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An Interview with Expedia Group’s Aaron Shanas: Cyber Workforce Development

Aaron Shanas, Director of Cyber Defense at Expedia Group, graciously sat down with Focal Point's Justin Avery to discuss his personal philosophy on cybersecurity workforce development, how he trains his employees, and why some certifications may be overrated.
Insight

Privacy Shield Is Gone: Now What?

In a highly anticipated ruling on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) announced the immediate invalidation of the Privacy Shield agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United States (U.S.). Privacy Shield was a trans-Atlantic mechanism that allowed U.S. companies to freely transfer the personal data of European citizens and residents outside of the EU. The CJEU in Luxembourg ruled that the agreement did not comply with European privacy rights and failed to protect the privacy of its citizens’ data. As a result, more than 5,300 certified U.S. companies are now forced to adapt their data transfer and privacy policies. Although the court ruled that other data transfer options like standard contractual clauses (SCCs) are still viable, the decision to invalidate Privacy Shield potentially jeopardizes the flow of data across borders and causes significant uncertainty as to what comes next for many companies. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the CJEU’s decision to nullify Privacy Shield and what organizations can do now to strengthen the flow of data across borders.
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Debunking Common Myths Around the DoD’s CMMC Certification

Which of these statements is true? Bananas grow on trees. The Great Wall of China can be seen from space. CMMC compliance won’t impact your work with the Department of Defense. The answer: none of them. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is the DoD’s new cybersecurity standard, and certification will be required for all contractors before they can bid on government projects. There are five levels of certification, which are earned based on the security safeguards in place to protect sensitive government information. The DoD is still developing the full compliance process for the CMMC, but requests for proposals (RFPs) requiring certification will roll out in September. This has created a lot of confusion among contractors, leading to several misconceptions about the CMMC and its certification process. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most common myths about the CMMC to help you understand this new framework and prepare for certification. 
Insight

Internal Audit and Cybersecurity: A Guide to Working Together

In this three-part webinar series, our Internal Audit team will sit down with leading cybersecurity experts to explore the different facets of a cybersecurity program and practical ways internal audit can work alongside cybersecurity teams to manage risk.
Insight

How to Get Started on the DoD’s CMMC Certification

Updated July 15, 2020 With more than 300,000 Department of Defense (DoD) companies and subcontractors essential to military operations, the defense industrial base (DIB) is a frequent and valuable target for malicious cyberattacks. Potential breaches of intellectual property in this sector could weaken U.S. defense capabilities and become a matter of national security. In an attempt to increase the security and resiliency of the DIB, the U.S. Department of Defense launched Version 1.0 of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) in January 2020. Adapted from industry-recognized frameworks, the CMMC represents a unified cybersecurity standard required for all contractors hoping to do work with the DoD. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the CMMC framework and how your company can start preparing now for CMMC certification.
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Privacy Staffing Support

Support When You Need It Focal Point’s privacy experts can drop into your privacy program to address specific needs or…
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Building Operational Agility in Healthcare: Focus on your Non-Employees

If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that healthcare organizations need to be able to scale – quickly, securely, and with patient care at the forefront. The key is operational agility. Operational agility is the ability to respond quickly to changing external conditions, without compromising long-term objectives. In a healthcare context, this means being able to respond to rapid swings in public health conditions, new regulatory guidance, or emerging security threats without compromising on patient care, data protection, or research goals. Fundamentally, developing operational agility is about building a core set of processes and capabilities and enabling your people to operate dynamically within that environment.
Insight

The Name of Your SOC Matters: Tips for Picking a Name that Fits

Focal Point has worked with a number of security operations teams, helping them advance their capabilities, execute on their strategies, and strengthen their skills. More often than not, we’re brought in because stakeholders don’t feel like their security operations are meeting the needs of the organization. When we dive into it, we often find that this “failure” is driven by a misalignment between what security operations does and the expectations of the leadership team. Left to fester, many security operations teams find them on the short end of the long-term leadership support they need.  There are a few ways that this breakdown occurs, but one of the simplest to fix and most commonly overlooked is the name.
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PCI Compliance in the Cloud

Striking the Balance As more organizations embrace cloud computing, the divide between cloud autonomy and compliance becomes greater. Your organization…
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