking/Credit/Financial industry, with a 10-year average of 8.1 percent, has reported the least number of breaches for nine of the past 10 years.

Over the years, hacking has been a primary cause of data breach incidents, leading to an 8-year average of 21.7 percent. Data on the Move, a leading cause of breaches in 2007 and 2008, ranks second with an average of 15.9 percent. (This category includes storage devices or laptops lost in transit.) Insider theft and Accidental Exposure follow at just over 12 percent, and Subcontractor/Third Party follows at 11.2 percent.

Without a doubt, 2015 will see more massive takedowns, hacks, and exposure of sensitive personal information like we have witnessed in years past, said Levin. Medical data and business information like intellectual property will be prime targets, with cyber thieves looking for opportunistic financial gain based on black market value, corporate extortion and cyber terrorism.

As indicated in the chart above, other categories have been added to the ITRC database over the years. Employee Negligence was added in 2012 (3-year average = 9.5 percent) and Physical Theft was added in 2014 (12.5 percent of 2014 breaches). An eight-year average of 29.6 percent of all breaches, reported on and tracked by the ITRC, did not have sufficient information to identify the cause.

The ITRC continues to track paper breaches even though these types of breaches seldom trigger state breach notification laws. This type of occurrence has dropped considerably since the high of 26 percent recorded in 2009, with an 8-year average of 17.1 percent.

It is also noteworthy that the reporting of Unknown, for the total number of records exposed on the ITRC Breach List, has shown a decline since the high of 50.3 percent in 2012. This again may be due to the high percentage of medical/healthcare entities which are required to report the number of records. The eight-year average of unknown is 41.5 percent.

Tracking of breaches involving Social Security numbers and Credit Card/Debit Card information began in 2010. The exposure of SSNs has shown a definite decline over the past five years since the high in 2010 of 62.1 percent. The same cannot be said for credit/debit cards, which reflected a rise in both 2013 and 2014. The five-year averages for these two categories are 51.3 percent and 19.8 percent respectively.

I would love to report that the decline in breaches exposing SSNs is a testament to increased security efforts by institutions to protect the golden ticket to a consumers identity, continued Levin. Unfortunately, those compromises have been dwarfed by the alarming and exponential rise in successful attacks on point-of-sale systems at big box retailers. The FBI estimates that more than 1,000 retailers are under assault with the same (or tweaked versions) of the malware that compromised Target and Home Depot.

He concludes, therefore, it is incumbent on consumers to be their own best guardian by controlling what personal information they make available in order to minimize their risk of exposure, monitoring their accounts daily so they know as quickly as possible they have an issue, and having a damage control program to help them get through identity related problems quickly, efficiently and thoroughly.

For 10 years, the ITRC has been committed to dedicating resources to providing the most accurate review and analysis of U.S. data breach incidents. This has long involved adding new categories and updating methodologies to best capture patterns and any new trends.

Maintaining a quality multi-year data breach incident database necessitates constant attention to what is happening in the world of data breaches, legislative efforts on breach notification and industry reactions to incident response preparedness, said Karen Barney, ITRC data breach analyst. As a credible and thorough re

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Northern Virginia Technology Council Submits 2015 Legislative Agenda to Virginia Policymakers

Herndon, VA (PRWEB) January 07, 2015

On Jan. 6, the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) the largest technology council in the nation sent letters to all members of the Virginia General Assembly and to the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and senior officials of the McAuliffe administration outlining NVTC’s 2015 legislative priorities. NVTCs 2015 Legislative Agenda advocates policies and investments that focus on competitiveness and economic growth, STEM education and workforce, veterans employment, and infrastructure to ensure Virginia remains a top state for business and a global technology center.

Specifically, NVTCs 2015 Legislative Agenda urges policymakers to restore funding cuts to the CIT GAP Funds; extend Virginias capital gains exemption for investments in technology, life sciences and energy businesses; provide Virginias Mach37 Cyber Accelerator with statutory and budget authority to accept private sector funding and investment to support its operations; and to launch a new veterans employment performance grant incentive to encourage small and mid-size businesses to hire veterans.

In its letter, NVTC emphasizes the importance of enhancing Virginia’s ability to attract companies that are seeking to expand, relocate, move corporate headquarters, or establish research operations while also supporting a comprehensive “Grow Your Own” strategy for new company formation. The letter calls for investing in targeted innovation funding initiatives to boost Virginias competitiveness in promoting research, entrepreneurship, innovation, emerging technologies and technology-based economic growth, and job creation.

The letter calls for policies that boost Virginia’s technology workforce through a robust science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education pipeline, by increasing the number of STEM certifications and degrees awarded statewide, and by advancing policies that ensure Virginia businesses and universities can hire the best and brightest and all Virginians can participate in the growing technology economy.

NVTC also asks legislators to continue efforts to improve infrastructure, including transportation, energy and broadband, to support economic development and help Virginia companies compete.

Click here for a full copy of NVTC’s 2015 Legislative Agenda, or here to see NVTCs legislative accomplishments during the 2014 General Assembly.

# # #

The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) is the membership and trade association for the technology community in Northern Virginia. As the largest technology council in the nation, NVTC serves about 1,000 companies from all sectors of the technology industry, as well as service providers, universities, foreign embassies, nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies. Through its member companies, NVTC represents about 300,000 employees in the region. NVTC is recognized as the nation’s leader in providing its technology community with networking and educational events; specialized services and benefits; public policy advocacy; branding of its region as a major global technology center; initiatives in targeted business sectors and in the international, entrepreneurship, workforce and education arenas; the NVTC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that supports the NVTC Veterans Employment Initiative and other priorities within Virginia’s technology community; the Equal Footing Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that serves local area youth; and The Entrepreneur Center @NVTC, which mentors new technology entrepreneurs. Visit NVTC at

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Legislators slam govt proposal to increase gas price

Legislators slam govt proposal to increase gas price
Responding the senators' quarries, State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal Khan totally rejected the gas price hike and said it was just a proposal. … The senator also stressed the need for providing protection to the minorities …
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Boulder-White Clouds: The Northwest's next great protected wilderness
The incoming chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is a critic of the Antiquities Act. But he is viewed as more open to locally produced compromises than his predecessor, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash. “They're ready …
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Chesapeake City-area land preserved with easement
ESLC and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources also protected 35 acres in Caroline County, contributing to a greenbelt around Hillsboro. The property, owned by Lindy "Jay" and Debra Jones, is within the Tuckahoe Rural Legacy focus area (funds …
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El Paso County health department offering free radon test kits
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and El Paso County has been designated as an area with high radon potential, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless …
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Los Angeles County Assessor Campaign of John Morris Picks Up Support from 12 City Council Members

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) March 28, 2014

Moving quickly on the heels of his endorsements by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, retired Los Angeles District Steve Cooley and a host of law enforcement groups, John Morris announced today that his candidacy for Los Angeles County Assessor has picked up the backing of twelve City Council members from cities across the county.

“This support for my campaign is fantastic and it is very gratifying that so many leaders have jumped on so quickly,” said John Morris. “The operations of the Assessor’s office are critical to maintaining revenue for our cities and local agencies. To have the support of these officials is a great honor.”

Head Deputy District Attorney John Morris is the only candidate endorsed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. In addition, Morris has pledged a series of reforms and system upgrades that if in place would have saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands in expenses, cut months off of property assessments appeals, and updated the agency’s technology from the 1970′s era in some cases.

“This is one of the most complex property tax assessment rolls in the country with over $ 1 trillion in assessed value,” explained Morris. “We must do all we can to protect taxpayers and make appeals and the entire operation of the Assessor’s office as transparent and up-to-date as possible.”


John Morris is a veteran 23-year prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He is the only candidate for Assessor that is a prosecutor, holds a real estate license, has years of real estate law experience, and is a published author. He and his wife, Mary, are raising their children in the San Fernando Valley where they are active locally and in their church.

John Morris is Endorsed By The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley (retired), California Correctional Peace Officers Association, Los Angeles Police Chiefs Association PAC, Association of Deputy District Attorneys and taxpayers from throughout Los Angeles County.

Here is the list of City Council members endorsing John Morris for Los Angeles County Assessor:

Q&A with Paul Pettit: Out front on public health efforts

Q&A with Paul Pettit: Out front on public health efforts
Paul Pettit, 38, is public health director of Genesee and Orleans counties. The Albion native and resident, played college football, an offensive lineman, at University of Rochester. He earned a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from U of R …
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Value of Belltown public health building soars 53 percent in just over 2 years
A downtown Seattle building that houses a public health clinic sold Friday for nearly $ 10.1 million, or around 53 percent more than what the property sold for in 2012. Dave Speers, a commercial real estate broker who marketed the property for sale …
Read more on Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) (blog)